Virtually Here: The Importance of Faces

On December 9, 2012, Posted by , In Creativity,Participants,San Francisco, With No Comments

Have you ever taken an online course? If you’re anything like me, you may have found it somewhat lacking. Sure the material might be great, you may have great respect for the teacher, but the motivation to actually do the take-home work was probably slim to none. Even if the other people in the group have posted compelling introductions and seem like great souls I just don’t feel connected to them. This is exactly why doing things in the presence of other people is so important.

People often ask me if Springboard plans to offer online groups. Truth is, it would probably be a smart business move. But I don’t think it would actually be good for the participants. In our current digital world we are able to do many things from our computer. It’s an incredible revolution. But we lose something vital when we’re choosing to spend time with ones and zeros when we could be spending time with actual real-life humans.

Here at Springboard one of the great things is watching each diverse group of artists come together. In the beginning there is usually some cautious sussing each other out, learning who the other people in the group are. What sort of personality does that animator have? What sly humor hides in that writer’s green eyes? What does that musician’s sense of style say about him? And then, once people actually start to get to know each other, a feeling of camaraderie inevitably emerges. I have never felt that kind of affinity for someone I haven’t met in person and it’s key to why Springboard works. You end up giving a damn about the other people in the group and their art. And they care about you and your art.

It seems inevitable that one day in the not too distant future we’ll all spend even more time in front of our computers. But I’m a stand for stepping away from the glowing screen, for actually looking at someone’s face. For finding a deeper humanity, for dealing with the messy, beautiful sides of people that would never come out in the mediated online space. Now I’m no technophobe – I sit here writing on my Macbook. But I know that helping people connect to each other, to their art, and to a sense of something beyond the computer screen is vital in our modern world. I humbly submit that Springboard is a wonderful vehicle with which to do all of these deeply necessary activities.

-Alexander Warnow, Springboard Founder & Facilitator

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