Publishing: a new sense of the word


This one of the terms in my small personal idiosyncratic vocabulary.

(Others are ‘andnotbut’, ‘thingification’ and ‘PlainPhrase’ and ‘PossibilitySpace’)

I don’t mean book publishing, I mean a special sort of what, thanks to social media, we call ‘sharing’.

If blogging is the web equivalent of leaving a poem on the bus, and facebooking the equivalent of saying to a mate in the pub ‘did you see that thing?’ then publishing is more akin to a friend sharing a confidence in a quiet cafe in a nearby town, safe from oversight by the gossips. Except it’s in a groupwork setting.

Although it can also be the act of declaring an artistic intention in a public way in which you are forcing yourself to actually do it and not just talk about it.


I forgot to mention that publishing is an extra point on the Kolb Learning Cycle, at the 1pm position on the clockface, after what is usually labelled ‘concrete experimentation‘ (although it also works with gravel, or imaginary objects) and ‘reflective observation‘, which, oddly, doesn’t require a mirror.

In the K-cycle, it works like this:

  • concrete experimentation: you do some stuff (build a wall, design a car, make a meal, run a meeting, whatever)
  • then you publish!

Which means you ‘share’ it with someone.  If you are on some sort of training day, with or without Denzel Washington, or a course or “programme” then there are probably only 3 main ways of sharing, no, four. These are:

  • tell the tutor
  • tell your partner/s in a learning pair or trio
  • tell the whole group of 15 or more ‘participants’
  • tell your small group of maybe 5-8 people.

Some ‘programmes’ jump straight from ‘concrete experimentation’ to 

  • reflective observation

How does that work? I go and sit somewhere and have a little think, and make notes? What if I was baffled or bored or disagreed with some part of the setup or content in some way? Pah. I might just doodle in my moleskine, or surreptitiously check email on my phone, think about lunch, watch that squirrel on the lawn outside, or fume silently about X or Y.

There’s no guarantee that I reflect on anything, least of all ‘the task’.

But if I publish where I am at, make my feelings and thoughts known to the tutors and the others, well then , now we have some possibilities…

The tutor might explain the thing that was confusing me. Others might concur with my point of disagreement, and so on. Of course there’s still no guarantee that I am honest in my publishing, but it is indisputably more likely. It’s a bit like testifying in the gospel church sense. “This is what I experienced, this is what I saw. I shall now reflect on this, and other observations”.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 21:43




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