Tag Archives: open

Fridge magnets out in the open

Fridge magnets by Rowan Peter
Fridge magnets, a photo by Rowan Peter on Flickr.

“What we plan for the use of something is not necessarily how people will use it and we don’t necessarily dictate how they use it. We open it up and we hope for the best and a lot of the times we are surprised.”

It’s still one of my favourite quotes from Jim Groom’s February 2012 talk at Kansas State University. It fits with the practice of sharing out in the open. Sharing out in the open can help to create something what Alan Levine calls a potential energy for happy accidents to happen.

I would never, ever, EVER claim to be anywhere near the absolute awesomeness of Jim or Alan, but from my own wonky experience I believe what they say to be true.

I’m always surprised and flattered someone would want to use my strange photos of something like a supermarket aisle for a book about genetically modified food or a colourful photo of some hanboks for a school project or even a photo of a statue of Bhuddha from a temple in Busan South Korea for a fridge magnet.

All I know is that if I hadn’t operated with an open intent I wouldn’t have set myself up for a (possible) surprise. And I like surprises!

A big thanks to World Wide Gifts LLC for the fridge magnets that now reside in their rightful place on my fridge!

Practising out in the open can sometimes lead to a happy accident

遺伝子組み換え食品との付き合いかた-GMOの普及と今後のありかたは? The way of dealing with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) now and in the future. Written by Ichiro Motoki. Photograph of page 81 from 遺伝子組み換え食品との付き合いかた-GMOの普及と今後のありかたは by Rowan Peter. Used with kind permission from Kaoru Kobayashi and Ohmsha Publishing.

“What we plan for the use of something is not necessarily how people will use it and we don’t necessarily dictate how they use it. We open it up and we hope for the best and a lot of the times we are surprised.”

This quote from Jim Groom’s February 2012 talk at Kansas State University reflects my own surprising experiences with sharing my work out in the open. My surprise came about when I was contacted by the co-author of a book seeking permission to use one of my photographs. I had taken the photograph for The Daily Shoot #ds446 – Sense of depth or dimension assignment for the Spring 2011 iteration of DS106. For me, the photograph had a single purpose. An exercise for The Daily Shoot, a record of my attempt at creating a sense of depth and dimension.

What surprised me the most was that someone wanted to use to my photograph at all, let alone for a for a completely different purpose. It’s likely the friendly request to use my photograph by the co-author of the book would not have occurred if I had not been sharing my work out in the open. Sharing this way allowed my photograph to be easily discovered by others and helped to create what Alan Levine calls a potential energy for happy accidents to happen.