One of the biggest inspirations behind the idea of ARS:
Recognizing that your artwork and life is always in beta (testing) mode.
The never-ending state of becoming
I very much like the notion that we’re constantly in a state of becoming. There isn’t a ‘final destination’ for you to reach. Instead, every moment of the day, you’re becoming something.
For example, every photo that you shoot– you’re iterating. You’re experimenting. You’re seeing new things differently. The subject matter changes and you change (“You never step into the same river twice” — Heraclitus).
For us as visual artists, we are always becoming. We are constantly refining our artistic vision, constantly learning, constantly shedding old idea, and constantly building new ideas.
Always in Beta
The notion of ‘beta’ is interesting. In Greek, ‘Beta’ is literally “B” (the second letter of the alphabet). When I think of the notion ‘beta’– I usually think of computer-science and user-testing:
Beta is a preliminary technology phase before a final product.
For tech companies, they often do ‘beta testing’ (testing out a non-final version of something before they release it to the public).
Generally speaking a beta version of anything has a lot of bugs and small problems. Yet, beta programs have so much value!
For example, Gmail was in ‘beta’ mode for many many years, but it was still the best free email client by at least 1000x (compared to the competition like Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.)
Living life in beta
If we treated our own lives as constantly in a state of beta-testing, how would this change how we live our lives?
- You don’t seek finality: You produce more, experiment more, and are less afraid to ‘fail’, because you have discovered that the notion of “failure” is nonsense. Everything in life is simply feedback — not necessarily ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
- You have more of a hunger to iterate, change, evolve, and grow: The notion of ‘iterative‘ processes is that you take in feedback and information, and improve something the next time around. It is the ‘kaizen’ approach to improvement — you are improving 1% everyday. Kind of how the iPhone only improves a little bit every new version, but the striving is towards a ‘perfect’ ideal. Or how the Honda Civic has been iterating since the late 1970s-early 1980s, and every new version is a little better.
- You aren’t afraid of failure: You follow more of the things you’re curious about in life, without fear of judgement from others (or yourself). You become more child-like, curious, and have more fun in life!
Never stop iterating, never stop experimenting, and never stop growing/evolving as a photographer-visual artist.
If you are hungry for real feedback on your photos, upload them to arsbeta.com today, and also give back by giving honest feedback/critique to other members the community.
Let’s all evolve together!