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Presenter at doel 08.There was a time crunch this afternoon. When Scott Dinho began his presentation, it was almost time to end. That's sad- I would have loved an opportunity for discussion: he teaches an online course in drawing and illustration for Savannah College of Art and Design. (I remember looking forward to getting their yearly interactive catalog CD… Savannah is the only institution in the country to offer a BA in Sequential art, so the drawing is a cartoon.) There was a quick question as his session wrapped- someone asked if instructors in the online courses ever got to see the actual work; hold the real drawings. As I sat with a series of drawings that only existed digitally, I, like the velveteen rabbit, wondered what her definition of real was? Seems like it could be a topic for a great round table.

Presenter at doel 08.The last presentation of the day featured a radically different approach to academic engagement. What was presented, I think, was more rhetorical than explicit. Thylias Moss' work is provocative, and addresses the framing of information. Her writings on Limited Fork Theory ask several important questions:

"What does it mean to share? If products of creative expression are free, how do those generating creative products earn a living? How much free exchange is possible without restructuring societies and communities? What impact is user-generated content having on authority and on the vetting of expressive producers? Who will determine the canonical content? Who can afford to share? Who can't?"

I don't know if I get it. I enjoyed her enthusiasm and spirit and care deeply about the answers to the questions she asks. Indeed, what will be the new canon? Seems like this could be a topic for a great round table, too.

What sort of conference do you have to attend to hear such questions hashed out by great minds?


Cole said:

I too was a little disappointed in the format -- two presentations in a single session. I think it would have worked had the moderators been more strict with the time allotments ... it left the second presenter with too little time for engagement.

I also appreciated Dr Moss' presentation, although she lost me about 2/3 of the way through. Her conversations were interesting, but a little too randomly connected, but at the end of the day I think that may have been a way to illustrate her point. Maybe.

The last question you ask is a good one -- where does one go to have these kinds of discussions? I can only speak for my own experiences ... I tend to find them in three places. Across campus with colleagues I know well and ones I am just meeting. I do work hard at seeking out people I read about, hear about, or find intriguing ... once I find them, I invite them to lunch, to my office, or coffee. I do it to hear them talk and to be challenged. Honestly, the second place I end up having really good discussions come from being around the office. I find good insights right here. Finally, I tend to learn more when I attend smaller more focused meetings external to the University. I have given up on the big conference and really appreciate stepping outside my comfort zone. The Berkman at 10 event was like this and it was a life changer for me.

dave said:

I guess that a desire to seek out knowledge, and a willingness to recognize and accept it would be good characteristics for anyone. I'm not overly experienced in seeking in an academic setting and certainly not at conferences. Odd that those places have never been high on my list of where to seek.

The last presentation broke the mold. Everything else that I saw was lecture and powerpoint. At the end of the day, would I prefer to sit around talking theory with technology freaks who see the arts as an opportunity or artists who consider technology an opportunity?

Well, that's the old zen bullet hitting me in the forehead.
(Edited for clarity.)

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