Pete Gomes on Fri, 11 Dec 1998 20:58:54 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> LOOP: Artists and "Loose Learning"

LOOP is a communication art project which ran in London summer 1998 for
six weeks coinciding with the Arts Servers Unlimited conference.

Loop was about being open to creative possibilities of using the net -
what I call *loose learning* - gaining the skills "in between" - the ones
that allow you to adapt, experiment, be flexible, be creative. 

Loop hovers somewhere between collective art project/"social
sculpture"/conceptual learning/web building/systems project. 

Loop developed into a learning model. The project evolved. There was a
structure from the beginning - a page a day every day and the use of
incremental levels of technology in the design of each page. It ran with
10 young unemployed people in Woolwich, South East London and Loop, was
for many, their first introduction to the internet, and for everyone their
first experience of writing HTML. 

There was an "instruction"for every day of loop.

This outlined the idea and limits of what was expected in terms of ideas
and technologies but made no restriction over content. The style and
expression within each page was entirely up to the appprentice artists
involved. The structure allowed for a balance and dynamic between
individuals and their relationship to the rest of Loop as a whole group,
as well as the Loop site itself. 

Each day they were introduced to at least one aspect of learning about
HTML, and as each day progresed, they began to slowly combine previous
skills learned into more sophisticated pages. The group were also
encouraged to use HTML document source for comments, ideas and diaries.
Early pages on tags and basic html - to later sections on plug ins, VRML,
Net radio, and Flash. 

I kept telling the group that this project was NOT about "technology" or
learning how to use "software"  - but it was about using conceptual
skills, playful skills and the ability to experiment. 

Artists have exactly the right flexible and sometimes illogical approach
needed to constantly adapt and change, and abandon one direction to pursue

Loop was about understanding and nuturing this approach. This is not
something that can be taught in a traditional sense, but it has to be
unearthed , coaxed, absorbed. 

For people working with technology the model of the young "apprentice" who
learns a specific skill from an older person, and practices and practices
and maybe reaches their peak aged 40 is irrelevant. The valuable skills
now are conceptual, skills that breed thinkers that can adapt, be
flexible, inventive, work within restrictions and work instinctively. 

Loop is best dipped into here and there; returned to; used as a reference
point; used as a place to steal code and tags; played with. 

A repository of information and ideas. It consists of over 325 screens of

Collaborators include Gallery37, Backspace, Okupi, ICA, The Place. 

These texts document the methods and ideas of the Loop in detail. 

Short Text

Medium Text

Long text

Pete Gomes
n u m i n o u s

n u m i n o u s



L  0  0  P

13 people learning


Nothing is far away,
Everything is near:
The universe
And the painting on the wall.


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