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Neil

23

Sep

30 Years of… Enchanted Objects"> 30 Years of… Enchanted Objects

30 Years of.. is a new creative heritage project for the ex-mining community in St.Helens.

This activity combines heritage and creative technology, it is suitable for people of all ages, from 8 to 98.

This year it is 30 years since the 1984 miners’ strike, which opposed the government’s policy of pit closures.
Re-Dock & MCQN ltd., are working with the ex-mining community of St.Helens to create an interactive exhibition of intelligent mining artefacts and we want YOU to help us create it.

This week creative technologist Adrian McEwen & artist Neil Winterburn will be showing us how to transform everyday objects into enchanted objects that respond to things happening on the internet. For example a poker that glows when people talk about St. Helens and mining on Facebook.

Once we have collated all of the objects we will be making an interactive exhibition that will transform this collection into enchanted objects that glow, vibrate, move or trigger sounds and videos, when people talk about them online.
Drop In, Come and tell us your mining memories, bring in objects and help us make the exhibition.

23

Sep

30 Years of… Bringing objects to life"> 30 Years of… Bringing objects to life

This year it is 30 years since the 1984 miners’ strike, which opposed the government’s policy of pit closures. Re-Dock & MCQN ltd., are working with the ex-mining community of St.Helens to create an interactive exhibition of intelligent mining artefacts and we want YOU to help us create it.

This week we will be working with creative technologist Adrian McEwen, to transform the objects that people have shared, into enchanted objects that come to life and tell us the memories that they spark.
We will be making an interactive exhibition that will transform this collection into enchanted objects that glow, vibrate, move or trigger sounds and videos, when people talk about them online.

Drop In, Come and tell us your mining memories, bring in objects and learn some new creative skills to help us make the exhibition. Suitable for all ages 8 – 98.

Wed 8th Oct – Haydock Library, 3pm – 7pm

23

Sep

30 Years of… Photographing & Filming Mining Artefacts"> 30 Years of… Photographing & Filming Mining Artefacts

30 Years of.. is a new creative heritage project for the ex-mining community in St.Helens.

Re-Dock and MCQN ltd are working with the ex-mining community in St.Helens to transform mining artefacts into an interactive exhibition of enchanted objects, telling the story of the past 30 years.

This year it is 30 years since the 1984 miners’ strike, which opposed the government’s policy of pit closures. Re-Dock & MCQN ltd., are working with the ex-mining community of St.Helens to create an interactive exhibition of intelligent mining artefacts and we want YOU to help us create it. Once we have collated all of the objects we will be making an interactive exhibition that will transform this collection into enchanted objects that glow, vibrate, move or trigger sounds and videos, when people talk about them online.

Drop In, Come and tell us your mining memories, bring in objects or help us make the exhibition

22

Sep

30 Years of..

300lampLogo re-dock

 

Re-Dock and MCQN ltd are working with the ex-mining community in St.Helens to transform mining artefacts into an interactive exhibition of enchanted objects, telling the story of the past 30 years.

This project was commissioned by St. Helens Arts Service as part of the second Cultural Hubs programme and is supported by public funding from the Arts Council of England. Delivery is a collaboration between Re-Dock, St. Helens Arts service and Internet Of Things experts MCQN ltd.

This year it is 30 years since the 1984 miners’ strike, which opposed the government’s policy of pit closures. Re-Dock & MCQN ltd., are working with the ex-mining community of St.Helens to create an interactive exhibition of intelligent mining artefacts and we want YOU to help us create it. Once we have collated all of the objects we will be making an interactive exhibition that will transform this collection into enchanted objects that glow, vibrate, move or trigger sounds and videos, when people talk about them online.

Drop In, Come and tell us your mining memories, bring in objects or help us make the exhibition on:

Wed 24th September – Chester Lane Library, 3pm – 7pm

Wed 1st Oct – Chester Lane Library, 3pm – 7pm
Wed 8th Oct – Haydock Library, 3pm – 7pm
Wed 15th Oct – Chester Lane Library, 3pm – 7pm
Wed 5th Nov – Haydock Library, 3pm – 7pm
Wed 12th Nov – Newton-Le-Willows Library, 3pm-7pm
Wed 19th Nov – Parr Library, 3pm – 7pm

 

More about the project..

The Internet Of Things is described as the next evolution of the internet in which objects embedded with miniature computers are capable of responding intelligently to events in their environments and online, e.g. An umbrella that checks the weather forecast and has a handle that glows when there is a chance of rain to remind you to take it with you. Much is being spoken about the ability of the IOT technology to bring consumer objects to life and make them intelligent. This project will examine these claims, working with the ex-mining community to embed computational intelligence into objects that to many, already have a resonant life of their own, asking.

“What if artefacts really did have the power to capture and share the memories that they sparked, and the intelligence to know when they were being talked about?”

Re-Dock will work with the ex-mining community to curate a collection of 6 artefacts that participants believe best represent their experience of the 30 years since the miners strike. Making use of the Internet Of Things these objects will form the basis of an exhibition of interactive artefacts, exploring the power of objects to spark and capture memories. People will be asked to loan objects to the collection and to vote for which of them should be included in the final exhibition.

