• Week 23

    25 March 2013

    A different shape to week 23.

    The beginning of the week was spent working on Detling: pitching the results of the discovery week back to the client, taking on board feedback, and then setting up the weeks of work ahead.

    I also began work on exploding the raw data into its constituent atoms, and building a page for each one: what I’ve come to call (via Tom Carden and Mike Migurski) the “show everything“ stage of the project. This helps us all see what interconnections are interesting, which aren’t, and also gives me a good heads up on where my parser is failing.

    The next step from this is swiftly building the tools to correct and massage the data without overwriting or duplicating information. That requires some simple autocompleters, so that information can be matched to what’s already in the database… and that means I’ll be implementing search a bit earlier than I expected. Material exploration is informing infrastructure.

    I spent a morning this week with the chaps from PAN, planning out the first stages of some prototype code we’ll use to poke our Playable City concept: it looks like a short burst of work from me will be what we need to explore the materials of the project; in this case, whether a first stab at the conversation mechanic is as robust as we thought.

    On Wednesday I flew to Serbia for Resonate. It’s been an interesting few days in Belgrade. I don’t always go to conferences for what people tell me; rather, I go to see what new ideas I’ll have as a result.

    There are a few new things percolating away – mainly about instruments and interfaces, along with a deep-seated need to return to making music, somehow. It’s been interesting to see the world from the perspectives of media art and creative technology. At times, the conference helped me find my own strong opinions – usually in opposition to what I was seeing – but that’s also useful! I found the abundance of what were little more than portfolio shows a bit frustrating, but they were made up for by some talks that voiced clear arguments and narrative (sometimes, on top of what might otherwise have been a straight portfolio show).

    I definitely haven’t finished processing Resonate; when I do, I’m sure it’ll lead to more writing. That’s one thing it really reminded me: I need to write things that aren’t weeknotes from time to time. The discipline is good, as is the perspective it gives, but it’s no substitute for other forms of writing.