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From the Lawn: Sperling on the Processes of Communication and Creation

26 September 2008 | PROJECT NEWS


We communicate because we do not understand each other. Or, said backward, lack of understanding necessitates communication.A designer who instructs and coaches students of music and media to produce creative works that meld sound with images, professor Heike Sperling is particularly interested in processes of communication and creation. 

The managing co-director at the Institute for Music And Media addressed the European Bloggers’ Conference in Amsterdam at PICNIC on Friday. “To me, the most interesting part of teaching is that I learn a different language,” she said. Her teaching - and own projects - require a constant dialogue about forms of expression, particularly image and sound. Within this dialogue, all sides are given equal weight and taken seriously. Conflicts obviously arise, and care must be taken to prevent anyone from becoming a dictator within the discussion or creative process. “Conflict is not something negative,” Sperling said. “It just depends where the conflict evolves.” 

Additionally important for Sperling’s work at the IMM is the development of confidence. “To study means developing assertiveness, self awareness and communication skills,” she said. The ability to trust the unconscious to do the brainstorming process is an essential development of great import. 

Sperling discussed two telling demographics: Her students are all male (engineering ... ) and tend to be hip to new tools (Web 2.0) but less schooled in the fundamentals of craftsmanship. Music students, though, she discovered, tend more toward discipline, perhaps an influence of the rigorous studies required to master an instrument. For more information about Sperling, visit her website.

PICNIC Festival
Since 2006, we’ve been organising the media events of the PICNIC Festival. Together with leading actors in the field of media innovation, we’ve been able to showcase to the public new ideas and developments. PICNIC Festival is also an opportunity for us to bring to light promising media initiatives and give them a platform and a chance to meaningfully contribute to the development of journalistic.