I like Flickr. The folks at Ludicorp do what they do very well. They have honed a supremely useful tool for one very specific purpose.
Some low-hanging fruit that will be rolled into the live SmartCommons site soon is adding syndicated image feeds to your Gallery. Taking a couple of steps back for a moment: the Gallery on SmartCommons is a simple way to display a small number of images for your friends and family. It also happens to be the way you set up your main picture that appears in the upper left corner of your Start Page.
Adding syndication to the SmartCommons Gallery allows you to associate your Flickr photostreams with your SmartCommons personas. This means that you will be able to show your family and fishing buddies live feeds of relevant pictures that you are already uploading into Flickr (most RSS or ATOM feeds should work)....
I (Daniel) bought one of Patrick's pieces from this show, and think him a brilliant, intellectual artist. If you know me, you will know why if you read these artist statements. Hence this "double post:"
Dallas artists Jason Roskey and Patrick Rhodes have an exhibit entitled "Agenda Symposium" at the Continental Gallery, located inside the Continental Lofts Building, 3311 Elm Street in Dallas from December 5, 2005 to January 15, 2006. An Art Talk about their new work is slated for Thursday, January 12, 2006 from 6:30 to 8:30. Admission to the talk is free.
The conversation the Art Talk will host is what it means to live in a large urban landscape and how that affects the city's residents and its environment. Jason Roskey and Patrick Rhodes will both speak about their work.
Roskey says this of his work, "I am interested in exploring power in contemporary societies and depicting how it affects land and cityscapes through a fictional narrative. My source material includes modern frontier settlement, media representation of extremist ideologies, environmental policies, new-urbanism development, cartography, landscape photography, 19th century American architecture, travel, commerce and embedded-values of American cultures. The fundamentals of my work reflect the outcomes of bureaucratic conferences and are meant to present the short and long-term effects these summits have on different classes of people in terms of geography; it is rural versus urban, wealth versus poverty, organic versus synthetic, cookie-cutter development versus historical architecture. I want my work to portray, with the same sense of romanticism of ancient landscape paintings, the potential destabilization of citizens and the environment through personal, political and corporate agendas."
Roskey is a self-taught artist and Fort Worth native. He holds a degree in business from Texas Tech University.
Patrick Rhodes says this of his work, "Movement through the city is an individual and conscious act. The inhabitant chooses a direction and a path. Consciously he is aware of his decision to move. He encounters objects and arrangements along the way though, which directly affect his reaction. Through repetition of movement, formal relationships develop and the human brain adapts to its surroundings. One unconsciously grows to accept the parameters and functions of these objects and arrangements, which are the foundation of their experience and resulting response."
Rhodes is a native Dallas resident who received a BFA in sculpture from Boston University....
Sometimes there is a book that I wouldn't mind thumbing through, but that I won't waste my time and/or money actually acquiring. They are the kind of books I might add to my Amazon Wish List without any firm purchasing intention (appropriately tagging it with the "Don't Buy This For Me" label).
For items such as these a SmartCommons Watch List comes in handy.
A Watch List does one thing: it continually scans your commons for a particular set of items. When an item is found in the Collection of someone in your network you are notified. It is that simple.
You add items to you Watch List in the same way you add items to your Collection. Click on the Collection tab and then on the Add Items link at the bottom of the Collection grid. It is not as hard as that sentence makes it sound. Really.
Once you have searched for and found the item you want to add to your Watch List click on the gold star in the far right column. The item will be added to your list. That's it.
You can check your Watch List anytime by clicking on the Collection tab and then on the Watch List link. Once there are items on your list it will look something like this.
Another quick way to check your Watch List is to fire up SmartCommons Collection and click on the My Watch List menu item. This list is kept in sync with your online list.
SmartCommons Tip #3
If you manage your stuff offline using SmartCommons Collection you always have an interactive record of your things close at hand with or without bandwidth.
Collection allows you to publish your Music, Books, Films or other Stuff as RSS feeds. Doing this will allow people who subscribe to your feeds to know when you have that new movie or CD--even if they are not themselves a part of SmartCommons....
Art, as well as technology, define and continue to shape the world we live in. With new inventions and innovations, the world seems to be making space for a different sphere and new rules. Governed by modern aesthetics, technology in art challenges our perceptions, and that is what creativity and science are all about.
