I wanted to come up with some guidelines to support us all to give each other constructive feedback in a positive way. I hope this will encourage people to share their practice exercises and what they are working on, even if they think their work is not perfect or finished. One really great aspect of IRL workshops is peer sharing - people chatting with their neighbour, solving problems together, and building each other’s confidence. This is a tricky thing to get right online but let’s try! (Plus me and @yaxu just really want to hear what everyone is working on )
The internet can be a scary place, particularly when it’s populated with strangers, so let’s agree ways of interacting that are supportive and encouraging and create an environment where people feel comfortable sharing I think there are a three things to bear in mind that can help us with that:
- The Code of Conduct
Please remember firstly that all communication in this forum is subject to the Tidal Club code of conduct. If you’re not sure why we need a code of conduct then I recommend you do some reading around that (this article on codes of conduct at conferences is a good starting point). If you have any questions about the code of conduct, or if someone is behaving in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable, please contact me or @yaxu in the first instance.
- The Curse of Knowledge
The curse of knowledge basically states that the more you know about something, the harder it is to understand what is not obvious to a beginner.
I think this applies here in a couple of ways. Firstly, while this is a course designed to work for total beginners, there are a lot of more experienced Tidal users here too. This can feel intimidating for those who are just starting out, since it can feel like you are not always getting something that seems obvious to everyone else.
Reflecting on my own experiences as a beginner learning Tidal there was SO MUCH that was completely impenetrable to me, particularly as I don’t have a background in computer science. BUT ultimately that didn’t stop me using Tidal and making music and playing shows, so it shouldn’t stop you either, even if you don’t completely understand things yet (... or even if you never completely understand).
(Having said all that - if you are interested in learning more about Haskell and functional programming, Learn You a Haskell for Great Good by Miran Lipovača is a great resource!)
Secondly, for those of us who are a bit more experienced - when you are helping someone else, or commenting on someone’s work, please be mindful of the different experience levels and backgrounds of the people here. While a concept may seem obvious to you, you could be speaking to someone who has never encountered that idea before.
- Quality vs Energy
Last year I read this great article on the White Pube about a workshop led by Thomas Hirschhorn on how to critique other people’s art. I really recommend you read the whole thing if you get a chance, but the main points that stood out to me and that I’d like to share are:
Quality is an inherently exclusive concept - if some things have quality, then others by definition don’t. It’s as much about what’s not accepted than what is. The problem is - who decides what ‘quality’ means?
Energy on the other hand is “much more unstable and open... Art made by you in your bedroom might not have quality because it hasn’t been validated by the powers that be, but it could hold great energy to someone - it could make them cry or laugh, it could ~move~ them.”
So thinking about these contrasting ideas of quality and energy, I would like you to think about other people’s work less in terms of ‘quality’ (e.g. how well written the code is, how hi-fi a recording is, etc) and more about ‘energy’ (e.g. how something makes you feel or what it reminds you of). This makes your comments then become about your personal response to a piece of music, rather than about any attack on the person who made it (it’s easy for comments to come across this way even if you don’t intend them to)
I think this is something that art students and art schools do the whole time, but I haven’t been to art school so I don’t know. But something I do know is that it’s important to understand how to respond with compassion so that people can feel comfortable to share their work.