August 25, 2014


Notes: What is success? And how do we evaluate it?

In relation to the maker: Success may be the measure of personal satisfaction: being the fulfilment of aspirations; the degree of motivation; and the artefact’s capacity to inspire positive feelings and emotions and a sense of engagement and achievement during the process of ideation and creation, and/or at its completion.

In relation to the artefact: Success may be the measure of the its intrinsic quality and ambition: being the degree of aesthetic resolution, conceptual integrity, depth of ideation, clarity of intent and communicability, skilfulness of execution; and the artefact’s ability to transcend either the maker’s prior limitations or the boundaries of its associated subject, medium, and conceptual framework;

In relation to the public and the maker’s peers: Success may be the measure of the artefact’s effect: being its capacity to influence other makers and their work, bring about intellectual, cultural, or social change, capture the public imagination, and to endure; and the degree of recognition and acclaim (critical and monetary) bestowed upon it.

An artefact (whether visual, sonorous, or textual) is seldom an unmitigated success. Success assumes one the following conditions.

The artefact is:
your best but not satisfying;
your best but not efficacious;
satisfying but not your best;
satisfying but not efficacious;
efficacious but not your best;
efficacious but not satisfying;
your best but neither satisfying nor efficacious;
satisfying but neither your best nor efficacious;
efficacious but neither your best nor satisfying;
your best and satisfying but not efficacious;
your best and efficacious but not satisfying; your best, satisfying, and efficacious.

In this scheme of things, an artefact may be judged a failure when it is neither your best, nor satisfying, nor efficacious. However, sometimes an artefact’s effectualness either ensues or diminishes years after its making.

Following this rumination, I completed my response to the draft chapters of the PhD Art History (which I’d begun on Saturday), mixed down Matt. 20.12, and began processing files for Matt. 20.13:


Today, the primary task is to forward the current Art/Sound; the secondary task is to further develop Handboard 2, and restructure Pedalboard IV to serve as Handboard 3 also; the tertiary task is to fix several glitches with my analogue-digital interface; and the quaternary task is sound- file processing.

I have a plan-chest draw full of power supply units. This is half of them:


I fixed one glitch by downloading a new driver Apogee Duet to work on Maverick X, and wrestled with the other — with only partial and fugitive success — over lunch.

Back to the lecture …


With the help of a user tutorial on YouTube, I got my head around the outstanding glitch and learned a great deal in the process about both mixer routing in general and the value of paying close attention to instructions in particular.

By the beginning of the evening, a provisional set-up for Handboards 1-3 had been determined:


After practise session 1, I re-engaged the Art/Sound lecture in second gear — devoting session 3 of the day to an image search for abstract paintings from early-20th century America, and mapping out text sections for further elaboration. After practise session 2 — ‘the night watch’. I reviewed images of PhD Fine Art work for a telephone tutorial with an external student tomorrow afternoon:


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