Today we present an interview conducted by Laura Orquin, a worker at Ceps projectes Socials, to Lina Bautista, a collaborator of the #Vxdesigners project.
To begin, I would like you to introduce yourself. Could you explain to me what linalab is, your work is related to the creative, educational and technological fields?
Linalab is a project that gathers all the things I do on a more creative level and also sometimes in education.
I studied music ColoMBIto and I moved to Barcelona for years 10 and all this time I’ve been expanding on the way to work. At first I only made music, I became interested in different technologies to make music, to compose. Then I expanded into another area not only to create music, but to make installations or interactive things that are not necessarily focused on sound; although that is what I focus on.
At an educational level, what interests me is to motivate people to work with technologies, and to use them. For that I use means that also have to do with creativity, art and sometimes sound. For example, I like to teach people to weld some little gadgets that in the end when you have been welding for a couple of hours without knowing what you are doing; that thing rings and makes noises that turn into music. At the end of the workshop, people have an instrument of their own making and take it home for inspiration.
Another example is programming, there is a way to make music also sounds or visuals, with live codes. You are modifying the code and you are making visuals or you are making music. With this I intend to show people that they do not necessarily have to know how to program, they do not have to be experts in music or have studied many years to begin to understand these tools.
Are these tools that you use to program open platforms where users can enter freely by registering or are they paid?
No, the tools that I use and have exposed in the two examples are open source platforms that are available to the public without having to pay or register. There are some programs that you can access by downloading them for free as well, but the vast majority are accessed through the browser.
They are tools that are there to be used but it simply needs someone to tell you that they exist and tell you how you can use them.
And to these people that you accompany, for example in the process of creating music, how long do you do it?
It depends on the context in which it is, sometimes we do some workshops that are of a couple of hours, but there are also things in which I participate in which there is a much longer follow-up. In itself it depends on the context and the desire of people to follow. For me, the ideal is to go step by step, not just give an introductory workshop of a couple of hours, but try to go one step further.
Also, with these small workshops you also get the participants to gain more confidence in themselves?
Exactly, it has that point where you are learning a tool, but at the same time you are becoming familiar with it and you are taking over what is happening. So in the end that tool is yours and you get to do what you want. This is how I have done it too and it is in the way I teach it.
How would you define the #VXdesigners project?
It has several elements that come together: on the one hand the creation of exhibitions, on the other hand active education and finally digital tools. The project tries to put these three things together, creating exhibitions with the idea of having educational tools that help to learn actively and using technologies in the development of all this.
How did you find the #VXdedigners project and how did you decide to collaborate on it?
Well, somehow the project found me, having the project as an objective to encourage the public to use different digital tools and put them in common, I think it was something that adheres very well to me and my work and that the project has too.
Regarding the part of the #VXdesigners project where works are created, do you think that the production process for both musical works and animations (whether online or offline) is the same?
If there are things in common, it is not the same to make an exhibition than to do composition, since they are different processes, but there are things in common. For example, you need to do a previous research or a previous analysis of what you want to do, this would be the before. Then there would be the development phase where you produce what you want to do. Finally, the time to show the result, in the case of an exhibition, would be to mount it and have an audience to see it.
What benefits does the person who immerses himself in this creative process find?
Focused on education, you get much more hooked, motivate, improve self-esteem, since you do things with a purpose. If you do a joint presentation, it encourages debate and teamwork. When working as a team, it is very important to try to understand other points of view and make other people understand your point of view. By working as a team, each person contributes their vision of the project and things end up that one could not have imagined.
Also, as I have already mentioned before, it improves self-esteem, when it shows something that you have done, you feel the adrenaline at the moment of teaching it.
Why do we say that exhibitions can serve as teaching tools? Can these tools create inequalities when learning or interpreting a story?
Yes and no, personally I think that when it comes to working on a topic it has a lot to do with who guides it and how they guide you, that is why we are also doing this project, to be aware that inequalities can be generated. For example, with things as simple as saying that we are going to use certain technology and specifically our mobile. A first barrier would be the telephone, everyone carries theirs, but there may be people who do not have it or who does not work well. We have to be aware that these things can happen and anticipate ourselves.
