Vine Interface–An Orientation

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Vine offers a clean interface, but that might mean you need a little extra orientation to get started.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine. Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here.

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

Stop Motion Tips

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I love anthropomorphizing things. Dancing bananas, singing teapots, talking shoes… So, this lifelong love is my excuse for loving the stop motion culture of Vines. I love the idea of potatoes up and becoming stamps without any human intervention. Or the fact that magic helped you make a silkscreen with drawing fluid.

Stop motion needs most of the frame to remain constant while aspects of the frame change incrementally. The illusion is better when many small increments of change are done in many shots. But, this requires patience and time. I can’t say I have either, but I have still been able to get some satisfying stop motion videos.

Here are a few tips to help you get started with stop motion:

You need something that keeps your phone still and in the same place. A tripod is best, but you can improvise, say with a book and tape.

Lighting can be a tell. Because stop motion takes a lot longer than 6 seconds, you might find yourself shooting frames over the span of hours. With strong light, say from a window, changes in the light will indicate long elapses of time. Artificial light remains constant, and creates a more seamless effect.

Framing devices help you with stop motion. If you are doing a craft video, a cutting board can serve not only as a constant and a framing device for the craft supplies above it.

Ghost, ghost, ghost. Patty E. has some good videos showing the ghost function. Essentially, it shows a faint image of the previous frame to serve as a guide for your current frame. Without it, you are creating stop motion blind to the previous frame.

Save time for your final shot. You are often so excited that you got everything in, and you tap just once for that final shot. But, in reality for a satisfying video, you really need to give that final shot at least double the time of any of your earlier increments. This of it as your final scene rather than just a shot. Let your viewers see your satisfaction rather than your exhaustion.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine. Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here.

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

Vine and Audio

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In my mind, Vine is primarily visual. But, how can text, audio, and sound be included?

Sound and Audio:
You might be like me, and just accept ambient audio. In some instances, there is nothing you can do. Often, talking just becomes noise, particularly in stop motion compromised of many shots.

Sound, such as waves on the beach, can add ambiance to your video. If you want to embrace sound, consider using longer frames.

But, if you want to add sound to a narrative, touch the screen before the sound starts and wait until after the sound ends to let go. This might seem obvious, but I find myself always having to do this consciously.

If you aren’t the audio provider, make sure to provide your talent clear expectations and cues. And, accept that you might need to make many videos that you will throw away.

Text:
Text is challenging. People read at different speeds. Often 6 seconds is shorter than the time it takes to make sense of text. I haven’t found a good way to include huge volumes of text. One short word can be easy to start or end a frame. Even then, it is often useful to pair this with audio.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine. Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here.

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

How can Museum Educators use Vine?

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Interpretation is about sharing but also listening. Museum interpreters are information chefs. They take raw content, say scholarship, and then make something palatable out of it. After serving their delicacies, they listen for the feedback of the consumers. Using this feedback, they might refine their recipes. Social media allows visitors to make the interpretation about museum collections into a potluck.

Vine is a particularly useful tool to do this. First, Vine is a consumer product. Anyone with a smart phone can use it, and many of your visitors will have it on their devices. This makes it incredibly useful as a tool to use with visitors. Visitors and museum professionals have equal access to this tool. It can be a point of commonality.
Often museum educators seek to impart some information to a constituency. Content that might seem daunting, like making art with young children, can be shown in a non-threatening, playful manner. Process videos that are dead dreary in the length of YouTube are distilled into the essential steps. While you could certainly use a myriad of tools to describe the iconography of painting for AP art history students, in 6 seconds you can point out all the key points. Vine offers informality, speed of production, and ease of consumption. You are transmitting the content in a form that your end-user already consumers.

Vine is also very easy to use with visitors. Many of the Vines out there are not very good. The bar for content production is low, making the chances of doing better than average high. This is adds the accessibility of the media. Even young children can touch the screen. The investment in each video is low, so discarding videos doesn’t feel too painful. (Additionally, Vine has a useful editing feature that allows you to discard sections.) With children, Vine is an easy way to teach kids simple narrative. You can help them learn to pace and transition. This takes a little bit of workshopping, but once done, your youngest visitors have a tool to share their ideas alongside adults.