31

Dec

Knots in our heads

Concept Maps are ‘graphical tools for organising and representing knowledge’ They were developed by Joseph D Novak at Cornell University to help students visualise how their new learning could be assimilated with their existing ‘cognitive structure’. Sowa places them within the context of knowledge visualisation diagrams, alongside Semantic nets and Mind Maps. Read more…

26

Oct

Hello Chici

This is my first blog post, as part of the Child Computer Interaction at the Chici Lab in the University of central Lancaster. There aren’t many other artists at the ChiCI Lab, so thought I’d spend this first post explaining why I’m doing an Mres in this subject area and not in digital art.

Read more…

01

Jun

Liverpool Processing Meetup

We have started hosting a meetup at our base the Ranch for people interested in using Processing, the programming environment designed for artists and visual thinkers. Read more…

01

Nov

Pier Head Time Warp

The Pier Head Time Warp was an  interactive video event by Re-Dock at the Museum of Liverpool on Saturday the 15th Oct.

We were asked by the Museum of Liverpool to run an activity that would get people working creatively with archive video, so we invented a time machine.

This time machine was in reality, a musical keyboard that through the magic of Isadora, could be used to trigger video, sound effects and audio memories relating to the Liverpool Pier Head.

Although we were aiming to appeal to people from 8 to 80, for the most part the people that really got into it were either 8 or 80.

I exaggerate here, but it did spark the interest of both young people and older adults at the same time, which is rare. Read more…

12

Feb

3D Thought Shapes

I am working with a group of young people at Weatherhead high school, on a project exploring what our thoughts might look like if we could see them all around us.

The group have been sculpting 3D models representing different breeds of ideas, memories and emotions using Blender.

Read more…

11

Feb

Thought Balloons

I am working with a group of young people at Weatherhead high school, on a project exploring what our thoughts might look like, if we could see them all around us.

This week has been a good opportunity to revisit the Balloonascope, which is a 3D graphing tool made up of Balloons, weights and pulleys.

We used it to model the emotional and psychological space of a set of fictional characters created by the group.

The young people added to the Balloonascope in between scenes of a drama created by the young people. The drama consisted of three scenes and explored a classroom conflict between a Teacher and three other pupils.

At the end of each scene the rest of the group were asked to write what they thought one of the characters might be thinking, feeling or remembering, on one of the balloons and place it in the classroom according to these rules.

Rule 1

The nearer the thought balloon is to the character that is thinking it, the more intensely it is felt.

Rule 2


The higher up the thought balloon is the more positive the thought, the lower it is the more negative it is.

The highlight of the session for me was when the one of the girls placed a thought balloon by the character Charlie, who in the play had been refusing to speak in class.The balloon was very close to the girl who was playing Charlie, and very low down.

The girl placing the thought balloon described the feelings it represented.

“Charlie was quiet, because she was remembering at home when her parents kept telling her to be quiet”

10

Feb

What Shape Are Ideas?

I am working with Fact & a group of young people at Weatherhead high school, on a project exploring what our thoughts might look like if we could see them all around us.

So far the group have investigated ways to make connections between words and shapes, and then created different breeds of shapes to represent different thoughts, emotions and memories.

Here are a sample of some of  the shapes developed so far.

The group decided that memories are the most complex shapes, with a mixture of smooth and sharp edges, as memories are sometimes pleasant, and sometimes painful.

 

07

Jan

Read, Write, Re-Imagine

In the last week before Christmas John, Sophie Bower and I, delivered a new course in Hume Manchester called ‘Read, Write, Re-imagine’ . The course focused on developing the facilitation skills of creative new media practitioners, so that they would be able to deliver top quality creative new media activities in Schools across the North West.

The course commissioned by Curious Minds, brought together a mixture of classic connection making exercises, introductions to young people friendly software, and live ‘mini’ projects for which the participants developed their own activities to test run on one  another.

 

One great example of the kinds of curriculum splicing activities invented by participants was “Go Ballistic with Pythagoras Theorum” which used the theme of the Second World War, and in particular the trajectory of mortars, to explore Pythagoras. If you were to take part in this activity you would create a simple mortar, using cardboard and elastic bands, and then use Pythagorus Theorum to predict where your ammo would hit the wall – Genius!

Just briefly here are a few of my favorites of the ideas that came out of the rest of the course.

- Encourage young people to develop speaking and listening skills by filming interviews with one another.
- Link young peoples interest in War and artillery with trigonometry.
- Use computer game planning documents as a format to explore creative writing.
- Use tools like SketchUp & Scratch as a tool for young people to visualize and pitch their ideas to the rest of their class.
- Use the behind the scenes debate with which the Wikipedia community decides on what is and isn’t of publishable quality, as a way to bring debates about different readings of history to life.

I could go on but I am running out of space….

What felt like the biggest jump in my learning was the way we recruited the group.

We were asked to gather together an eclectic group of people who worked in creative new media, but not in schools. This was tricky, as the people we were looking for were not part of the existing Curious Minds promotional networks.

We decided to apply a scattergun approach, advertising the course across as many networks as possible with flyers that pointed back to a Ning site, which we kept as open as possible up until the day before the course.

In the build up to the course we were able to set up a dialogue amongst this impromptu community. People could find out more what the course was about, tell us a bit more about themselves, from that point the people who were going to get the most out of the course effectively selected themselves.If we had recruited in a more conventional way, I don’t think we would been able to bring together such an interesting group of musicians, inventors, film-makers, software developers, artists, designers and educators.

I think this method of recruitment has great potential for future projects, as it could prove a great way to contact and bring together eclectic groups of people based on their interests, rather than them being lumped into one demographic or another.