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Artist Focus 20: Matt Whetherly

Matt Whetherly recently graduated from the University of Lincoln, where he studied Interactive Design for three years. He spent his time there experimenting with techniques and technologies that were new to him. It’s there that he developed such an interest in the possibilities of Arduino and the community that helps others to get projects off the ground. He’s now working on developing his skills further so he can take his work to the next level.
Contact
A lightbulb is considered a symbol of an idea and here the symbol remains, redesigned for the modern and digital age. They represent the spark of imagination against a routine darkness, hanging over the heads of everyone. All it takes is for one person to reach out and touch the heart or mind of another and a chain of events begins. It spreads the idea from person to person, creating a network of like-minded individuals, united by a common perception. This is how you start a revolution.
With social media in a state of hyper connectivity, reaching a large group of people is a more accessible task than ever before. Contact shows how quickly one person can speak to one hundred, the effect of sharing, reblogging and retweeting.

‘In my practice, revolution is about the growing availability and ease of access to technology. Arduino and Raspberry Pi have made projects more viable for novices and non-professionals and the communities that surround them are all about open source code and support. This helps people like me make our ideas possible. Open source is something I believe in, what I do isn’t magic, so there are no secrets to hide.’ – Matt Whetherly

Tune in to Matt’s news: mwhetherlydesign.co.uk
Follow him: @MWheth
Check out his video feed: http://vimeo.com/user2683372

October 1, 2013 on Blog, News updates

Artist Focus 19: Me and the Machine

‘Me and the Machine uses technology cleverly to give you an entirely different worldview.‘ The Guardian
Me and the Machine is a multidisciplinary performance group. Their work combines everyday audiovisual and interactive technology with choreographed screens, live performance and text in adventurous and accessible ways, to question emotions and social relations in the midst of our media-inundated lives. The results range from wearable videos to participative cinema screenings, guerrilla street installations, one-to-one theatre, immersive dance film, ongoing research projects and an online platform for the anonymous exchange of secrets.
Audiences are invited to engage performatively in unique experiences, being dislocated into hybrid realms, somewhere in between reality, poetry and fiction. The high production values and “experimental and risk –taking approach” of these works has been recognized by audiences and colleagues internationally.
The Show of your Life
Historians, novelists and cinema script writers often ponder about the source of those outbursts in history when people revolt and fight for something they feel, think or dream as a more just world. But what about the absence of conflict in those moments when material and affective penury penetrates life, sometimes to the brink of unbearableness? Why do we stand still and remain submissive, ready to accept and implement control and instructions while exploited, oppressed or bored to death?
Perhaps because the enemy is not something as alien as a creepy monster with watery eyes, armed with laser guns? Perhaps not even televised turban-wearing bearded men? In which everyday gestures does the face of the monster reveal?
We invite you for a walk into a very familiar unknown, a house of mystery ready to manage your future all the way to the end of your time. A ground-breaking, horizon-size, hyper-efficient spectacle-machine is under construction here for us, by us, inside us, all over us. We don’t know the end, we don’t know the purpose but we have a system in place and we’re all very nice people, so it can’t go that bad…
It’s easy: put the video-goggles on like a normal pair of glasses, then the headphones and just relax and follow until the show is over – follow the film, follow the rhythm, follow the yellow brick road.
After all, it is all just a film and exit doors are always open… Or are they?
 Tune in to Me and the Machine’s news: http://www.meandthemachine.co.uk

September 30, 2013 on Blog, News updates

Artist Focus 18: Trope

Carol MacGillivray and Bruno Mathez met at Goldsmiths University in 2011, and began an artistic collaboration using their mutually developed technique where concrete objects are animated through selective attention.
These works not only combine their mutual interests in creating embodied, kinetic art, but also are a result of a unique marriage of skills. Carol is a sculptor and researcher, from a background of animation and film editing and spent 20 years working across documentary, drama, music videos, and commercials. Bruno is a French audiovisual artist living in London. He has created visuals for music concerts, operas, dance and theatre shows, as well as exhibiting audiovisual installations.
Conversio
Conversio will re-animate an ancient space through a new medium of screen-less animation.  In this unique installation, specifically designed for the festival, the site of the old ruined wall of Posterngate is transformed by modern technology to become an integrated backdrop to a diasynchronic installation: an audiovisual kinetic sculpture of choreographed time.
Participants are drawn into a dark, underground space to become immersed in an orchestrated metaphorical conversation between Lincoln’s buried past and modern times.
Conversio explores breaking free from the shackles of previous history to create new configurations. In a spectacular industrial ballet, space is carved with chains that link past and present in this old dock of roman times. Visuals are synchronized with sounds that first reflect the ghostly choreography of animated objects then subside to an evocative echoing emptiness.
Conversio is Latin for revolution, meaning in this ancient context ‘turning around’, and this audio-visual installation reflects on the cyclical nature of life, through exploration of the continuous and the transformational. Their work uses loops, which are circuits or revolutions. It is a revolutionary new medium.
The artwork can only be experienced in the space of the installation, it is impossible to reproduce the experience through video or print representation: you have to be there!
Tune in to Trope’s news: http://www.doc.gold.ac.uk/diasynchronoscope/
Follow them: @tropedesign
Connect: /tropedesign
Videos: www.vimeo.com/diasynchronoscope

