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Neil

28

Nov

Critical Kits: Art, technology and distributed participation

Critical Kits: Art, technology and distributed participation

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Wigan Athletic F.C. mascot Howie B being filmed by John Spencer & OLO at the Re-Dock GYM JAMS event at Howe Bridge leisure centre Atherton.

 

Wednesday 30th November 2016 10am – 6pm

 

Re-Dock are organising a symposium on the 30th November 2016 about participatory art: in particular, looking at critical practice around participatory art that uses technology. The event will take place at A Small Cinema Liverpool.

To find out more see the project GitLab.

As part of a generation of artists giving equal critical focus to both participation and technology, we think we’ve identified a problem. Much of the documentation of this work fails to capture the richness, complexity and difficulty of working across contemporary art practice, community engagement and technical cultures.

We’d like to invite you to critically reflect with us on the opportunities in evolving participation, technical and network cultures for the better distribution of artistic practice.

Normally much of the presentation of this work uses formats shaped by print and broadcast media, reports, documentary films and photographs. We want to explore how formats shaped by networked culture, such as github repos, instructional guides and maker kits could be used to communicate the social and cultural meaning of projects as well as their technical function.

24

Nov

GYM JAMS

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GYM JAMS was a high tempo clash of art and sport at Howe Bridge Leisure Centre.

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Re-Dock worked with people around Atherton to explore how technology can be used to bring the worlds of sport and culture together, transforming Howe Bridge leisure centre into a space for art and culture as well as sport.

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Wigan Athletic F.C. mascot Howie B being filmed by John Spencer & OLO.

The jam packed day weaved new Re-Dock artwork the RoboGames in amongst skating boarding lessons, a mass dance showcase by local groups from Ashton, Golbourne, and Hagfold with special choreography from Dance Manchester.

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Breaking screened in the fitness room.

Drumming & sound beam workshop from More than Words and a pop-up cinema in the dance studio screening Breakin’.

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Dancers performing in the Pixel Workout.

 

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Dancers performing in the Pixel Workout.

 

The RoboGames were three games that took traditional play and fitness activities and tweaked them, by restricting the freedom of movement for participants, slowing them down to reveal their underlying systems. The RoboGames were soundtracked by new music from Germanager and filmed from above by OLO a giant floating robot.

 

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Our commentary team, Dan and Dave.

 

Robot Rugby – A slow motion version of rugby in which participants move robotically on the beat, only ever turning at right angles. The game forces players to slow down and restrict their movement, turning rugby into something closer to a game of chess or a computer algorithm.

 

 

Fill the Board – A frantic game of group tag in which teams of players charge around the BMX bowl, trying to press buttons on players from the opposing team’s backs as often as they can within 3 minutes. The rules are simple but the dynamics of the game become very complex very fast, as players form packs, fake tiredness and creep up on each other, constantly torn between stalking and watching their own backs.

 

 

Pixel Workout – A mass choreography, inspired by computer simulations of birds flocking in which over 60 participants in different coloured party hats followed simple and restrictive instructions to move around the skatepark. The workout started simply with instructions such as “walk forwards in a straight line, turn right 45 degrees if you bump into something.” but group movement soon became more complex as dancers were asked to follow and avoid people wearing different coloured hats. The instructor eventually lost control as the participants, mostly young people from community dance groups, took the opportunity to wander aimlessly around the ramps and bowls of the skatepark.

 

 

Gif’s created by GYM goers and Sam Meech.

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See here for a blog post by Stef Jayne describing her experience of the day.

 

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GYM JAMS was an ACE funded project supported by Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles.

05

Aug

St. Helens Vs The Lizards

 

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‘St. Helen’s Vs The Lizards’ is an 80’s / Lizard themed Escape Room, designed with teenagers and built in St. Helen’s Central Library.

 

The Escape Room opened to the public between Saturday 15th of August and Saturday the 5th of September.

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The Story

 Sam seems like any other teenager.

The story is set in the bedroom of St. Helens teenager Sam, just before Christmas 1984.

 

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“Sam seems like any other teenager – problems with authority, fed up of school, etc. Except there might be something more going on. What if Dad isn’t just embarrassing, but is actually something much more sinister? What if the teachers at school aren’t only tracking grades, but his thoughts? There are strange messages in the music, and on Teletext. Patterns in the news, odd occurrences in the town. Something is going on, but no one else can see it. From now on, no one can be trusted – they could all be lizards!”

 

What are Escape Rooms?

Escape Rooms are a new form of activity in which groups of people explore a series of clues in a specially designed room. Players work together to solve a series of interlocking puzzles, to uncover exactly what Sam thinks the lizards are doing and to escape before the hour time limit is up. The experience is similar in a way to challenge game shows like ‘The Crystal Maze’ and ‘Knightmare’.

In ‘St Helens Vs Lizards’ players are challenged to explore the mind of Sam, a teenager who believes that Lizards are sending messages through Teletext, 80’s pop and everyday objects. Sam has begun to piece the evidence together around the room, but it will be up to you to make the connections that reveal the truth about Lizards.

 

Press Launch – Flickr photoset
St Helens Vs The Lizards - press launch

The room was overrun with lizards at the press launch, special guests included the Mayor of St.Helens, councillors, St.Helen’s Star Journalists, Reefs Reptiles and local children.

 

To find out more follow..

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@SHelensVLizards on Twitter

Facebook.com/StHelensVsTheLizards

Press 

Logic Escapes Me escape room review.

St.Helens Star article.