The change in the nature of art, along with the shift in the public interaction and the reshaping of the exhibition spaces and museums are making more room for some of the most amazing artworks through, kinetic pieces, digital art, and works that explore the internet and the online world. The mysteries of various sci-fi movies that were considered mind-blowing just a decade ago, today shape our reality.
The Fascination with Internet
Logically, most of the modern production that is somehow related to science emphasizes on the Internet and the virtual online world that altered the notion of art in so many ways, thereby offering an opportunity for literally anyone to display his/her work and for the audience to seek out any piece that interests them. Moreover, the Internet has impacted the art market in more ways than we can tell. Petra Cortright creates her paintings to explore issues of online consumption, rendering them in aluminium and making endless alterations to the computer file until she is satisfied with the end-product.
The Aesthetics of Computer Drawings and Paintings
We should also mention creative practitioners who have not found their creative digital efforts based on conceptual theories but instead focused on pure visuals and beautiful aesthetics, therefore, standing out for the beauty of their animation pieces.
A Disputed Relationship
After everything you have read above, it is quite apparent that technology is redefining art in innovative and more often than not, strange ways. This is the case with almost all mediums and genres; the critics and audiences that are divided into those who perceive science’s impact on creativity is either positive or a negative moment in art history. When this notion arises, there are usually many people that openly criticize such an approach claiming that technology and science has only managed to break the bond between the author and the piece. Moreover, they believe that the entire process of creating art has become much easier and more trivial. This is entirely false and here is why.
Firstly, as long as the artists behind the artworks stay creative and innovative, there is no cause for concern. Secondly, art does not have to be complicated or challenging to be taken seriously. It is actually about the experience the author offers to the public, bringing a change in how the viewer thinks, feels and perceives the world. These aspects are what counts, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the methods that the author chooses to use. With that being said, we should not be intimidated by the presence of technology in art as it does not affect the very core of experimenting, creating and imagining.
Just the beginning - The Future: Part II
Christmas is over. The twelfth day has arrived. Things are changing rapidly as 2005 dawns. As promised on the tenth day, I want to go out thinking more about the future of SmartCommons.
To recap: SmartCommons is about social ownership. This initial release is a first sketch of an ownership operating system that has been brewing in my head for some time. The rough edges of the project still make it feel somewhat academic, but the intent is decidedly commercial. The main point is filling out the Total Product Lifecycle that is currently being ignored by major retailers. SmartCommons steps in after the initial transaction and before the resale or disposal of the asset providing management and sharing services to consumers and a platform for a new kind of contextual instant commerce, life-context targeted advertising and brand sponsored loyalty programs.
All of that aside (unless you know one of the people who run the Best Buy Reward Zone program... in which case you should call me), these are some of the areas being developed around the SmartCommons vision:
A Trusted Peer-to-Peer (TP2P) Network: Imagine a P2P network seeded only by your friends and family and segmented for privacy using your SmartCommons Personas, Private Communities and Projects. Suddenly everything on the network is relevant.
An organizationally sponsored co-branded SmartCommons offering: Imagine your Church rolling out a SmartCommons-powered small group program that emphasizes belonging through the tools it supplies not just the ideas.
Brick and mortar partners who automatically tie into the SmartCommons system: Imagine going to Best Buy and having the DVDs, vacuum and memory stick you buy automatically added to your Best Buy Reward Zone sponsored SmartCommons Collection.
SmartCommons social software API: The public SmartCommons API is on its way.
Desktop integration: Desktop notification and RSS feeds of your Blog.Note comments, System Messages, Event Calendar and Watch List updates.
All of these things are being created to fulfill the vision articulated on the first day of this Share Something Christmas:
Social software is at its best when it is about sharing life with the people you are already in community with.
So one final time, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
This is just the beginning.
SmartCommons Tip #4
There are situations where sharing beyond your direct circle of friends and family may be useful. If you are a member of a club or religious group you may be open to sharing with a fellow member even if they are not in your direct circle of friends. You can do this in SmartCommons by establishing a Community (I suggest a Private or Secret community) and whenever someone joins in they have the option of sharing their Collection with all of the members of the Community. St. Mark in France and The Bridge in Oregon are both testing out this capability right now....