One of the main instruments for New Street Agenda will be what we call a gap analysis. It is based on content analysis, but takes you a bit further.
Gap analysis functions as the first practical step in The Workshop and the courses for self-study. They all start with a gap analysis.
The idea is very simple. According to Wikipedia a gap analysis “is the comparison of the actual performance with potential performance”.
Applied to New Street Agenda is comes down to this: If you know where you want to go with your street art, you need to map where you are at present and make a plan of how to get to that other point.
You have to map the gap and fill it.
That done and you are there. With a little bit of luck, as the song goes.
If you have an idea of where you want to be in the future, and you know your point of departure, it is pretty easy to mark the way for your potential progress.
Yes, I say potential progress because there is always the risk that you never make it to that other point. But that is risk you carry in all you life so why worry about it here.
Knowledge and stamina will most likely do it for you. The thing you know for sure is that if you don’t even try, you will never reach that other point.
That other point is your benchmark. A benchmark is an ideal and what you strive for.
In New Street Agenda the benchmark is how the classical street photographers did their work. There are many to name but indeed Henri Cartier-Bresson is one of the masters. Others are Robert Frank, Elliot Erwitt, Bill Brand, Tony Ray-Jones and more.
If you see what these folks did and the way they did it, you have your benchmark. Much as it is formulated in the definition we have of street photography on New Street Agenda.
In New Street Agenda, having a benchmark and mapping the gap, are integrated tools in the larger process of you individual progress as street photographers.
You may ask: Is the idea then to make all of us classical street photographer? Definitely not. But it is good place to start so you can grow out of there.
Remember that Picasso was an excellent natural painter before he started to change the way we see things. He is known for breaking the rules. Not for following them.
And a good benchmark too. You map the gap.
© Knut Skjærven
Link to the original post at ON THE GO: Workbook for New Street Agenda.