 

 

The Design Process

The room and the puzzles in it, were designed with teenagers and children from St. Helens. Students from Penkford School took part in an intense series of workshops, working with the project team. They stretched their 3D design skills to plan the room layout and invented puzzles. Children in the library engaged in informal workshops, designing teletext pages, lizard artworks and other clues to develop the narrative.

 

Teletext Art Workshops

The Escape Room will feature a genuine Teletext system, made just for the project, ‘ St. HeleText’. In the story, Sam believes that the lizards are sending him hidden messages in Teletext pages, so players will have to decode clues and quizzes within St. Heletext escape the room.

 

The Escape Room  created the illusion of entering another time and place within a library. The project showed that Escape Rooms can be used to explore familiar subjects such as the National Miner’s strike from unusual angle, that of lizard conspiracy. This opened up oblique conversations between families about life in the 1980’s. The Escape Room format enabled participants to explore different ways to behave in libraries, as singing, dancing, mess-making, mystery solving, investigators.

 

St. Helen’s Vs The Lizards’ Team

 

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Teenagers & Children of St. Helens

 

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Olivia DuMonceau – Set Designer

 

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Exit Strategy – Escape Room designers

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Colin Gaskarth – SetBuilder

 

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Dan Farrimond – International Teletext Art Champion

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Owen Hutchings – Senior Art in Libraries Officer

 

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Librarians of St.Helens 

 

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John O’Neill – Artist

 

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Neil Winterburn – Artist

 


 

To find out more follow..

@SHelensVLizards on Twitter

Facebook.com/StHelensVsTheLizards

Re-Dock Flickr photoset of the Escape Room press launch.

 

18

Dec

Thought Blobs

Young people created a trail of slimy thoughts around St.Helens Central Library and investigated them using a Thought Detector device. Here are some of the young people using the device to read the messaged stored in the thought blobs. Text descriptions of thoughts are written to slime covered RFID tags using a Raspberry Pi. They were then able to use a Ghostbusters style detector to read each other’s thoughts. The system was presented to the young people as a creative tool to be explore openly, allowing them to make their own connections between thoughts and spaces.

The detector features an Arduino housed in OOBB, the open source laser cut alternative to Mecchano.

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Thought Blobs is part of the Re-Dock Cultral Hubs 2014 residency with St.Helens Libraries and St.Helens Arts Service. To make the detector Neil Winterburn collaborated with IOT expert Adrian McEwen & OOBB inventors Oomlout.

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Brother and Sister investigate

For more on Thought Blobs go to the projects Tumblr.

03

Nov

Thought Blobs

Create a trail of slimey thoughts around St.Helens Central Library and investigate them using a Thought Detector device.

To see some of the Thought Blobs created last week, go to the project blog…

http://thoughtblobs.tumblr.com

Text descriptions of thoughts are written to slime covered RFID tags using a Raspberry Pi. The detector features an Arduino housed in OOBB, the open source laser cut alternative to Mecchano.

The Thought Blobs activity was part of the Re-Dock Cultral Hubs 2014 residency. To make the detector Neil Winterburn collaborated with IOT expert Adrian McEwen & OOBB inventors Oomlout.

03

Nov

30 Years Of.. Looking back at 1995 – 2005 & bringing objects to life.

This week we will be looking at objects and memories of the mining community from 1995-2005. How did peoples lifes change over these years and what are the memories that stand out to you? We will also be joined by creative technologist Adrian McEwen, who will be showing us how to bring objects to life so that they move or flash when they are being talked about on Twitter or Facebook.

23

Sep

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

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.. 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

 

This year it is 30 years since the 1984 miners’ strike, which opposed the government’s policy of pit closures. Re-Dock and Internet of Things expert Adrian McEwen worked with the ex-mining community in St.Helens to create an interactive exhibition of enchanted objects, telling the story of the past 30 years.

The 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.

Throughout a series of creative workshops we asked the men and women of the ex-mining community in St. Helens to share and curate a selection of objects to describe their experience of the past 30 Years. We used these objects as a focal point to discuss the strike, to evoke memories and to explore how things have changed over the years.

Still The Enemy Within Screening
“Gary Conley introducing ‘Still The Enemy Within'”.

The project culminated in a screening of the film ‘Still The Enemy Within’ and an exhibition of enchanted artefacts. Cabinets of interactive artefacts were displayed at Chester Lane and Haydock library, with viewers able to investigate the objects using a specially designed sensor, that triggered audio descriptions of the memories that they sparked. The exhibition also featured smart objects that responded when they were being talked about on Twitter.

 

Snap Tin Illustration by Chris Rhodenhurst

Snap Tin illustration by Chris Rhodenhurst

 

Objects Exhibited

Haydock
Police Baton – Stewart Brown
Holiday trinkets – Sue Brown
Miners Wives Cup – Steven Hardman
Coal – Sid Saunders
Oldham Cap ‘T’ Headlamp – David Stevens
Radiator Key – Terry Houghton
Tickle Me Elmo – Marion White
Nokia Mobile Phone – George White

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Shearer illustration by Chris Rhodenhurst

Chester Lane

Sutton Colliery Plate – Steven Hardman
Support the Miners Badge – Stewart Brown
NEC Mobile Phone – George White
WWF Foam Hand – Sue Brown
Mystery Tin – Sue Brown
Reconstituted Coal – Sid Saunders
Rocking Parrot Toy – Sid Saunders
Dream Crown – Marion White
Tally – Terry Houghton
Cufflinks – Stewart Brown

Tally illustration by Chris Rhodenhurst

Tally illustration by Chris Rhodenhurst

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…