ArtLinks Director & artist, Cathy Fitzgerald talks at Podcamp 08

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Cathy describes her initial use of social networking technologies in her own creative practice; template portfolio websites, blogs, youtube, print-on-demand books, knowledge of which she is actively …

Cathy describes her initial use of social networking technologies in her own creative practice; template portfolio websites, blogs, youtube, print-on-demand books, knowledge of which she is actively sharing and developing with the ArtLinks community.

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  • 1. Social media: my art practice and ArtLinks Cathy Fitzgerald, ArtLinks Member & Director
  • 2. A year ago, I wasn’t…
  • 3. using portfolio, ready-made websites, or
  • 4. blogging…
  • 5. Using youtube, flickr, facebook, stumbleupon, ning …
  • 6. and just over a year & half ago
      • I had started with ArtLinks: working with co. arts officers & arts communities to promote & develop Arts in SE
        • to manage/develop a new, regional website
        • design courses for promoting people’s creative development
        • I had intermediate dreamweaver skills, enjoyed web work, developing membership in voluntary community groups
        • practising artist
      • luckily I turned up at podcamp ireland in 2007
  • 7. my own practice + work for ArtLinks overlap
    • My projects have developed where local people are
    • co-authors in creative process
    • I’ve been open to recognise sharing ideas/skills is key to creating very rich projects
    • One needs to build audience/ communities around ideas/work
    • Ongoing issue: how to show work , engage/reach wider audience
  • 8.
    • mix of art, science & green community projects –ideas > photography, video, installation
    • last 12 years
    • with scientists, created art & ecology projects with environmentalists/foresters & communities
    • use the emotive power of art to quietly engage / bring attention to community action
    • lo-fi skills suit green message
    my contemporary visual arts practice
  • 9. Working in the arts
    • <5% continue with fine art practice
    • How to sustain/develop practice with limited resources
    • Work not known
    • Coupled with ltd opportunities to show work
    • And I moved to rural Carlow!
  • 10. online – the answer?
    • Personally, yes
      • made me look professional, virtual gallery
        • no-one knew for instance I was in a mobile home with no studio
      • Low cost but needed skills
        • easily consumed lot of creative time
      • attracted attention of media, curators
      • Bizarre: website lead to feature in Irish Times and interview on national Pat Kenny’s radio show !!!
  • 11.
    • Online presence something I advocate but you needed the skills, today here reaching to those with basic IT skills
    • but in last few years, things have moved fast
    • Gone is the need to have in-depth web skills; my mum at 72, is blogging
    • New social features of web 2 env. ideal for anyone working creatively
  • 12. An e.g., work in progress
    • did art project highlighting a community, sustainable forestry project in Leitrim
    • pioneering, funded by Forest Service: 16 sites, over 300 acres planted,
    • film and exhibition well received in Leitrim – but I wasn’t completely satisfied..
      • a model of forestry that could be replicated thruout country, much needed when you think of climate change, sustainable energy
      • Even brought it to Cultivate… felt I wasn’t reaching the audience that I wanted
  • 13. My story
    • In march 08, I put up the intro to the film on youtube (overnight as I had no broadband)
    • next morning, 2 curators invited me to show work at new Irish you-tube festival in London??!! I went…
    • Curators knew Cannes, they lobbied for youtube festival category, guy from Cork got award from Spike Lee!!
      • My work is now more widely available and tagged to other similar projects
      • Peers contact me, motivated me to keep going
    • Forming blog, offline directory and online ning directory for local forest community to share skills, knowledge, films, photos
      • foresters worst communicators in world and forestry is a true Slow Art
    • Experiment; using own woodland, turning spruce wood into sustainable, close to nature site, fuel for more art projects and my home, can’t think of more impt project to be involved with
  • 14.  
  • 15. blogs
    • found it to be great place to ‘dump’ ideas
    • Replaced/adds to my visual notebook
    • collect bits on other projects that inspire
    • Show ‘work in progress’
    • Creatives: have niche knowledge -fascinating to others, perfect for blogs
        • Peer support, audience, feedback,
        • Free
        • Relatively easy, not much more complex than Word
        • Help a lot of others put up blogs, my mum, friends with great content, operapage, sculpture, green politics, arts office residency
      • Growing awareness in UK re: benefits blogging for arts & projects
    • Invited ArtLinks member Ken McGuire to give first blogging course for ArtLinks
  • 16. portfolio ready-made websites
    • wanted 2 share knowledge of such websites with ArtLinks visual artists
    • contacted by ex Riverdeep IT manager/turned painter, Padraig McCaul who was keen to teach others, why they shouldn’t bother with web designers
    • >>led ArtLinks courses across 5 counties
  • 17. My portfolio ready-made website
  • 18. for literary types
    • At home, been exploring print on demand books,
      • where you design and upload your content and its is bound and printed for you and made avail. for others to purchase on demand, like Amazon
      • Huge benefits for amateurs writers, poets to get ‘a book’ published, offer marketing etc,
      • Also great for visual artists/makers etc want to make cheap catalogues
  • 19. e.g. Blurb – drag & drop
  • 20. Personally…
      • Trying different social media, building hands on confidence, awareness of benefits > sharing ArtLinks community
      • Actively read about this area
      • ArtLinks community is still forming
        • Current website has been quite static but is undergoing development to keep people engaged,
      • create a sense of community
  • 21. Get the community sharing
    • Forum risky? Hasn’t been, will be more visible soon
    • People will be encouraged to link to their myspace/youtube/ flickr
    • Google maps to show studio/course location
    • Huge amount of events now loaded, Constant Contact enews
    • >>RSS feeds to auto alert community
    • Those with blogs, content will go on their profile pages, website will be a conversation of community
    • Course content: new wiki type area..podcasts
  • 22.  
  • 23. ArtLinks future development
    • ArtLinks is still new
    • Social media is helping engage younger creatives, and older users, George
    • Offering considerable opportunities for those with creative work to market, profile their work
    • in future want to push the community to share skills in helping others with these technologies e.g members -Nicola Brown, Paul Brennan, Ken McGuire can assist others getting blogs up, see ArtLinks Skill Shop area on their profiles
  • 24.
    • Thank you
    • And big thanks to Podcamp for
    • ideas & encouragement