That said, many people with Vine on their devices are content consumers, not producers. You will need to help most visitors make Vines.

How can staff help visitors produce content?
1. Create prompts to jumpstart users creativity—like make a Vine of your favorite color
2. Set up Vine experiences. Have props ready to foster playfulness. Include backdrops and other materials that make this feel like a set.
3. During these experiences, or even at events, set up times to show visitors how to use Vine on their devices. This is something that interns can be quite good at doing.
4. Or, have your interns or staff make the vines, so that visitors can focus on their creative expression.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine. Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here.

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

Fostering Participation in Vines

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Vine, being used through the phone, is a non-threatening way to create videos of visitors and participants.  Most people are used to being in cell phone photographs, so it doesn’t bring out the nerves that a traditional camera might.  But, even with that familiarity, including others still takes a little work.

First, talk through the video with your participants.  Visitors might be comfortable with the tool, but not necessarily with you.  So, begin by sharing about why you are making this video, and a little bit about the Vine app.

Imagine that you want to create a video biography of someone.  Ask them the questions.  Find out the answers.  Then, prototype the video.  Create one with them.  It inevitably will be cut off by the 6 sec format.  Then show your video to your participant.  Explain how you can counteract this—say suggest that they don’t speak in full sentences.

Take cues from traditional filmmaking—or rather use cues.  Tell people how you will cue them.  Be as transparent about how you are creating this video, and then do exactly what you say you will do.  So, for the biography example, you might say, alright, “So I am going to ask you those questions again, but this time, please don’t use full sentence.  I will say one-two-three and then start.”

Use the text field when posting to add content about your video.  Write what the project is and the questions you asked.  Tag the video if you want people to find it.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine. Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here.

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

Vine Basics

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What does Vine do? I am amazed by the multiplicity of answers to this question–in the form of videos posted by Vine users every day. Most importantly, Vine is a visual medium. It needs to reflect your aesthetic, or at the least, you should feel it looks good. While it uses sound, the sound is often less compelling than the visual.

Good vines exploit the visual nature of the medium. This can take so many forms, from visual explorations of space, to humorous juxtapositions, to surprising stop-motion.

In order to create vines are visually appealing, consider a number of factors:

Lighting—if it looks dark in your phone, your vine will not be wonderful. Natural light can work, but if you are doing stop-motion, the changes throughout the period you are working in, will make your stop-motion less successful.

Tripod—a tripod holds your phone still so that your vine doesn’t feel like the Blair Witch Process.

Ghost—The ghost feature allows you to line up frames so you can create seamless stop-motion.

Save—At the bottom navigation, the far right icon, allows you save your video for later.

More shots—particularly if you are doing something complicated, or that involves sound, consider making a number of “shots.” Each time you tap the screen you create a discrete unit of video. These units in themselves can’t be edited, but each unit can be moved or deleted.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine.  Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here. 

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

The Continuum of Craft and Creative Expressions

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I need to get a number of confessions out.  I love crafting.  I self-classify as a crafter.  I even have a blog about crafting with kids, Art Play Space. And, I don’t think functional art, often classified as craft, is neither fine nor art. 

All that said, there is a class of things that museum professionals and art teachers teach in the studio that I would say are craft. Use this set of prescribed materials to get this product that looks very similar to the sample the teacher made.  Your gauge of success will be how similar it is to the sample—and how good it looks.  Your chance to innovate will be within some specific, carefully gauged parameters.

This type of activity is in opposition to something that is more focused on creativity.  In an idealized world, this would be something where you have many types of materials available for students.  The choice of materials would be up to the students.  The resulting project would also come from their creativity. 

