First Day of School + Thoughts

Written September 4. 2000, at 16:55 GMT.

Today was the first day of school. Last Firday there was the official opening of the school year with speeches and posh performances of "fine" music, but today we met our teachers, were told which things have changed since last year, which classes we'll be required to take, and so forth. Tomorrow we start working, sharing our ideas and interests, getting to know each other, getting to know the teacher. Trying to find focus for our productivity.

It is kind of strange being back to school again after a whole year of working full-time. From now on school will take up the bulk of each day and my work will have to happen in the hours between. I think rearranging my time and work-environment accordingly will be the hardest part.

The rant goes on...

Actually, my work always feels more like school than work. Almost every day I learn something new. I tackle the projects at work like school projects - with the same enthusiasm and passion for finding a solution and expanding my understaning of the problem space. Adding each and every small project I finish to my personal knowledge-base.

I thrive on that stuff. I have an unsatiable craving for learning. Yum! Sometimes I even read and study so hard that it feels like things start spinning. (Then sitting down with a glass of a nice muscle relaxant is nice.)

The main reason I'm still in art school is that I hope to learn from it how to learn. I find the artistic apporach to solving problems extremely interesting. My own mind seems to work in a weird combination of structured, reductionistic "scientific" way of thinking and the intuitive "artistic" way of digesting problems and then spitting out a fully process product. Kind of weird and I am, being the control freak I am, looking for a way to make the most of both sides of me.

During my years in secondary school I learned math and physics, and that gave me extremely valuable insight into the structured scientific apporach of thinking. Now I hope to get a similar insight into the more "analog" approach of the artistic mind. I think this added knowledge will prove equally valuable to me in the future, even if I never apply my artistic education directly in my work. It's the mode of the mind I'm after.

One of the main changes happening in my school this year is that for the first time there is little or no distinction made between the different types of art. There is no longer a 3d-sculpture group completely seperated from the painting-on-canvas group seperated from the mixed-media and conceptual-art group. Now there's just art seperated from design which seems fair enough to me.

This merging of diciplines is actually quite fortunate for me. I entered the school intending to focus on sculpture, but right from the start I had tendencies towards non-materialistic work. Working with empty spaces and sometimes only light always seemed more interesting than creating objects to fill the space. Now over the course of the last year, my interests have shifted even further from working with space and materials in space towards something more in the genre of conceptiual and social works.

Nowadays my thoughts seem to always revolve around works involving social-engineering and what I like to call social (and personal) spaces that exist only in the mind of the person experiencing them - That and the Internet. I find the Internet and the social impact it may cause very, very interesting. I'd love to make some sort of an Internet-based social sculpture - or something like that...

Some of my ideas require me to make contact with people within the Icelandic business world. I'll need to get companies interested and ask them to help me, provide support. I'll ask for gifts, but I'll be willing to give back. Make their support worthwile for them. Talk nicely about them. How all this will be arranged will be one of the things we'll talk about.

My problem is that I'm not very much of a sales-person. My communication skills are fine, and I get very passionate about my projects and I love to explain them and I do get people to share my visions, but sometimes I feel like I lack the ability to "sell" my ideas to complete strangers. Sometimes I feel like I come across like a complete nutter when explaining my stuff. My mad-scientist alter ego escapes and makes people scared. It also seems that some business-type people only listen to "sales-pitches". Ideas have to make some sort of business sense to be worth listening to.

I guess I have to practise my sales technique. I also guess one of my problems is that I tend to wait too long before getting other people involved and interested. I often wait until my idea has become too complex and too finalized for any mortal stranger to digest in one go. I have to use the open-source software development philosophy "Release Early, Release Often".

Yup, this is what I'll do, starting ...Now!

I'll try to use this website to document the thought-processes behind my school projects. I'll furthermore document my interaction with people, with companies, with everyone. I'll be honest and open in my processes, and hopefully someone will jump in from time to time with tips, offerings, or just a couple of words of encouragement. Furthermore I'll try to make it so that people I meet in real-life and discuss my ideas with can visit the site and see how/if I'm making progress. Also I can refer them to the site for background information and further reading about my projects. Hopefully all this will help compensate for my lack of salesmanship.

Until next time...

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