“Bit by Bit, Putting It Together”
The Sondheim and Lapine song “Putting It Together” refers to the many challenges facing an artist trying to produce an artistic product and overcome the myriad obstacles to getting funding and recognition. Most people involved in the arts as creators and performers can certainly identify with the many logistical issues highlighted by the song. As the lyric so aptly states, “The art of making art, is putting it together”. Creating or producing the “product” can result in a physical work of art, a performance piece, or, for the purposes of this book, a new software application. Although some may claim divine intervention or inspiration as the muse, it is generally the result of numerous fits and starts, multiple stages of development, attention to minute details, and more hours than one would care to think about. And that is just the beginning. Getting the work “out there” requires just as much attention. The goal of this chapter is to bring you into the process of “putting together” an interdisciplinary project or course, putting together a project team, and getting it and them off the ground. Logistics is one of the many challenges in this kind of collaborative endeavor. It becomes particularly problematic at the college level for both professors and students. Professors’ schedules are difficult to synchronize, but students’ schedules are, too, especially when students have different majors. Gena’s previous experiences with attempting interdisciplinary projects with colleagues from different disciplines, along with her experiences developing partnerships with local music teachers, informs much of how we structure our projects and negotiate our collaboration, both with each other and within the parameters of our individual departments. It is difficult enough to attempt a project with a colleague from your own disciplinary area, so it might seem even more daunting to attempt this with someone outside your department. Perhaps as you are reading this book you are formulating an idea for the type of interdisciplinary project or class you would like to create.
Keywords: Artbotics course, CPATH program, Found Objects project, GarageBand, IchiBoard, MIT Media Lab, Performamatics project, Scratch programming system, TeamViewer, analytical thinking, collaborative projects, diversity requirements, global entities, interdisciplinary projects, lecture-based classes, loops and looping, receive block, trial and error, video calls, web programming
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