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Can You Hear Me? I Can See You!

Our new exhibition – Can You Hear Me? I Can See You! – will open in the FACT Connects space in the foyer of the building on Light Night, May 17 2013.

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On Libraries

Re-Dock intern, (and now librarian – edited 2014) Becky Mulvaney discusses the her research through own relationship to libraries, developed early on thanks to her Grandmother’s weekly trips. Read more…



Liverpool Ships and Sailors

Although our Mapping and Memory project has close, we’ve kept in contact with some of the participants, particularly the group known as the ‘Retired Merchant Seafarers’. It turns out that the group used to run a website where they had collected lots of stories and photographs and quite a large following. But, as happens, the running and maintanence of the site became quite a bit of work, coupled with increased hosting costs, this led to the site not rewnewed and the name has since been purchased by a holding company. All the data that was on the site is on a hard drive in someone’s shed – some has been lost. Read more…



L1 – the Map of the Films and the Film of the Map

2011 has been an incredibly busy year for Re-Dock, and we’re only just getting the chance to take stock and reflect on the work we’ve developed. One of the biggest projects we’ve ever undertaken was completed in September this year – the Mapping Memory project. I’m going to briefly talk about the two major outputs – the 1950’s Google Map, and the 40 minute documentary.

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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…



Let’s go fly a kite…

Its been over a year since we started work on the Mapping Memory project, investigating peoples’ experiences of Liverpool in the 1950’s 60’s and 70’s. We were given a new perspective on our work by John Quirk, a former electrical engineer and avid kite photographer.

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A Small Cinema Recipe

Well, the bow-ties are off and the posters are taken down after our latest manifestation of “A Small Cinema” If you missed it then you can watch a video all about the event over on our Small Cinema blog (where you’ll also be able to view some of the films and read all about the progress of the project.)

“A Small Cinema” has now been through several incarnations and we are now asking ourselves the question:

What makes “A Successful Small Cinema”? Read more…



Simple (BIG) Interface

A couple of weeks ago I took part in DIY Music Day at the World Museum, Liverpool. The event was organised by Ross Dalziel of Sound Network, as part of a series of events called  How Why DIY? which aimed to open up technology to a wider audience.

This event explored ways in which people could engage with sound, from making their own thumb pianos from simple materials, to more complex (but still available) technologies such Arduino, as well as performances and sound interventions from a.p.A.T.t  and Noise Club.

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Foregrounding Context

Cultural Heritage Network workshop and presentation:

The process of collectively mapping and modelling, memories and ideas forms a core strand of Re-Docks methodology, and, over the past few months we have been contributing to a series of discussions relating to landscapes, memories and cultural practices, co-ordinated by Liverpool University.

A workshop in February aimed to explore possible ways that locative media technologies might provide interactive access to historical data drawn from GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and mapping-related projects in the arts and humanities.  This session was sponsored by the AHRC and British Telecom.

Myself and Tim gained a huge amount of insight into mapping technologies through listening to the various strategies adopted and developed by different practitioners and we shared our panel – Geographical Content in the Digital Arts – with two very interesting speakers: Taylor Nuttall, CEO of Folly and a super-energetic Chris Speed.

Taylor explained the role Folly have played in attempting to broker between physical and digital landscapes, blurring the boundaries.

Various iterations of the Portable Pixel Playground project demonstrate Folly’s commitment to combining aspects of play and technology in a new-media landscape and one of their current initiatives – LoveCulture – attempts to collate and share audience dialogues across cultural organisations through the use of an embedded cultural icon.

Dr Chris Speed, from Edinburgh College of Art, whistled through an impressive array of projects, proposing a nearfuture of augmented reality where everything will be tagged and “everything will know where everything is.”

One pioneering project in this landscape is – Tales of Things – which makes use of freely available QR barcoding to digitally attach stories and memories to inanimate objects via multimedia hyperlinks.

Tales of Things will be launched during the forthcoming FutureEverything festival in Manchester and shoppers at the Oxfam on Oxford Road will be able to record 30 second tales relating to the objects they donate. It will also be possible to scan items in-store, with embeded stories being played over the shops PA system!

Another project – Walking through Time – allows users of smartphones to navigate the city of Edinburgh both geographically AND ALSO temporally, digging down into history and calling into question Sat-Nav’s obsession with ‘NOW!’

During our slot, we shared some of Re-Dock’s ‘hands-on’ approaches to cultural mapping activities, working with simple props and digital metaphors.  We discussed the ways in which physical, lo-tech props, in our experience, reduced barriers to participation, and we also emphasised the way in which each of our projects brings specific (and subjective) local, contexts to the fore.

There was a strong contrast between the lo-fi flavour of the artworks we presented and the more technologically focused projects from the other researchers later in the day and this led to a very stimulating discussion around access: historical data-sets are often tied up in issues of IP and copyright & in terms of new technology – this can still be daunting for many people who feel that they lack technological know-how.

These points (and many more) will be picked up at our next Cultural Heritage Network session, which takes place in Liverpool on the 21st of May 2010.

Notes on all of the talks from Feb 10 can be found here:



Games V’s Films

I am currently working with Fact, on a Computer Game Design project with a group of young people at St Francis of Assisi School, Liverpool. The group have spent the past five weeks developing their creative programming skills using a variety of problem solving activities, and they have now started to create their final games.

These include a “Herd ‘Em Up” Zookeeper game called ‘Alpha Animals’, the “Empire building”, ‘McDonalds V’s Burger King’, and a host of other games that I could never have predicted when I gave them their design brief.

Working in small groups, the young people have been set the task of developing a simple computer game, in which their avatar is caught between two conflicting groups. This has given them the chance to develop the first person games that they are excited about, but also necessitates them to program the complex systems of intelligent agents, that make good games interesting and unpredictable.

I have encouraged the group to drag their faces away from the screens as much as possible, using Knex, paper and blu-tac to build tangible representations of code, movement based activities to represent the programming of group interactions, and paper and pens to create these fantastic game design system drawings, like the one above left , which became a mixture of game design document and eco-system diagram.




Canal & – Billboard Installation

Another interesting public manifestation of our ‘Canal &’ collaboration with artist Alan Dunn and Liverpool Biennial is the installation of this huge collage artwork at a billboard site – 227 Knowsley Road, Bootle.

The billboard illustrates some of the many contrasting ideas and suggestions for the future of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal (put forward  by over 2000 Bootle and Seaforth residents.)

Suggestions range from tunnels of love to koi carp, from using the Canal in a Bond film, to safari parks and staging an annual “throw your husbands in’ day.

The piece is installed to coincide with Liverpool Biennial’s ‘Urbanism‘ – 16-20 September, at St Winnies School, Bootle, Liverpool.

Design by artist Alan Dunn + Re-Dock