Publication & Communication

2014 Publication & Communication Commission Meeting Minutes

Jul 25, 2015

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014; 9.30am – 1.00pm
Taipei, Taiwan – Thinkers Theatre
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Chair: Austin Wang
Members & Guests Present:   
Richart Bauer, Gerbrand Borgdorff, Bert Determann, Eric Fielding,
Kathy Hong, Mike Kunisada, Alina Lin, Jerome Maeckelbergh, Peter
McKinnon, Michael Ramsaur, Jan K Rolník, Ichiro Takada, Carl Walling(meeting minutes), 
Lucy Wang, Wan-Jung Wei, Liu Xinglin
The meeting was called to order at 9.44am.
[1.0] Opening Remarks (Austin Wang)
Austin Wang welcomed everyone to the Publication & Communication Commission meeting. Introductions occurred. Austin thanked the Thinkers Theatre for providing the commission a meeting space.
[2.0] Agenda Overview
Bert Determann requested adding the OISTAT Core Strategy Proposal for discussion. The proposal was added to the agenda without objection. Austin requested adding the Platform for Young Designers presentations. The presentation was added to the agenda without objection.
Austin provided a brief overview of the meeting’s agenda items.
[3.0] Business of the Last Meeting & Meeting Minutes
Austin reviewed the minutes from the 2013 annual meeting held in Cardiff during World Stage Design. He highlighted the “5x5 in Time,” Digital Theatre Words and World Scenography (Volume 1) presentations. Currently, the status of the “5x5 in Time” project seems to be uncertain. Peter McKinnon noted that he will discuss questions raised during the Cardiff meeting with regards to the World Scenography project during this meeting.
Jerome Maeckelbergh motioned to approve the minutes. Carl Walling seconded. The minutes were approved.
[4.1] World Scenography Project (Peter McKinnon & Eric Fielding)
Peter addressed several questions about World Scenography’s selection process involving the inclusion of designers and productions.
He noted that there seemed to be less participation in the second volume. Perhaps inclusion and non-inclusion from World Scenography, Volume 1 influenced the second volume. Also, the publication timeline was shorter in comparison. World Scenography, Volume 1 took about four and a half years. World Scenography, Volume 2 took about two and a half years.
Peter noted drew attention to the concept that World Scenography does not have a thesis. The World Scenography Project is a catalogue of excellent designs. Included designs were suggested by contributors and regional editors. In World Scenography, Volume 2 images from World Stage Design 2005 helped the publication’s process.
Additionally, image resolution was a factor in the selection process. However, the editors contacted designers if a better photograph was needed for publication. In some cases, designers wanted eight to ten images in the book; however, two images was the maximum limit for each volume.
Peter asked if there were additional questions from the commission members from the Cardiff meeting. There were no additional questions at this time.
Peter highlighted that Nick Hern Books (NHB) has picked up World Scenography, Volume 2. Also, there is a new website and ordering systems for the World Scenography, Volume 2. All European orders will go through Nick Hern Books. All Canadian and American orders will go through Peter McKinnon’s webpage supporting World Scenography. Chinese orders should go through Beijing.
At the moment, the World Scenography Project is close to breaking even. Volume 2 will break even on pre-order. Volume 1 is almost there, if CASA follows through with their order. Kathy Hong noted that CASA and Chinese orders for World Scenography, Volume 1 may not be able to import directly. Another publisher may need to serve as a third-party to import the book. Since World Scenography, Volume 2 was printed in China, the import license will not be needed.
Austin asked how many copies are left. Eric answered that in the printing run of 5000, only 2000 copies are left. For World Scenography, Volume 2 less copies were printed.
Peter noted that it has always been the intention that OISTAT gets the majority long-term revenue stream. The core team will receive royalties. World Scenography, Volume 1 was partially subsidized by 160,000€ provided by Canadian taxpayers and Peter McKinnon’s university.
Peter distributed World Scenography bookmarks for commission members to distribute to their colleagues.
Austin asked about the timeline for World Scenography, Volume 3. Peter noted that they are looking for another person to join the project. Austin asked about the potential for associate editors. Peter stated that this was possible. Peter mentioned that Sean Crowley agreed that all designs and design images from World Stage Design 2013 would be available for consideration in World Scenography, Volume 3.
Eric mentioned that they are focusing on moving away from funding through the Canadian government. The World Scenography project must be a continuing project of OISTAT. Eric and Peter haven’t focused on this aspect of the yet, or asked the board yet; but they plan to do so.
Jerome asked if future volumes would be published on an eight-year cycle in alignment with World Stage Design events. Peter responded that this topic would be up to the series’ future editors.
Jan Rolnik asked about the role of the third person joining the World Scenography, Volume 3 editorial team. Peter stated that this individual could be a co-editor or assistant editor. It depends on the individual. Jan asked if the position was a volunteer position. Peter answered yes.
Jan asked about the overall budget of the book. Peter noted that the budget was 90,000€. This figure does not include distribution and storage. Eric commented that a grant allowed the editorial board to meet. Additionally, OISTAT provided funds to support printing. In total, almost 120,000€ in funding supported each volume. Funding came from a combination of university support (assistants), OISTAT (the bulk of the printing) and additional grant funding. Most volunteers received additional funding from other funding sources (university support). Eric noted that the editorial meetings were essential for the overall process.
[4.2] Digital Theatre Words (Jerome Maeckelbergh)
There are currently four different versions of the program available.
■ Online [Belgian servers]: Version 1 (available 2011) 
■ OISTAT Website: Version 2 
■ Mobile App [done by OISTAT HQ]: Version 3 
■ Online [German Server]: Volume 4 (Gathering Data for Use) 
Jerome presented the Digital Theatre Words application to the commission members.
Jerome mentioned that the new version’s structure will not be the same as previous versions. In the new version, words will appear after they have been translated (instead of waiting for additional translations or editorial contributions). In this structure, Digital Theatre Words will add eight extra languages. The goal is to launch by the 2015 Prague Quadrennial. The final deadline is May 1st for all editors.