Consider these illustrations. On the open-ended side, imagine a printmaking class, where 2-3 different processes are described and demonstrated and then students are invited to create.  On the prescribed end of the spectrum, imagine a dragon puppet where the eyes, horns, mouth, teeth, nostrils, ears where everything was pre-cut for students to assemble. 

The projects that are taught in the museum classroom are on the continuum of prescribed projects and completely open ones.  I have come to see the value of both types of projects. 

Reasons for Using Crafts in Museums Studio Classrooms:

  • Following the directions: This is a world where in some instances following the directions is essential to success.  Going on vacation is a set of situations in which you had to follow directions.  Miss a step and you won’t be getting on the plane.
  • Fine motor skills: Using scissors and an exacto to precisely replicate a given form is hard.  Craft is a way that the student will be able to see their deficiencies.  If your project is ovoid rather than expected square, you will be able to see where you have cut incorrectly.
  • Satisfaction: Finishing a project that looks as it can feel good.  Making art can feel good.  But, if you are scared of creativity, crafting can be a gateway drug.
  • Frameworks for Innovations: A blank sheet of paper can be scary to some people.  But, give them a little structure, and they will be safe enough to be creative. 
  • Pretty:  Any art historian knows that art doesn’t have to be pretty.  That said, for millennia humans have surrounded themselves with items whose function is beauty.  Creating works that are prized for being aesthetically pleasing fulfills a primal need. 

On the more creative end of the spectrum:

  • Rules are meant to be broken: Innovation is hard to teach but easier to foster.  Teaching students how to be creative without rules can have effects throughout their lives.
  • Techniques: Focusing of the techniques, say bookmaking, you are allowing students to immerse themselves in process. 
  • Ugly: Art can be an expression. Creating something that is totally about process give you an insight onto many museum collections.  Creating an impasto painting that speaks to you is one way to gain new insight into Joan Mitchell. 

The issue is how your proposed project lands on this spectrum, and this is related to your students.  For very young students, process based works, devoid of specific results, can be ideal.  Painting is wonderful to preschoolers, who by nature are predisposed to immersing themselves in process. 

The real litmus test isn’t age but instead interest about ability.  If your proposed group of students is scared of art, or unfamiliar with making stuff, then the project should have a visually pleasurable result.  But, if this same group doesn’t have good fine motor skills, then you might still prick something with multiple visually appealing outcomes.  For elementary, you might do splatter painting.  You might think of it this way: 

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Vine on Your Own

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In museums interpretation could be classified: being enacted by a staff intercessor, say in a program, or placed for audience consumption without a staff-member present, like a label. In both instances, great care is given to have the audience reacts. But, it in former, the staff member has the luxury of being able to tack, or change their course, if their original approach didn’t work. In the latter, you might end up using audience observation, or eavesdropping by a less formal name, to glean if your approach worked.

In terms of Vine in museums, sometimes your audience just needs a little nudge to try it. Teens might only need to see a hashtag and get it. You might put a call out on your website, by twitter, or best yet, on your vine feed. But, in order to do this, make sure that your whole community is ready for it. Ensure that your guards know that people might be Vining the galleries without a staff member. Share the information with your information desk, and explain hashtags/ vine/ etc if they ask.

This type of non-staff led Vine can open you up to some powerful vantage points onto your collection. They are not being told what to answer. They are in fact speaking from their own unadulterated selves.

While I can’t say that we have managed to set this fire yet, I can imagine this would be a great way to see what interests your audience. Probably way better and more interesting than a comment card, I say.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine.  Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here. 

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

Vine to Share the Museum Experience

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Vine can be used as a way to get your audience to share or a way to share what your audience is doing. My previous post sets the foundation for my ideas about getting your audience to share. I would only punctuate those ideas with some notes about content.

First, let’s meditate on the word share. There are some important prerequisites to creating a culture of sharing. Respect is easily the most important. Your audience will know when you are not actually interested in hearing what you have to say. Listening goes part in parcel with sharing. Be present with your audience. Listen to what they are saying, but also gauge their body language. Do they have an expression of knowledge when you mention Vine? Do they walk away from you?

