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Friday's Flowers and the Wiki as Art

Creators Halsey Burgund, Leah Gauthier
License GNU Free Documentation License (details)
About the creators
Halsey Burgund is a musician who composes music using spoken human voices in conjunction with traditional and electronic instruments.
Leah Gauthier, artist and freelance multimedia designer, is an MFA candidate, and instructor of new media, at the School of the Museum of Fine Art Boston, and Tufts University.
In today’s high-tech society, many of us exist in two different worlds; the digital realm of the internet and iPod, and the physical realm of our neighborhoods, families and bodies. As a way of bridging these two worlds, we present Friday's Flowers – a multi-media work of art based on a wiki environment re-purposed and streamlined for artistic collaboration.

The principle narrative of Friday's Flowers will be a continuing series of directives in the style of Yoko Ono's instruction pieces, or Miranda July's assignments in Learning to Love You More, intended to activate participants within their local environments: This Friday, ask a person you interact with often, but do not know well (store clerk, teacher, parole officer) to draw a flower depicting how they feel. Take a bag of oranges to someone who needs some sunshine. Share one together. Record sounds. The results will be uploaded to the wiki, and made immediately available - via browsing or meta-data searching – for viewing or listening as well as for editing. One participant’s final product will become another’s raw material in an iterative and exploratory process, unfolding the "unconscious reality in the personality of the group", as Nicolas Calas stated in reference to the Exquisite Corpse parlor game. Each successive round of creation will be posted back to the wiki where it can be recycled into another work. We hope there will be instances of works which we can extract and exhibit outside of the virtual space and attribute to the collective authorship of Friday’s Flowers.

Since wikis are multi-authorship environments, participants will not only have the capability to change each other's content in new and exciting ways, but also can provide each other with directives, organize group responses, communicate about their experiences in discussion groups and otherwise steer the direction of Friday’s Flowers. In this sense, we hope to create a lasting environment that proves to be inspirational and enabling to a host of interested collaborators from professional artists to people who have never considered themselves creative.

The success of any wiki depends on the desire to share and make a contribution to a larger body of work. In presenting Friday's Flowers at Wikimania we hope to encourage dialog around the wiki as an art form as well as investigate technology issues surrounding the extension of the wiki to handle multimedia content.

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