Vocabulaboratories meeting minutes

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Minutes for the First Meeting: Morpeth Arms Pub 7:30-9:40, Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cinzia, Michaela, Jem and Marsha in attendance

Chair and minute taker: Marsha (which helps to explain why these minutes are a little "compromised" Also, it was kindly noted that Marsha didn't keep time too well, something she'll do better in future :))

The vocabulaboratories working group is thrilled to welcome Jem Mackay


+ review project

+ firm up entry focus

+ brainstorm content/approach

+ discuss schedule to completion

+ assess project against CP's aims and objectives

Submission date: June 8, 2008 but we're goaling for June 1, 2008

+ together we briefly reviewed the project

+ together we firmed up the entry = we will talk about "critical practice"

MR: Sees this as an opportunity to refresh the term = to play with it a little, to rediscover its significance for CP Is interested in looking at the term as two components together and apart

MB: Voiced a renewed interested in aesthetics following a conversation she had with MA. What, for example, are the "aesthetic" criteria of this project, to use Claire Bishop's term? MR and CC responded that they both felt there was a strong DIY aesthetic going on. JM talked about how things worked together at the MofI. MR asked, "What kinds of questions can we ask to determine what kinds of aesthetics are taking place in CP?" What kinds of relationships does CP engender? How do "critical" and "practice" inform one another? (this repeats the above)

JM: Does not really feel that CP is "critical" insofar as we're very supportive of one another. Perhaps, then, practicing critically is an aspiration? MR: How do we dig into what CP might be so as to inject criticality and generate tension. ITCH!

CC: Doesn't necessarily want to defined but to rediscover = she's interested in a freshness...through which we may find a new vision for CP. She also recognizes two themes at play in our discussion:

  1. Is about CP = what it does
  2. Is about the term in general

So there is CP, critical practice and collaboration (which is the method we're using) CC suggests we keep collaboration separate.


  1. We'll start playing online through a series of generative activities
  2. We'll meet online through Google Chat, so please all get a gmail account
  3. CC will initiate an exquisite corpse. She'll write a sentence and then end with the next sentence.
  4. MR will work on an inventory of practice (she may also initiate a game of Chinese whispers with her students)
  5. MB will work on what was referred to as a "Scrabble list," which she's since learned is called an "acrostic poem"
  6. MB to add Jem to the WG (done)
  7. MB to update web page (done)
  8. MB to send out general email saying things are up on the wiki (done)
  9. MB will also forward information to Jem (done)

NETX MEETING: scheduled for May 9, 2008 at MR's house at 7:00. Is this a potluck, folks?

return to vocabulaboratories




Feeling stuck? Check out this online teaching tool: http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/acrostic/

Trevor's poem:

C – crafty, but not in the traditional sense

R – rigorous in all pursuits

I – interrogating subjects less immediate

T – tactics and strategy are embedded

I – institutional critique on a personal level

C – challenging to any sense of comfort

A – acting on theory

L – look at the what, the why, the where, the how, the who

P – primary focus rests upon the operational conditions

R – rarely complacent

A – at times intense, and quite emotional

C – context is half the work

T – the nitty-gritty

I – instinct has its place

C – candid engagement with the difficult stuff

E – every situation deserves a unique response


CC has suggested we start developing our project online. What a cracking idea. Here are a few questions for consideration:

1. It's been proposed we write about "critical practice." Any thoughts on composing an entry on this term? Are there other suggestions and/or preferences?

Marsha: Critical practice seems like an obvious but good choice. Personally, I'm interested in thinking through how the two terms modify one another.

2. There are, of course, many ways to approach this project. We could, for instance, experiment with working through a combination of on and off line collaborative writing. Using email to schedule meetings is great, but what about the actual project work (a tricky distinction, sure) taking place on the wiki? The wiki seems like an apt "medium" to explore/interrogate in relation to the project as both wikis and lexicons are about making connections. How do we feel about this? Thoughts?

Marsha: The wiki could be a good tool for crafting our entry. I'm wondering, however, what impact the online/offline approach you're proposing might have on the entry itself? Alternatively, what's the relationship between wiki practice(s) and critical thinking? Or is this a tangential question?


Summary the Second Meeting: Michaela's house Friday, May 9, 2008

At the last fascinating meeting we decided to let ideas flow and we have recorded a 3 way conversation. Marsha, Michaela and Cinzia will draw 3 separate texts from this, with the purpose of merging them into the final contribution for the Vocabulaboratories publication.

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