It also has beneficial things, the fact that we are not all the same is what enriches a project the most, since not all of us see it from the same perspective and it is also something that is evident in this project. For example, the story is not a single story as is normally seen in books, where there is only one version. If not, you can have a different perspective or you can think in another way and that can also be reflected in a result.
How can new technologies be useful when making student exhibitions, and above all, how this project intends to take advantage of technological means?
Regarding the works and creation: There are different aspects, on the one hand there is the issue that there are many classic works of art that are digitized and that we can already access them, even sculptures that are available in 3D. Therefore, the first thing is digitization, something that was already physical and that is virtual.
On the other hand, we also find artistic works that can only exist in digital, which is the entire field of digital art.
Therefore we talk about the use of digital tools, not only to see the works but we also access art or exhibitions through screens (a computer, mobile phone, tablet, etc.). We also hope to go a little further, our idea of the project is not only to take a work that already exists, but to create things that are not possible to do otherwise than digitally. The idea is to appropriate art and technology.
Related to the topic of teaching, could you give me a practical example of the benefits that this methodology can give in the short and long term when teaching?
In relation to what I have already said before, when you appropriate a topic and you do it becoming something of your own, you learn more and better, since the agenda is marked. You also have a more critical view of the subject, it is no longer something that is there, that they are telling you that it was in a certain way. For example, if we talk about a history class, it is not the same that they tell you, that you have several elements and see how the situation has been and create your own perspective.
In addition, students develop soft skills, which are things that are not so tangible, such as critical thinking, which the student internalizes. This active education makes us learn differently. Similarly, the teacher will be there to guide them through the process and offer different points of view.
What pedagogical aspects are present in the platform for inclusive education?
The platform is still under development, things that we are going to have for sure that we do know: there will be a repository that will serve to see everything that has already been done. Many museums, artists and art currents are turning towards digital tools and putting their works there. So first is to see what is happening, the state of the art. This is an investigation that we are already doing and that will be on the platform.
In relation to this, could you explain to me a little how the use of the #VXdesigners online platform will be? How will they be able to access it and how will they be able to hang their works?
Users will be able to enter the web for free and free. For example, when you want to mount an exhibition on a specific topic of things seen in high school, on our platform you can find the information, see what works are available and how you can use them. You will also be able to upload your works and create your own exhibitions from the platform.
Will you do any kind of action so that the users of the platform can interact with the different exhibitions?
Yes, that’s the idea! We are currently thinking of different ways to disseminate the work because there are several issues: if we want to show the work, but there is also the issue of privacy, as far as we want it to go. If they are minors, for example, how to create different levels of privacy as well.
Although the idea is that the platform is available to everyone, but it depends on your level of privacy since you will be able to interact or not with those pieces.
How will you publicize the platform?
The idea is that the platform is used by the maximum number of people possible, for this we will broadcast it on all the social networks of all partners. However, our idea is to take the tool and use it with a pilot group.
At the end of the project our idea is to continue nurturing the platform so that people use it indefinitely, since the platform will continue to be hung and, therefore, people will be able to continue accessing it.
When do you think the platform will be finished?
Right now we are making the structure and defining technical aspects of it. From the end of 2021 it is planned that we can see and nurture it through internal tests, and at the beginning of 2022 our intention is to test it with a group
. With this project, what would you like to achieve?
I always have the same objective, which is the appropriation, on the one hand, of the technology and the tools that we have at our disposal and, on the other, of the topics that are dealt with in the different exhibitions. That the participants can make the works their own.
A pleasure talking to you Lina, do you want to say something else about your personal Linalab project?
Sometimes they are experimental concerts, activities for all kinds of audiences, more exclusive things like workshops or things that I do personally. It is a set of things that I have been and I am doing throughout my life that are somehow embedded with each other. A project of mine that I am nurturing little by little.
You can follow Lina on her different social networks: