This site is a static archive of Process Arts, an open online repository of arts learning resources that was active from 2009 - 2017

Process.arts overview and context (1st draft)

process.arts is an open online resource sharing day-to-day arts practice and research

process.arts has maintained a sustainable and independent system of development, through agile web development. At present process.arts fully relays on individual and group participation and is managed and developed through a combination of voluntary participation, research secondments and fellowships. The overall concept is now to support ‘open practice’ cross college and sector communication and knowledge sharing.

process.arts is not a repository or a VLE, courses are not represented in this space. process.arts provides an alternative environment for informal open content experimentation, mostly small pieces of content that do not have to represent a courses, be designed for learning, accreditation or represent an institution. process.arts provides a new ‘open learning’ space that straddles the institution (formal learning) and the social (informal learning) therefore allowing a space for open educational practitioners to develop a new language for open academic social practice without conforming or being influenced by pre-existing academic structures and processes.    

As education merges in the rapidly expanding field of social and cultural technological change, maintaining progressive practice in these new digitally enhanced learning spaces can presents new expectations, anxieties and challenges for all, being open online forces us to evaluate our web literacy skills. The technical skills or (hard skills) for developing or creating our personal and professional online environments can be achieved or learnt through various courses or online resources, although keeping pace with new and evolving applications and systems demands constant engagement.  As teachers and students we are socialised into what could be seen as restricted, uncreative, unfamiliar, out-dated and closed mode of being online, the VLE or institutional repository is built to conform to ‘old and closed’ conventional academic structures and processes. There is a huge leap to be made from the formal closed VLE into the ‘new’ open online ‘edusocial’ (educational social networked) open space, a leap into the unknown. There are currently no rules in this new open educational space and it’s something we are not being socialised into, we need to learn it ourselves and learn by doing.

As creative practitioners we are attracted to the unknown and the challenges of the new, as with other significant and historical technological movements such as TV and cinema the language of the media can be defined for us by others and quickly commercialised. As more and more learning and teaching is codified into rich media and is made open online, it’s important that education/knowledge does not become too commercialised, or held to ransom or lost in 3rd party spaces like, facebook, youtube, iTunesU etc. Our universities should not be relying on these spaces to be the primary 'store' for their learning and teaching content, they should be offering alternatives, commercial channels should be secondary and universities should host their our in-house social media alternatives, content media communities and ‘edu-digital homes’ for its staff, students and alumni. The open educational/open practice movement presents challenges to the sector as a whole; we have the opportunity to define our own new modes of educational practice.

UAL and the wider arts sector need to start debating what 'digital' means to education and professional practice, we need to engage and encourage more critical debate to help address the core concerns of open education/open practice. I feel is important that UAL is not seen as promoting or pushing people into open education/digital practice but seen as supporting the imminent transition into openness and digital practice for everyone. The open educational movement is already in danger of becoming an elite network of specialists who advocate ‘openness’ and ‘digital’ and are rarely self critical of the movement and like many technological movements there is a danger of becoming too specialised and advanced which could marginalise the majority.  

process.arts context and detailed timeline: process.arts development history

In 2003: Process.arts came out of an interest in how we could make better use of technology/online to share arts practice, ideas and support across disciplines, courses, colleges and the wider sector, public, designers, makers, industry and artists etc.

In 2004: Some staff were not satisfied with the college VLE experience so individuals began to look into developing alternative basic online webspace (outside blackboard/UAL). Issues with his approach included staff quickly realising they were solely responsible for these new online space, and had a responsibility to maintain, manage and regularly contribute to the space (as well as pay for its hosting etc). It was hard work, lots of extra pressure (what happened if staff were to leave/move course/college, get ill or have less time, who takes over, what happens to the space and resources?) and all for little reward (reward in the form of interaction & participation) it felt like it was just another learning and teaching silo being replicated across UAL, it was not sustainable or productive practice.

At this time Chris Follows began to develop early prototypes of process.arts to create a community online space to share studio practice/ideas and teaching processes, docs/tips etc with students, staff and others interested. was a html site I created for personal use, like an online PA 'personal assistant' that also shared stuff online with students.

The site began to question the process of making individual & isolated webspaces was the best way forward for students, staff and the college? Processarts was created to explore the notion of creating a more sustainable shared environment for staff and students to share and cluster rich media content, resources and day to day studio practice all together.

Process.arts was also a ggod vehicle to begin exploring how we share different kinds of practice outside cross subject area of animation and video. Staff were producing explicit instructional resources ‘how to’ style but these were often not shared anline or across a wider field of arts practice. The aim of process.arts were to explore ways we could start to think about communicating the more difficult stuff to codify, the tacit knowledge, experience and practice, the art/design studio experience, painting, casting, drawing, ideas, art and design practice in general?     

The development of process.arts

2006: At Wimbledon and Chelsea Chris Follows began to explore how UAL can document students and staff working in studios, Chris created a series of videos of students and staff talking about their practice. Examples: Foundation student 2006 (

In 2006/7: Chris was seconded for one year to Chelsea college of art, Chris was keen to try and unlock the potential of having the six colleges staff and students all sharing and talking to each other, all had their own rich repertoire unique specialism, knowledge and experience.  During this secondment at Chelsea Chris made more recordings but there was no where to put them, there was no way of sharing across UAL and/or across the arts sector. Video example: The loss wax process described by Chelsea college of art MA student 2006/7 Marco Chiandetti’ ( )

2008: Chris wrote a proposal to UAL CLTAD to develop the process.arts online resource for UAL for sharing practice of staff and students. It was successful awarded as a 10 day secondment at CLTAD Centre for Learning and teaching in Art and Design where began to develop the basic concept for process.arts - Secondment Diary 2008

2009: process.arts was provided free space on the UAL server to run a pilot. Negotiating in-house server space (free) was key to the potential embedding and sustainability of the project.

2009: Bid for and won a 25 day UAL fellowship to develop process.arts concept. This helped enhanced participation and functionality. Fellowship Diary 08/09

2010: 3.5k CLIP CETL funding to support a short pilot.

2011-12: Following the process.arts development work Chris was awarded a one-year SCORE fellowship from the Open University, funding to support open educational resource use and reuse and open practice rich media content communities - Time was used to develop process.arts for OEP and OER sector use.

2011: 5k ALTO project funding to update and develop the process.arts drupal code

Our process.arts drupal deveolpers (rear) Grzesiek Sedek (lead developer) Michele Durante (UAL student developer)

2012: Introduction of project groups -

2012: process.arts working with UAL CLTAD to explore the development of process.arts into an official managed & supported service by September 2012.

Audio recording Cambridge 2012 process.arts case study -

Here’s some Analytics & Visitors Overview – last month and other general stats - Apr to May 2012 -


The above info graphic was used in OCWC Cam12 presentation, see recording -

The Future

Development -

process.arts becoming a service, what is a service, what is process.arts, what needs to change and not change?

Help section: -

Contact: Chris Follows -

Process Arts is voluntary managed by Chris Follows in collaboration with CLTAD for all enquiries please contact Chris

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This Work, Process.arts overview and context (1st draft) , by cfollows is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.