DataGolem Extended Text

………. where do you want to go today?

This is a satirical reference to the phrase ‘ where do you want to go today? ‘ which Microsoft trademarked and used and in it’s first global image advertising campaign in 1994.

A trademark - a company’s legally registered name or emblem, used to identify it’s products or services (OED) here takes the from of a whole sentence, which promises to fulfil your desires, to take you wherever you choose…….. but as the old joke goes

“How many Microsoft programmers does it take to change a light bulb?”
“None - Microsoft defines darkness as the standard.”


The notion a DG, and the form and structure of the LABs was conceived by TE and JJM in conversation with HS back in Jan 2007……..?
A good way to envisage the LABs to to refer to the concept of devised theatre performance as opposed to a theatre performance that is based on the interpritation of an author’s text or script.
We used the word devised here to indicate……..

initially devised…we see the devising handed over to the group, us acting as instigators and facilitators of the creation process ……. Useful here to use the example of a devised theatre methodology…… and by way of a visual illustration, perhaps the most famous, certainly the most popular play to come out of the ‘devised’ tradition Mike Leigh’s  Abigail’s Party (1979).
Instead of writing a script, Leigh works from a basic premise, however vague it may be, that will be fleshed out through months of improvisation and rehearsal. This will involve an exploration of the actor’s own experiences and people they know, things which will then inform the characters they develop; Leigh’s work then, is devised, so much of the credit must be given to those he works with. Equally significant is the way Leigh controls story: 'You have to be free as an actor from knowing what your character wouldn’t know.' Yet while his performers are vital to the process, it is Leigh, who moulds and shapes the work, who provides the simple instructions which allow the narrative to develop. The material is continually reshaped until the very moment the cameras role. It is then that the work is in some way 'fixed'. After that, there is little time for improvisation. 

Garan Holcombe, 2005

Of course there are many differences between our working approach and that of Mike Leigh, ist is the established practice, even if it is a preconception of theatre, director, actors and performance.
What is the established practice of software development………history……..
The core participants aren’t actors ……… not only that they are not one single unity, i.e. not musicians, not scluptures, not dancers - they come from these and other specialisms, their is no shared practice, no common language, the common ground that there is is one of intent and and purpose….

However, to parahrase the previous text :

Instead of writing a piece of software, we work from the basic premise of DG, this will be ‘fleshed out’ through the initial 5 day LAB and ……… This will involve an exploration of the core participants experise and experience, expectation and desires….this will then inform how the software will develop; DG is ‘devised’ and much of the credit will be given to the core participants.
Yet while the core participants are vital to the process, it is TE/JJM who will initally mould and shape the work, provide the structure, provide the majority of structured improvisations that will stimulate ideas and allow the seed software to develop into a DG of everyone’s making.

“Devised theatre can start from anything. it is determined and defined by a group of people who set up an initial framework or structure to explore and experiment with ideas, images, concepts, themes, or specific stimuli ………devised theatrical performance originates with the group while making the performance, rather than stating from a play text that someone else has written to be interpreted. A devised theatre product is a work that has emerged from and been generated by a group of people working in collaboration.” (Oddey)

‘Devising Theatre: A Practical and Theoretical Handbook’ by Alison Oddey
Pubished by Routledge, 1996, ISBN 10:0415049008

to be continued…

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