ANST - aesthetics and function

dennis grace amazing at
Wed Aug 20 06:40:10 PDT 1997

Hi all. Aquilanne here.

H.E. Bors writes:
>OK- but how do we change a system that has been ingrained for so long??

>From what I understand, the "system" here in Ansteorra has been to have no
consistent system at all (no offense or kingdom criticism meant here, I'm
going strictly on what folks here have told me). So the question isn't so
much how to change an ingrained system but how to *develop* a system,
hopefully one incorporating the best from systems existing elsewhere (while
avoiding the weaker aspects of said systems) and incorporating our own
innovative elements to polish the whole thing off. From what I hear, some
discussion of this topic is going to take place at Steppes Artisan. I wish I
could make it, I think it's a fascinating topic.

>A special A&S event?

There's nothing, as far as I know, preventing anyone from developing any
kind of specialty A&S event focusing on most anything. You want to have an
A&S event that focuses on functionality? Do it. An A&S event that recognizes
only items that would have been made in France in the 14th century? Do it.
An event where only items made with period materials and methods? Do it.
They can all be fun. However, you'll still need criteria--even if developed
specifically for that event--to keep the playing/judging field flat and

>Would the Laurels get behind it?

Would the Laurels get behind the criteria? Well, the Laurels will probably
play a sizeable role in setting A&S criteria (as it should be), so I would
sure think they would support their own system. Would the Laurels support
any deviant event like the ones I mentioned? Well, I for one have always
found deviant things at the very least interesting ;->, so I'd have no
problem supporting most any well-thought-out A&S event. Would I support any
such specialty event as a norm for a kingdom A&S competition? No. Kingdom
A&S events need to be broad-spectrum in order to allow for representation
for all manner of arts and sciences from all periods and cultures and
concerns. Some kind of standards really are needed to ensure a set of
reasonable goals where everyone knows what's expected.

>What would be the criteria?

Well, for the specialty events, you could use the standardizes kingdom
criteria, modifying where ever appropriate. For kingdom A&S, well, that's
part of what's being discussed here and there right now.

>Would anybody even compete?

Ansteorra is a vast and wonderfully diverse kingdom. I'd think it would be
difficult designing an event where you could *avoid* getting entrants ;->.

>If all the answers could be found, I would even volunteer to autocrat such
an event after the first of the year.

Well, start planning. There are just too many possibilities out there to
ignore, and it looks like I've answered all your questions, at least in part.

>(The Baroness is going to kill me)

She can't do've got an event to plan!

>What would others like to see rather than the traditional Pretty Thingy win
>the compitition??

That's a really good question. What kind of events would other folk like to
see as specialty A&S events?

>Or am I and a few others, the only ones who feel this way??

That's one nice thing about an organization the size of the SCA, especially
a kingdom as large as Ansteorra; you'll rarely lack for at least some
support in any given philosophy.

>Am I beating a dead horse?

I don't think so. You're expressing concerns, and offering a willingness to
work on solutions; such a combination I've always found admirable.

>Who am I?

Why, you're His Excellency, Baron Bors, the fellow with the task of
designing an A&S event!

>Why am I doing this??

Probably because you, like many of us, are somewhat idealistic with a touch
of masochism egging us on; am I close?



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