Term Project… How Your Own Experiences May Improve Your Content/Idea

For those of you still working out how to enhance or to present the “idea” or “content” side of your projects, here’s a little food for thought that might be helpful… These are NOT requirements for the project/paper, but instead useful signposts of whether or not your project will be a success.

… so clear your expectations about the technical execution of your work.  Instead…  just consider what these following questions mean for your project.  Then… come up with some satisfactory answers for yourself.  If you can apply your answers to how your art piece works, then you should be headed in the right direction…

First… think about YOU. Think about how you use technology.  Now ask yourself: Why?

It might help to relate your art project on some experience (ie content) that you have actually encountered or at least witnessed. For example, you will more likely have better insights into cell phone culture or blogging, than space rockets (though we all loved the recent Mars landing, to be sure).

Ok, now, what do you use technology for? (Banking, Socializing, Research, School, Entertainment, News… etc…) How do you interact with technology? How does it influence your relationship or understanding of that subject? Or – What are your technology interfaces? (Your cell phone, your computer, including more specifically video streaming, online radio, blogging, various websites with log-in protections, etc etc.)  How can these interfaces be used to reflect your insights about your relationship with technology?

Second… after you’ve considered your own behavior… Now consider your project and what that says about our larger relationship to technology.  What does our behavior say about larger issues in society, ecology, communications, relationships, technology, politics, economics, culture, etc.?  Does your project address any one of these larger issues? Does your project say something meaningful?  Does it address, question or answer ideas about our humanity, the affect of technology, the affect of power, the economy, our information systems, technology as media, our relationships, our ability to act, to live, and to respond in a technologically mediated environment…?

Third… if you have adequately addressed the two first questions, then this last consideration will meet the “academic” requirement for your project and put it into “paper ready” perspective.  So now consider what theories and other artistic examples help give you a better understanding of technology as related to your project?  Does your project address these theoretical or artistic issues raised in the related class readings?  If your project seems to ignore the theoretical underpinnings or the larger problems these other thinkers have tried to address, then maybe you need to tweek your project.  Also, does it only repeat what has already been done?  If so, re-consider questions 1 and 2 above. YOU HAVE A VOICE, a perspective, SO USE IT!  If your work does address some of the ideas and questions raised by your/our relationship to technology, then you will more likely have a work with solid content that can also be explained in academic context for your paper.

Good luck!

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