Arduino Workshop

On Saturday 21st May I attended a workshop on Digital Aesthetics at Spacex , Exeter. The workshop was led by ?Graham Dean of HighWire at Lancaster University and focussed on working with Arduinos. It was organised to coincide with the exhibition The Recipe Exchange by Helen Pritchard.

We were introduced to the Arduino, an opensource microprocessor, and looked at different applications of these by artists and designers. We then spent the day writing code, wiring the ‘breadboard’ and assembling functioning digital objects.

As an opensource technology these offer opportunities to artists to work outside the branded and licenced environment and to be part of an international community of designers, developers and artists. In the short workshop we got to make LEDs function, going on and off to a set time, added a sound emitting element, and set up a manual control to affect the speed of blinking, and a light response input to affect light output.

All very basic in ways, but also the building blocks or base elements for potentially much more complex objects. The video shows our simple construction.

arduino workshop

Low Profile launch Build Your Own

On April 15th I attended the launch of ‘Build Your Own’ a new project by Low Profile (Rachel Dobbs and Hannah Jones) at DXDX Studios, Plymouth. The project has developed out of the artists’ reaction to the structures and institutions around practice-based / practice-led PhDs in the Arts. Faced with difficulties of finding a context where they might pursue a joint research project, or find funding to support a significant period of joint research, Dobbs and Jones have embarked on raising the funds and resourcing to Build Their Own …

The event was held at the new DXDX artists’ studios at Regent Street, Plymouth.

Low Profile

DXDX Studios

Review of Tim Ellis exhibition at Spacex, Exeter

Tim Ellis, The Tourist

exhibition at Spacex Exeter

12 March to 30 April 2011

On Saturday 12th March, I attended the launch of Tim Ellis’s exhibition ‘The Tourist’ at Spacex, Exeter. I’ve posted a review of the show on the Interface section of the a-n website.

The body of new work, a mix of sculptures, installation and paintings, sits well in the varied room spaces at Spacex. The work is amusing and witty, drawing together aspects of Modernist aesthetic with contemporary bricollage to critique the certainties or ideals of the Modern, and to question our easy dismissal of Modernist aspirations.

Review at Interface (

A print version of the review will be published in AN Magazine, June 2011.

Creative Conversations: Art, Culture & Society

Creative Conversations: Art, Culture & Society

March 3rd 2011

Pool Innovation Centre, Redruth Cornwall

This event reviewed the work to date on Creative Inclusion in design and planning for the Heartlands Project. This is a large scale Lottery funded regeneration project on the site of the former Robinson’s Shaft mine near the village of Pool, between Redruth and Camborne in Cornwall. I was invited to participate in this event by Sarah Williams, who is Project Manager Art and Culture for Cornwall Council.

The morning included a set of presentations and facilitated conversations that addressed a number of the key concerns of the Heartlands team. The presentations reviewed the strategies for Creative Inclusion during the planning and development process for Heartlands, and introduced some of the inclusive design methods that were used. This included work by Bas Raijmakers of STBY, Yanki Lee, and Kingsley Baird. Those present were then divided into groups of about eight people and invited to discuss future possibilities for arts and culture within the project.

Working with two themes, we generated material that will be collated to influence the next stages of Heartlands. The first theme was, “Can art and culture tackle inequalities, create stronger communities and invite different people to the table?” and the second was, “Could and should, art and culture continue to make an active and forceful contribution to Heartlands in the future? What are / will be Heartlands core ‘creative’ activities?”. Both topics produced lively and diverse comments, with some strong strands emerging in particular around the need for key leadership on the cultural direction of Heartlands. The project team were congratulated on the methods of inclusion implemented so far, and it was felt that they offered a strong model for other community or area regeneration projects.

After lunch at the Pool Innovation Centre, we were taken on a tour of the Heartlands site. It is a huge area, stretching from Pool village, to South Crofty Mine, and from the back of Pool Indoor Market to Cornwall College. The overall project will be an exciting addition to the cultural landscape of Cornwall, in particular for the Pool, Redruth and Camborne area which in many ways is less developed than other parts of Cornwall.