In all, about 250 editors participated in the Digital Theatre Words project. Austin asked the commission if there were any questions. There were no additional questions.
[4.3] Website & Social Media (Wan-Jung Wei)
In 2013, there was a reconstruction of the OISTAT website. A new home page interface was added.
Currently, OISTAT’s social media supports two languages: English and Mandarin Chinese.
There is a need for additional content across the social media platforms. OISTAT will reach out to more symposiums in order to generate and share information. There is great potential for Twitter and Instagram; however, Twitter is time sensitive. Carl discussed several possibilities for social media expansion and interaction.
Liu Xinglin mentioned that the Chinese language website has a different level of detail when compared to the English language website. He asked if it was possible to improve the translations and helping connect Chinese designers to OISTAT. Kathy responded that this has been an ongoing conversation. TATT has provided support for this.
Austin asked what would be the best way to share information and communicate in China. Liu Xinglin replied WeChat. Kathy noted that CASA has a team to support WeChat discussions. OISTAT Headquarters sends CASA information for distribution on the WeChat platform. A discussion followed about the potential of Instagram, Facebook groups and Facebook pages.
[4.4] Core Strategy Project (Richart Bauer & Bert Determann)
Richart introduced the commission to the Core Strategy project proposal. The project would be a two to three year discussion regarding OISTAT’s brand. There would be four focus points:
■ How does OISTAT build its image? 
■ How does OISTAT enhance its brand? 
■ How does OISTAT attract young people to the organization? 
■ How does OISTAT find new ideas to be more sustainable? 
Richart discussed the project’s needs. Ideally, the project would find students in communications, media and theatre arts who will determine how to brand OISTAT better. Currently, the students involved would be either management or arts administration students. Three groups of students from three different continents: Asia, Europe and North America. OISTAT would establish the framework. There will be a meeting later in the week with the National Taiwan Normal University’s graduate program of Performing Arts Marketing and Industry to discuss the project.
Richart encouraged the Publications and Communication Commission to join as a project partner. The Executive Committee will support as well.
Executive Committee would like to ask the PCC to work with Executive Committee members and Richart. Michael Ramsaur noted that several universities and individuals are interested in participating in the project. Richard mentioned that schools interested included a Swedish university, University of Wisconsin and Aby Cohen is exploring the potential for a Brazilian university.
In terms of structure, the student groups would use Skype to connect with each other and OISTAT representatives. Attendance at the Prague Quadrennial is important. Additional guidelines, structure and funding will be needed.
Kathy noted that the project is a collaborative educational project amongst students. Four to six students would work on a semester long project. The project would start during the Prague Quadrennial. The first benchmark would ask students to evaluate OISTAT. During the academic semester, they would meet, simulate an international organization and explore new strategies which OISTAT could develop further. Students would work with their peers across the universities.
Gerbrand noted that it would be good for OISTAT to have an external point-of-view at the organization as an objective observer.
Carl motioned that PCC should join EC, HQ, and Richard to establish a core strategy group which will: (1) reflect on what the future of OISTAT may become, as well as its present condition, and (2) the project’s impact should become known to young professionals & students through multiple cycles of the project. Gerbrand seconded. The motion was approved unanimously. A task group would be formed to work on the project between Carl, Gerbrand, Austin and EC members. The task group would meet after the Publications and Communication Commission meeting to discuss further details.
[5.0] Candidates for Election
At this moment, the commission considered candidates for commission chair. Members were notified that Greer Crawley had withdrawn from the election before the commission meeting, leaving only Carl Walling as a candidate. Given the unique situation, there was discussion about establishing an interim chair for the commission and re-issuing the call for nominations.
Peter noted that the OISTAT statutes indicate procedures to have elections with more than one candidate. In the case of a candidate’s withdrawal from the election having a single remaining candidate should not invalidate the election process. Gerbrand asked if there are specific rules about this. Michael noted that the situation should be decided by the commission. The commission had further discussion about length of term.
Peter motioned that the election would be for a four-year term. Carl seconded. Motion passed. 6 in favor, 2 opposed and 1 abstention.
[6.0] Platform for Young Designers (Wei Ping Chen & Hung-Wei Tseng, OISTAT Interns)
Wei Ping Chen and Hung-Wei Tseng gave a PowerPoint style presentation about their final internship project, the Platform for Young Designers. The platform would consist of an online database functioning similar to a portfolio website. Emerging designers would be inspired by each other, influenced by cultural and aesthetic styles. The site would need to be search enabled with keyword categories, have a user-friendly interface and enable social interaction between participants. They mentioned three websites as possibilities:
■ Bēhance (the best option, established in 2006; a multi-function designers platform) 
■ Deviant Art 
■ Dribbble 
Jan noted such a project might lead to annual awards – perhaps, if implemented, OISTAT sorts through the visual material and awards significant designs.
[7.0] Future Meetings
Peter offered to host the Prague Quadrennial meeting in his Prague flat. Jerome mentioned Antwerp as a possible future location. Peter mentioned that the commission has an open invitation to his retreat on Buckshot Lake in Ontario, Canada (June – November).
[8.0] Election of Publication & Communication Chair
Elections were held. Carl was elected as commission chair for a four-year term.
[9.0] Closing Remarks
Austin gave closing remarks about his service as Publication and Communication Chair.

The meeting was adjourned at 12.59pm

Note: Two additional meetings occurred immediately after a brief lunch break: Digital Theatre Words and Core Strategy Project.