Our first programme cohort, starting January 2016.
Noise Orchestra are sound artists Vicky Clarke and David Birchall. They use light, electronics, and graphical scores to turn images and objects into noise – a process called ‘graphical sound’.
In 2015 they were artists-in-residence at the National Media Museum and ‘played the collections’ using light synthesiser circuits in a live light-and-sound show. Inspired by the radical spirit of the 1920s Russian avant-garde, Noise Orchestra recently undertook a research trip to Moscow to uncover the pioneering artists and inventions at the dawn of synthesised/electronic music.
On the Arts+Tech programme, they have developed Noise Machines that form part of an interactive audio and visual installation that investigates light, sculpture, space and NOISE!
Angela Davies is an interdisciplinary artist based in Wales. She draws upon a hybrid of craft disciplines and creative technologies (photonics, electronics, robotics, interactivity, coding and moving image) to create sculpture, installation and performative art forms. Layering and light is used to cross boundaries between real and illusionary space.
During the Arts+Tech programme Angela has developed a complex interactive light sculpture. Spyglass is an immersive and otherworldly robotic light navigator which illuminates hand-blown glass spheres; testing and pushing the boundaries of craft and creative technologies to explore the optical qualities of glass and audience interaction. Angela is looking to develop this work for architectural lighting, as well as public spaces and arts festivals. Longer-term aspirations are to experiment with cinematic lighting for theatre and performance-based works.
Ultimately, her work is about discovering and presenting connections between art, science, technology and nature. These core themes are the foundation for setting up her own cross-disciplinary studio and gallery space: Studio MADE in Denbigh, North Wales.
Artist duo One Five West make interactive artworks activated through movement, sound and touch. They are interested in how a mixture of physical and digital technology can initiate haptic and sensory engagements, turning the audience into participant, and passer-by into performer.
Their new body of work developed through Arts+Tech has resulted in the creation of Larks: handheld, portable objects that can be hooked, stuck and strapped to street furniture - offering tools for creation, and transforming cities into playgrounds. New to physical computing and coding at the beginning of the programme, One Five West have learned to utilise DIY technologies in order to create opportunities for playful engagements for audiences.
Recent projects include: ‘Wardrobes Project’, a commission from The REP Theatre, Birmingham (2015), ‘Code and Carpentry’, an ACE-funded exhibition at Fierce Festival (2015), and a residency and exhibition at Birmingham Open Media (2015).
Irfan is a renowned international DJ and owner of independent record label Rainy City Music. He has recently recorded music for two of the most acclaimed electronic music labels; Innervisions and MCDE, and performed alongside the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra and Brazilian actor-musician Seu Jorge.
The music on Irfan’s label has been played on BBC Radio 6 (Gilles Peterson).
PITCHED BLACK, Irfan’s work in progress, highlights his move away from DJing towards a more conceptual live digital performance. Drawing on multiple influences including Drexciya, blind musicians Amadou and Mariam, and the Mediterranean night crossings of Syrian refugees, this initial work explores journeys, and the darker sensory nature of electronic music.
As a participatory artist working for organisations such as the Whitworth Art Gallery, Barnaby Festival and Winchester Discovery Centre, Gemma’s practice expands and magnifies textile processes to engage the public with making and heritage.
Using accessible materials and processes, Gemma seeks to capture experiences of ‘flow’ during participation. Whilst on Arts+Tech, Gemma has been researching and trialing psychophysiological sensors as a means for capturing this experience, developing a combined bio-sensor which transmits live data wirelessly. A key part of this investigation has been finding mechanisms which are non-invasive and appropriate for use within participatory settings. Ultimately, Gemma wishes to explore collective biometric feedback mechanisms, through which participant experiences could be shared visually and simultaneously.
Gemma is currently working with a computer scientist specialising in physiological interactive systems; to develop non-invasive wearable biometrics as interactive tools for measuring collective engagement within cultural spaces.
James Medd is an artist, musician, and maker. His work comprises entertainment, accessibility, and whimsy. He likes to make physical and digital things, for both fun and functionality. In the past he’s made sculptures that move and respond to natural human input, inserted technology into some unusual places – including kettles and letterboxes – filtered popular culture down to morbid and inane minutiae, and transferred electronic circuits to canvas.
The Awkward Arcade, developed during Arts+Tech, is a real-life experimental video arcade showcasing games that make you move and think in ways uncommon within mainstream games culture. The majority of these games have never been shown outside of a purely digital environment before, and have been specially curated specifically for the Awkward Arcade. The project seeks to highlight the positive artistic innovation happening in smaller games design and interactive art.
The current form of the installation is a row of standing-height arcade cabinets, based on the style of classic games machines played throughout the 1980s. This iconic design is ideal for the context of a varied and exciting showcase, originating in an era where gaming took place in public spaces inviting exploration. This platform was one that players could approach and engage with quickly, immersing themselves in an experience that demanded their immediate attention once they began. The Awkward Arcade marries this timeless setting with the often difficult-to-pin-down nature of short-form games delivered via the web browser – giving modern work the power of the arcade.
Rachael is a professional musician and music teacher.
In 2014, motivated by a desire to help children with profound learning difficulties, Rachael started using low-cost technology to make everyday objects (such as tupperware) produce music. Through their interactions with these objects, children are encouraged to complete everyday tasks, grow in confidence, and develop greater control over their physical environment.
Rachael won the 2015 Tech4Good IT Volunteer of the Year award for her work at the Seashell Trust – which included the creation of a range of prototypes, including ‘musical bowls’ which encourage students to overcome a reluctance to touching different textures.
During the Arts+Tech programme Rachael has developed a prototype for a musical zip, designed as a playful way to encourage students to develop fine motor skills. After increasing demand from SEN schools for another of her prototypes – the VibroTub – Rachael has also been exploring ways of reducing the cost of its key components (and those of assistive music technology in general), with the ultimate goal of making these specialist resources much more widely available for UK children, their carers, teachers, and families.
Rachael is looking to build upon the research and development from Arts+Tech to create a series of low-cost DIY kits aimed at the SEN market.
Lawrence Molloy is a sculptor, anarchist, and all-round curious person.
During Arts+Tech, Molloy has explored traces and ephemera through Invisible Sculptures and objects that return to oblivion. Extensive research brought Molloy to the conclusion that scaling resin sculptures to an architectural scale would be possible but prohibitively expensive. He then decided to explore how he could use digital technology to enhance his ongoing Match Tree project.
Having been making trees from matches since 2007, they are an obsession of Molloy’s. Each unique tree contains 2,000 to 50,000 matches and takes between 30 hours and three months to create. The intricate detail of each tree is species specific, and recreates the structure of each individual tree. These seductive illustrations of time are often then burned.
While the trees themselves have an internal poetry and logic, Molloy had always intended that they be used as vehicles to discuss wider issues of cost, labour and capital.
To this end he is developing a time-based and interactive event, which places the production and destruction of trees at its centre.
Point Line Plane is a Collaboration between Kasia Mackowiak and Jakub Rozanski.
During the Arts+Tech programme, Kasia exhibited at Milan Design Week. Jakub is a recent winner of the Deutsche Bank Award for Creative Enterprise in Architecture.
Coming from backgrounds in product design and architecture, Point Line Plane believe that reinventing tools and materials is an important means of inspiration, allowing new forms of expression to take shape.
Point Line Plane has focused on two areas of development during Arts+Tech: In Personal Manufacturing the designers have looked at the potential of extruding processes and their alternative applications in the design world. With their PlayClay extruder, they explore the relationship between man and machine: challenging existing ceramic techniques to create a new playground for a wider audience.