When you are thinking about implement a program that encourages visitors to share about your collection, make sure it is something they would want to do. Remember, you are not your audience. And, your audience is not just one thing. Come up with projects and prompts that are broad enough to spark creativity on different levels. If you want to connect to your exhibition about a particularly arcane form of Korean ceramics, try to find a way to make it relevant to visitors. Say—how about asking people to guess what the vessels were used for. Acting silly can be universal. But, if you are asking them to be silly, be silly too. You will certainly surprise your visitors (who might underestimate your ability to play.)

Often you find your audience engaged in something so exciting that you want to keep it. Vine is a great way to document something special. It is a like a value-added snapshot. Unlike a full on video, you can just whip out your phone. You can remain unobtrusive. Or, if you decide to ask your audience to share something, talking into a phone is very low stress. They do it every day. They selfie. They talk to their friends while waiting in line. They make videos of their kids. Given the low stress, you can find yourself really getting the feel of an event. These documents have a palpable excitement that still photography cannot convey.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine.  Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here. 

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

The Right Audience for Vine

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The interface of vine is strangely equalizing in its startling simplicity.  You just touch the screen—there isn’t even a button.  Anyone who has accessed the app can touch the screen.  After all, that is how they got into the app.    This simplicity has its problems.  You look at the screen and wonder—what do I do?  There are few signifiers of the next step.  Now, there is a bit of a tutorial to get you going. But in the first version, there you were, with nothing but your wits (and/or wit.)  Basically, the app is easy but sort of hard; accessible and inscrutable.

The issue is what will people do when faced with this complexity?  There are many people who will just stop.  Given that it is a technological interface, you might assume it is seniors who are stalled.  But, having worked with Vine with visitors of all ages that is certainly not a universal truth.  There are Luddites amongst our youth and there are digital explores amongst our silver-haired lot.

Modeling and excitement are key in getting the recalcitrant and the trepidatious on board.  A person, a real human being, showing how to use Vine for a couple of minutes (or about 18 Vines length) can convert people.  Oh, that and a little show and tell.  I have found just showing a few good, doable videos will make people excited.

So, which audiences am I talking about?  Well, I want to say all of them.  But, I have experimented most with families and teens.

With families, at museums, telling stories is a natural way to engage people.  We have explored setting up, literally, tools that help tell stories.  We created a painted backdrop based on a painting, and had families tell a short story about being in the painting.  We had some prompts and then allowed people to add ones.  This first experiment had challenges.  They say never work with kids or animals.  And basically every vine had at least 2 kids and then 2 painted goats.  We were learning how to empower people to tell stories with Vine, and we didn’t really understanding the narrative possibilities of the media.

One of my colleagues has vast experience with working with teens.  I can relate my less vast experience.  In one of my programs, I gave my students the assignment of many Vines.  I work with these students every month for two years, so I know them pretty well.  But, their reaction to Vine surprised me.  Only about 1/10 of the 60 students had used Vine or for that matter had it on their phone.  And of those who did use Vine, most of them just used it to view and repost content produced by others.   Before I sent them on their way, I gave them a little tutorial. Ostensibly, the students were to create videos that responded to any of the 10 different prompts we offered.  But, as we expected, some did and others went in their own direction.  And, in both instances, there were really great video moments that resulted.

In trying to draw generalizations from these two programmatic implementations of Vine, I would suggest the following tips:

Know your audience by talking to your audience: You don’t know anything about someone—until you ask.  So, start by asking if someone has used Vine.

Share the app in an open manner: Don’t make Vine seem too easy—or too hard.  Rather don’t come off as someone who has it all figured out and that the visitor is not tech savvy for having to be taught to use it.

Create a framework and then allow your audience to disregard it: Some people are most creative within a framework but others find it constricting.  Accept both of these people.

Try and try again: Use Vine in many ways with many audiences.  You never know when it will stick.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine.  Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here. 

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

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