1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?
1.Hard disk video recorders, digital cameras, single lens reflex (SLR) cameras: we use these tools to record the entire interviews so to analyze the data and document the process of interviews, to acquire static visual documentations using digital cameras, to compensate the deficiency of recorded films using a recording device.
2. Telephones and mobile phones: we use these tools to contact associates and artists.
3. Notebooks: we use notebooks to display the electronic questionnaire at metro stations.
4. Personal computers: we use these tools to design the website, upload photos, organize the texts and process visual and audio data.
5. Computer software (PhotoImpact, nEO iMAGING, Faststone, Dreamweaver, Google docs and Flash): we use these computer software to edit documents and references using Google docs; to process photos and to modify the website using PhotoImpact; to design the layouts of the website and to set up the website using Dreamweaver; to adjust the size and frames of pictures using Faststone; to design flash titles using Flash.
6. Internet, file transfer protocol (FTP), network neighborhood: we use these tools to search for and save references, so that team members can edit files and learn about this project using internet at the same time.
7. Graphics tablets and PaintToolSAI: we use these tools to sketch flash animations and illustrations on various webpages.
2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.
We, as 'ambassadors,' contacted the artists through email and interviewed them in person. We introduced our project in the email, and sent to about twenty artists that we would like to interview, but only three artists replied us. One of the three artists even introduced us how he made the river near his house cleaner after the interview. Another artist was very friendly and talkative. He was very glad that we valued public art so much and willing to do a research. He mentioned his observation that most people simply passed by without any notice of the public art, not even knowing who the artist is. The other female artist gave us some useful suggestions, such as comparing different public art installations in the MRT/Railway of different countries.
When we were doing the survey in some of the metro stations, many people were very interested in our project, and answered the questionnaire sincerely. Some people were so impressed that they actively asked their friends who were waiting for the MRT to complete questionnaires for us. We met kind and enthusiastic people luckily, and we also met ignored and indifferent people. For example, some people reclined us with “I-am-busy” excuse but just stood aside waiting for their date to come.
You won’t believe that, the most indifferent persons we met were the managers of the MRT stations. Some of them did not allow us to do the survey at the MRT platform even after we explained the purpose of the project in detail, so that we did the survey outside under the freezing cold rain of Taipei winter.
3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?
A public art installation is a window, through which artists can communicate with viewers. Public art is not simply a piece of work of an artist, but a creation for citizens and communities. Artists use public art installations to initiate a dialogue with the public, to inspire their senses and awareness. Adopting a questionnaire survey, we entered an art conversation with local residents, in order to understand whether local public art installations are successful.
We, as a bridge between the artists and the public, provided viewpoints from the artists to the public and viewpoints from the public to the artists through our Web pages. Through the survey we did, the artists got feedbacks about their public art from the community people. We also helped to convey what the artists tried to present to let the public better understand the meaning and beauty of the public art in their community.
To conduct our survey most efficiently, we have planned many different routes, and thus, we came up with an idea: we should design the best routes for individuals interested in visiting public installations! We have summarized and improved the routes that we are already familiar with, and organized two daytrips along the metro lines for viewers of public art installations. This might be helpful to the tourists from other cities or around the world who are interested in the delicate culture of Taipei.
4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?
Our helpers were the three artists and the persons who assisted us to answer the survey questionnaires.
After finalizing the subject, we started collecting information. We visit various metro stations to gather information about installed public artworks and artists before we designed an invitation card and our questions for interviews. We first interviewed some artists. After drafting our questions for the interviews, we contacted three artists (Zhuang, Gong and Lai) to arrange appointments. Later on we visited each artist in their individual workshop, proposing questions and communicating with them. We also recorded the entire process in order to summarize the data with ease.
We contacted the persons who assisted us to answer the survey questionnaires with random at the Taipei metro stations. We asked permission from the managers of the station first. If he/she allowed, we stayed inside the building to ask passengers or persons walking by to finish the questionnaire after explaining our project purpose to them. If he/she did not allow, we stayed outside the building to do the job.
5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)
After studying the artists’ attitude towards their artworks, we have also learned that, we should consider the audience’s perspective when designing our website. As a result, we tried to think from the viewpoint of users when working on the website, hoping that our website would be easy for the viewers to understand.