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3.5 Continual assessment / diary documentation / site meeting
Evaluation and self assessment should be integral to the creative process from the beginning of the commission, providing productive and revealing suggestions as a positive tool, rather than a forced checklist.The manner in which this process is carried out by the artist and how the commissioner or lead artist/curator interacts should be agreed at the start of the commission.
All experienced artists will keep sketch books, document stages of construction and collect schedule notes.At the interview stage artists should be asked to consider how best, according to their particular practice, they can use and develop this information to communicate their working process and assess how one decision can best lead to another. Remember this is not just about recording the positive; this is also about recognising failure or problematic territory and the potential lessons that can be learned.A diary can include: drawn sketchbooks, marquette's, text, photography, audio montages, video/film, interviews and blogs. In fact, part of the commissioning process can be to encourage and extend the artists 'palette' of documentation.
The evaluation is not only limited to the art or the artist - it can also include the stakeholders and the commissioning process itself.It is vital that this process is not seen as a commissioning element to carry out at the end of the project - when it is too late to ask certain questions and make changes.Therefore, programme in key evaluation discussion dates throughout the commissioning schedule (maybe 2 or 3 during the design/construction period and one at the end (see 4.1) - consider discussions between: lead artist and artist; artist and community; stake holders and lead artist/artist.
This information can be used as: a real time learning tool to inform the project; a guide for future projects; a measure of the project's success; publicity and marketing information.