What a Wiki

During my last years study I was very interested in WikiPedia and the potential of creating or using a Wiki for developing creative practice, as well as using the structure of a Wiki for some sort of creativity. I explored creating a self-referential artwork through sabotage of WikiPedia; an interesting concept but in reality something that comes down to just being sabotage for the sake of it rather than sabotage for creative ends.

Over the last few days, working with my tutor Jane Brake, I’ve managed to set up a Wiki to be used for various purposes. Although the potential reaches beyond Interactive Arts and beyond my University completely; the starting point is as a resource for Interactive Arts.

Interactive Arts has had a web forum for some time, but these days is rarely used or read, as such it has become redundant. Personally I think that forum could easily be revived by making it more valuable to “us” (students) however that is an aside. The function that the forum performs – I expect – will be easily incorporated into the new Wiki. As well as that the Wiki will provide a framework for delivering other materials to students and also letting the students contribute, what they want as they want to.

Aside from “What? Why? How? Who?” type questions (to quote BBC4’s “The Late Edition”) – the point is the Interactive Arts Wiki has been created and I will be putting together the initial structure and content before “launching” it with my fellow students.

The big question with a Wiki once it is installed and working is; “Now what do I do with it?” Having set about this question with earnest, I’ve come up with;

  • Documentation. This section of the wiki will effectively be a showcase of artists’ work (to start off with, Interactive Arts students). People will be able to create a page under their own name, on which to write about and document (with photographs, sound or video) their creative practice.
  • Learning Materials or Lecture Notes (what should I call it?!). This section is as described, with learning material from Interactive Arts and MMU lecturers, as well as any others where its applicable.
  • Editorial or Opinions. Here anyone can post their views, opinions or reviews of each others work or any other work they wish to comment on.
  • Ex-Students. An archive of ex-Interactive Arts students and their practice and work. Obviously this will grow as current students become ex-students; hopefully some former students can be contacted and asked to contribute to this.
  • News & Events Listing. Hopefully this will become an online version of the content of “morning meetings”; information about events, shows, competitions and general information.
  • Collaboration & Project Listing (Advertisement!) A section of the Wiki will be dedicated to people writing about collaborative projects their working on, or requesting help or collaboration with something they’re doing. (Thinking about it, maybe this should just be part of “News & Events Listing” – if there’s only one place to look, maybe more people will look there and it will work better all round.
  • Links Archive. A free for all of “good websites to look at” – be it for inspiration, amusement, or otherwise.

Having done a little research into the Chelsea Wiki I noticed a glaring omission – a help section. Given the slightly steeper than usual learning curve a Wiki has, compared with more ‘everyday’ websites this would probably prove to be a good idea.

Very good! And interesting. I hope.