I'm as bad as anyone on this one, documenting work. If you are putting up a show of your work you are invariably exhausted by the time it's done. The last thing you want to do is start taking pictures, video etc. You want to go to the pub, then stay in bed and eat proper food (not just brown food). But you MUST document the work. Plan ahead if you can, get someone else to document it if you can afford it, and their objective view might help you make sense of the work.

When you photograph the work, use the best camera you can find, get some lights if you need them, get some advice if you need it. If the work is interactive, for heaven's sake get someone to use it while you photograph. I've seen people only take pictures of work on it's own and it made no sense at all.

Sometimes one picture can tell the whole story of the device, service, or installation. Think about it like a drawing of the complete system, what would you put in that drawing? One great picture can make all the difference to the longevity of the work. It can capture the press's imagination and get your story out into the world.

With video, sometimes it's fun to pretend not to be videoing and let the visitor to the show get on with trying out your work. In this way you'll get free users testing and great documentation of people really using you work. Videos are also great for websites, a little QuickTime can bring your project to life in the way that tons of text and stills never can.

On the subject of websites they seem to have gone out of fashion a bit. People don't bother putting them up or never bother to update them. I know it's hard but they are really useful, they are a quick, cheap and rich way to show your work to anyone around the world. Whenever I put in an application for a commission or funding I always make a few pages with relevant work just for the person I'm sending it to. Much better and cheaper than sending loads of pictures, cd, etc. in the post. And more coherent than a bunch of emailed files. Also, if I'm telling someone about a friend's work, it's great to be able to show something online, especially if the project sounds mad when you say it out loud.

Rory Hamilton 2005

 

Put your work up online; and I mean all your work because there will always be someone who really likes something you thought was throwaway. All it takes is some blogger to pick up on a project and suddenly you are a cult.


"...more coherent than a bunch of emailed files."

Sites don't have to be really complex, just get the work up there. A bit of text, stills and a little video is all you need. I know it's hard to finish a site - you can seem to always be pottering away at it, but at some point you have to just stop and make it live.

Wanna know something? People with sites that show their work well, get jobs.

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