draft response on Recipe Exchange at Spacex Exeter

there may be a revised version later through Spacex, not sure. also the posting seems off just at the moment so this blog is a backup.


Recipe Exchange

The idea of a recipe exchange is attractive. Sharing knowledge in a community combines obvious benefits with a secure identity. The video and photography by Helen Pritchard showed Farringdon experience with projects that followed from the tradition of recipes that were common knowledge.

But so far I have been disappointed that the online scope has been more limited than I might have expected. What is in the gallery becomes more like a treasured artefact than a video clip. I don't think they are on YouTube for example. There is an audio tape of the introduction talk but so far as I know this is not online and it may not be encouraged within the terms of the copyright for extracts to be mixed with other content or comment.

Maybe it is just a timing problem. There is also a record of the Tim Ellis talk about the Tourist but this again is not yet public. The internet has created an idea of speed as well as access that may be different to a way of working for a gallery. At least Tim Ellis made it clear he welcomed photos of his work and mixing with other content. This move towards online conventions may continue but probably with blips.

There was web access as part of the exhibit. At least there was a table with Mac computers but I found that the Recipe Exchange site was the only one I could access. Twitter and Facebook were blocked by parental guidance. Maybe others had a different experience but i am not sure that the conversation aspects of the web are fully understood. Facebook use is thought to be declining and this may be partly because of the proportion of broadcast content rather than conversation. Spacex has a Facebook page but the conversation aspect would improve if direct access was possible from the physical site.

Perhaps it is the academic aspect that is more of a problem in restricting access. Journals require that an article is unique for a specific publication. Text should not have appeared somewhere else or in a slightly different format. so it is not possible to quote or comment ahead of official publication. This seems to me to date from print culture whan a long run was the only way to publish. In journalism there is now acceptance for combining blog versions with an edited publication. Jeff Jarvis recently posted about the article on his blog buzzmachine. He responded to comments and later a print version appeared in the Guardian. this style seems well suited to the recipe Exchange themes, as they appear.

The talks around the exhibit link to related ideas such as open source software and hacker culture. Graham Dean from Highwire in Lancaster led a workshop about open source hardware. Helen Pritchard is also based at Highwire in the InfoLab 21. Imagination Lancaster links to FutureEverything in Manchester from where Julian Tate spoke about open data. I have attended the Sundown demo party in Budleigh Salterton so maybe I have too high an expectation of what to expect as online spinoff from an event. But the internet changes what happens from a village or city.

Although I have no recording a couple of remarks come to mind. Planning authorities in East Devon may consider Farringdon less of a community because there is no shop, no pub, no school. My visits so far suggest it may be part of a wider area, a triangle with Woodbury and Clyst St Mary or a corridor defined by the 52 bus. Bolton can be seen as a "wannabe city" , one of several on the outskirts of Manchester. Would this still be true for Preston or Lancaster? The circumstances of the city may apply anywhere, given the right connections. At this time of year a lot could happen in Kendal.

Recently YouTube allowed a Creative Commons option. It is widely known that YouTube can be downloaded but it has been hard to know the intention of the people who loaded it. Creative Commons makes this clear. I would welcome a few video clips from Highwire Lancaster that briefly explained what they think in a way that could be commented on. The danger I can imagine is that an academic description of "recipe exchange" type activity will become a closed conversation for academics with access to journals with limited circulation and other aspects of a discipline.

Magda Tyzlik-Carver spoke about common practice as a specific event. I think it would be more general to look at activity around Creative Commons. I know there are people on the demoscene who prefer informal understandings but the Creative Commons ideas are still a reference to explain what is happening. The common practice talk was part of the review group but the nature of collective reviews has yet to be considered, in my honest opinion.

I was not in Exeter for the David Gauntlett talk on Making is Connecting but found there is already sample content online from the book and several clips on YouTube from other events. So I do not know what was said but the web aspect is the closest to what the show might have been about.

Meanwhile at the Phoenix there is an exhibit on rivers and canals by Marcel Dinahet. There is no permission to video the video but there is a giveaway of a postcard and an invitation to photograph the water and then mix it with some other landscape. I have also chosen to post some Creative Commons water on Flickr and negotiate clear Creative Commons with Paul Gillard for some water from Cornwall. Even postcards have copyright complexities so it is best to be sorted. However, there are movments in an open direction and some indications as to where galleries may develop given current themes.

by the way, recipe exchange closes 9th July so this response may change depending on comments.