It's frustrating when young people are so conservative about techniques. The school system often pushes a certain kind of conformity and from the other side the job market often instills the idea that one needs to have "skills" that can be reduced to standardized techniques. For me that means that a lot of 19-year-olds think I'm a crazy heretic when I suggest that you can make a compelling image without using a particular product from the Adobe Corporation.

@KnowPresent +1000
If I ever go back to teaching in art/design schools it will have to be about this.

@air_pump Do you have any suggestions for how to bring the kids around? I'm thinking now that I just need to get them to discuss more regarding their fears for the future. And I need to show them more people like Georgia Lupi who didn't become a partner at Pentagram because she is good at using Illustrator. But some days I really get tired of feeling like a pariah.

@KnowPresent oh man I cannot stand Georgia Lupi, and LoL'ed hard at how quickly her bogus "data humanism" escalated to "dataviz is the new ✨branding✨" but that is another conversation.

There's an LGM talk by @eylul I have been meaning to watch (haven't yet) on teaching art with open-source:

It's harder than just the students though, at least in UK all major unis have deals with Adobe to get students hooked. I think making it clear they will have to rent these tools for life should start to make it sink in? + recent Venezuela example to illustrate they can pull the plug on your career.

also: turning courses/projects into repositories (e.g., making a more deliberate use of digital tools the actual subject of some of the teaching, and a requirement for projects. I have not tested these ideas though, just thoughts for now...

@air_pump @eylul I also gag sometimes at Data-Vis kitsch but it's at least a bridge to get past precocious notions that design is simply about quickly whipping up stuff InDesign.

My institution (in some ways, luckily) has limited resources such that you only get the Adobe stuff in particular computer labs and the students all want to work on their own laptops. Most of them can't or don't want to pay a monthly Adobe Tribute.

Love Palmer's open course but it's all done with proprietary tools.


Oh no. I think he has just begun the process of "open sourcing" so hopefully will get better with time.

I can relate as I'm still adjusting design workflows on Linux after a year. I guess that's part of the point, making digital tool choice/design an integral part of practice. Amazing that it is not considered in most courses TBH.

@KnowPresent You can also tell them from enterprise experience that pretty much nobody uses Adobe anymore in the field of web design, user interaction and software development.

@xuv Yes. Adobe is the hot new software for design in the 1990s!

@KnowPresent for the current assignment, I'm asking my students to make a website with pictures that fits on a floppy disk, inviting them to explore low tech aesthetics (like limited palettes with dithering, etc). I'd still love some day to force them to create pics only using something like Photoshop 1.0 or MacPaint or Deluxe Paint running in an emulator ;)

@KnowPresent and it's partly a low carbon-footprint approach à la, partly an opportunity to question this idea that digital artists constantly need new machines with the latest software. Moore's law doesn't reflect in the quality or relevant of creative work.

@yhancik These are great examples. We've been talking about it and bringing sustainability topics in but some of them are still hung up on an idea that any thing that these kinds of experiments are"arty", "nerd" or "hippie" stuff therefore not "professional" and that we should be making logos for fictional companies with Illustrator instead. They feel that "sustainable design" means doing corporate identity for organic food or clothing brands.

@KnowPresent I don't mind the "arty", "nerd" and "hippie" labels actually :D

To be honest it's often a topic of discussion among teachers here, whether we're supposed to be "professionalising" - thus making them ready for a jobs market, or if we're helping them become auteurs. I studied in an art school that was pushing more the latter, so that's how i roll as a teacher too :p

@yhancik @KnowPresent May I intervene here and say that this debate between "arty" and "professional" is flawed. There is no difference in practice between a professional art career and a professional corporate designer career. Maybe if you focus on a particular tool or a particular "work", you'll see differences. But overall there are none. What they need is a mindset, an attitude and a brain.

@xuv @KnowPresent agreed. That's what i try to tell them but :p having studied there, you know them a bit, don't you? ;)

@yhancik @KnowPresent I guess I only know one. The others are probably gone by now. ;)

@KnowPresent Do you have any advice on how to sell lecturers on this idea? I feel like teaching expensive software is a major class issue as well as not giving people general knowledge. I everyone acts like I'm unreasonable for wanting to teach foss tools instead of rental music software that have expensive licenses that they have to keep paying for.

@celesteh It's hard to get teachers to take up new tools. I frame it as a political question, that the academic tradition is to teach concepts not products and that this is important long-term. If, for example, you have a deeper understanding of pixels, various operations on them and of photographic language then you can work with whatever new cameras and software comes along adapting your practice as you go. If you're stuck with Product X they'll chain you in the basement retouching pimples.

@KnowPresent yeah. I can never get anybody to give me permission to use foss tools for concepts. They think students get confused if they're shown too many different tools and approaches. Maybe this is true?

@celesteh Oh definitely. Diversity is very dangerous. That's why art historians only study one painting. If they look at too many, their little brains get confused and start to think about different artistic perspectives. Musicians also, should only listen to one album ever, preferably just one song. If you hear different things it can make your neurons short circuit and you start wearing loud colored shirts, etc.

@KnowPresent hm. Perhaps my ridiculous wardrobe is working against my credibility.

The thing is: I'll buy every book on the reading list and it's just a cost of teaching. Albums too. But I'm not going to buy an overpriced laptop with a bunch of cookie cutter software.

But not knowing how to use, say, logic, when i need to run a demo and audacity isn't installed wastes a lot of classtime if logic is failing to record for some reason

To pick an example not from today's semi disastrous workshop

@celesteh I am not much of a fan of the 90s-style instructional computer labs. They are strictly designed for frontal instruction, strictly solo work, corporate training-type setups.
So I come with my own laptop with software installed. The students also have to maintain (mac, wintel, whatever) their own machines. So I do have a bit of work coping with brittle corporate OS issues but it means we have a lot of autonomy. The kids also develop a more independent, responsible idea of being a "user".

@KnowPresent i just got tired of fighting this. I think it's a casualty of the NSS. Structuring all off higher education from results of student surveys is certainly... a thing.

I have to say i didn't what's discover the wisdom of some things until years after i graduated.

Person: That's a gorgeous image - is it photoshopped?
Me: No, I GIMP'ed it.
Person :*backs away*

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