Week 3 final activity was to work in groups to crowdsource and produce a digital or paper zine from personal networks and/or within the university.
So I joined a group of 5 to produce our zine book/mini magazine, titled “To Hell With Tea” then we setup a WhatsApp group to start the collaboration and participation process.
Other group members setup a hash tag links on Instagram with the direction or instructions to take a picture of your self-drinking tea in an unusual place or funny location. Facebook accounts and twitter accounts were also directing people to participate in this photographic task. The Instagram page setup for the first image had 21,000 hits in a short space of time, so it was not long before people from different parts of the world were sending in images to help produce the Zine/Magazine.
To facilitate the design process we setup a shared drive on two platforms on the university’s Microsoft share point and One drive.
During our continued discussions in WhatsApp, we also decided to have the Zine in a 5×5 inch format and to use Indesign as a template. At different stages of the design, we all contributed or tried to drive different parts of the design process forward.
Although I was quite familiar with desktop publishing apps of old, and many other software desktop apps I had never used Indesign so I set up the 7 days free trial for the short time we had to produce the Zine.
We shared different templates and we had one person who did most of the production. As part of the Tea Topic, I was tasked with finding interesting tea facts we could input into the mini zine Magazine format.
“Shen Nong Shi was the first Chinese herbal doctor and is venerated as the Father of Chinese medicine. One of his contributions was tasting herbs so people could have medicine; he discovered the tea while he travelled many high mountains and collected various plants. Myths tell that Shennong had a transparent body and thus could see the effect of different plants and herbs on him. Thus, he could see which organ was affected and then select an antidote immediately. He found tea named “Cha” to work as an antidote.” (fabiowzgogo, 2016)
The design process was organic in that there was no structure to the project in the way we designed it as such other than the task outline itself. The group worked very well together even when we were working in different times zones. I also gave some advice on the legality or rights of the ownership using varies web platforms, although it was impossible to go through all the legal aspects other than the main right of ownership for each web site.
In an extract from the book “Taking the matter into common hands: on contemporary art and collaborative practices” Lind wrote
“Current ideas about collaboration in art are intertwined with other contemporary notions concerning what it means to ‘come together’, ‘be together’ and ‘work together’. Contrary to generally accepted notions of the community having changed meaning it has become less socially responsible le, caring and bonding, and, to a degree, dissolved,”(Lind, 2007)
I think what she is trying to convey is the notion that although groups form and work well for the good of each other, the responsibility of the desired outcome is less clear and is, in fact, more organic in nature as was this project.
Comments from one of our online Tutors
Congratulations on the zine – group 3. I previewed it yesterday in the webinar. Well done on the design work and team work to get it produced in a week. (Tutor)
fabiowzgogo, f. (2016). Chinese Tea Culture: The Facts Of Traditional Chinese Tea Culture. [online] Chinatravel.com. Available at: http://www.chinatravel.com/facts/chinese-tea-culture.htm [Accessed 14 Jun. 2017].
Lind, M. (2007). The Collaborative Turn [IN] Taking the matter into common hands: on contemporary art and collaborative practices. London: Black Dog.