Auckland needs a Creative Space, also known as a Hacker Space or Maker Space. So, a few of us have got together, done some research and collected other like-minded souls. We’re currently working through what it will look like, where it will be, and how much it will cost, etc.
The people involved are musicians, radio presenters, artists, electronics and robotics geeks, programming nerds, artists and many more.
The drive behind the Creative Space is twofold:
Firstly there is a recognition that technology, despite it’s claims to be all-empowering and to make life better for its users, does the opposite. Marshall Mcluhan based his concept of ‘The Medium is the Message’ on the realisation that media is used in ever more-controlling and divisive ways. Despite its claims to be about connecting people and empowering relationships, the more sophisticated the technology becomes, the more it interjects between people, dividing them further from each other. There is much evidence that increased use of electronic media to communicate results in less and less real human-to-human interaction. This results in subtle but important parts of communication being stripped away, leaving a less rich and meaningful interaction behind. A conversation is so much more than the meaning of the words; facial expressions, body language, hand gestures, tone of voice, eye contact, and hundreds of other factors, all of them are picked up at a conscious or subconscious level, and become part of the communication. All are lost when the communication is mediated by e-mail, IM or text. Phone conversations keep some of the content (such as tone of voice, speed of speaking, pauses), but a lot is still lost. Even video messaging is not perfect – the camera is often placed in a way which cuts out the hands and feet, depth perception is close to zero affecting interpretation of gestures, and people are often nervous or overly self-conscious compared to person-to-person. An associate of mine who has Asperger syndrome, on learning of the above opinions on e-mail and SMS argued that to him, e-mail was a fantastic form of communication – off-line he found it very difficult to have a conversation with people, but e-mail, due to it’s inherent removal of all the aspects of communication that he could not pick up on (voice tone, body language, etc.), resulted in everyone else communicating in the same way as he did. So, there we have it. E-mail, IM and SMS; it’s like giving the whole world Asperger Syndrome.
With this in mind, and realising the more concrete negative aspects of on-line communities – flamewars, misunderstandings due to sentences with multiple subjects, cultural differences and more, it seemed a natural step to provide a real, person-to-person environment which catered to anyone who was interested.
The second, more obvious reason for the Creative Space was to allow the sharing of tools and skills through the pooling of resources. There are lots of projects I would like to work on (more on this in later posts), for which I have neither the money, space, skills nor agreeable neighbours. A Creative Space would provide all of these.
So, get out from behind the computer, come along and meet us – all are welcome. To join in, or see what we’re doing, click here for details on our (physical) meetings.
This post is a work in progress, and will be expanded on.