September 27, 2013 on Blog, News updates

Artist Focus 17: Misdirect Movies

Misdirect Movies focuses on the impact of digital technologies in film and the visual arts and how the digital is forging revolutionary changes in making art and its presentations. The artists’ use of appropriation and the principles of collage have become a dominant force when working with cinema as a source material. The digital revolution has re-opened artists’ questioning of the materiality and non-material nature of the medium of collage.
The exhibition has developed from the research interests and artworks of the curators, Andrew Bracey and John Rimmer. All the selected artists explore these ideas in diverse ways to work with narrative and new forms of materiality. The exhibition features a wide range of media, from projections and monitor-based work through to digital prints, painting and even a microfiche viewer.
The curators are both artists and lecturers: Andrew Bracey is programme leader of MA Fine Art and Contemporary Curatorial Practice at the University of Lincoln and Dr John Rimmer is the academic coordinator of the BA Visual Arts at Bishop Grosseteste University.
Misdirect Movies explores new possibilities of collage using material gleaned from cinema bridging the analogue and the digital. It also focuses on the impact of digital technologies in film and the visual arts and how the digital is forging revolutionary changes in making art and its presentations. The exhibition has developed from the research interests and artworks of the curators, Andrew Bracey and John Rimmer. All the selected artists explore these ideas in diverse ways to work with narrative and new forms of materiality.
Artists
Rosa Barba who is currently based in Berlin has produced a Printed Cinema. This series of artist’s books has been published alongside her film projects, as a form of secondary literature, sourced from film stills, text and photographs.
Manchester based artist Dave Griffiths’ recent work dwells on the physical and fictive borders of cinema. He employs projectionist’s cue dot to activate the narrative potential of marginal images.
Cathy Lomax keeps an ongoing visual diary of all the films that she has watched, selecting one image from each to make into a small, rapidly executed painting.
Elizabeth McAlpine is based in London and works with measured enquiry. She has compiled film footage of Nicolas Roeg’s cult thriller Don’t Look Now from each time that a person blinked during their viewing of the film.
David Reed is a New York based painter whose work refers to film and photography. The Searchers animation references John Ford’s western and recalls an earlier personal experience where the artist had accidently discovered a cave used in the actual film.
 
The exhibition has received funding from Arts Council England.
Tune in to their news: www.misdirectmovies.co.uk

September 27, 2013 on Blog, News updates

Be part of the Frequency team!

Do you want to be part of the Frequency 13 team? ‘Course you do, we’re lovely.
We need dynamic, positive and professional volunteers to help at Frequency events during the Festival.  Whether you can commit to an evening, a day or the whole festival we would like to hear from you.
There are a few positions available for you to apply for:
Events Team Member: This includes VIP events, live music, performance, talks and debates. We need adaptable and responsible people to make sure that visits to these events go smoothly and visitors have a great experience. We need volunteers to: steward live events, assist with hosting delegates and VIP visitors to the festival, assist with the delivery of events.
Exhibition Host: We need volunteers to oversee exhibits/performances/installations during festival week, to engage positively with members of the public to ensure that they enjoy their visit, to promote Frequency, to be a dynamic member of the Frequency team, to oversee the opening and closing of exhibits/installations/etc.
Outdoor Events Volunteer: From Thursday 24th to Saturday the 26th we will be hosting an outdoor programme of live arts. We need volunteers to oversee exhibits/performances/installations during festival week, manage any necessary paperwork related to the exhibit i.e. interpretation sheets, evaluations etc. and guide people towards exhibitions and performances
Street Team Volunteer: We need outgoing street teams to let people know that Frequency is happening and provide information to members of the public. We need volunteers to: distribute flyers, guides etc. within the city centre and surrounding areas, engage with members of the public to excite them about Frequency 2013, give out merchandise i.e. badges etc.
Technical Team: We need volunteers to assist the Technical Team during festival week and during the install and setup period in October, support and help exhibitors.
Please note that some of this work may involve heavy lifting and some physically demanding work as well as outdoor working. Although not all roles require this, please let us know in your application if this is a problem so we can accommodate you.
The great news is, if you like the look of more than one role, for example, you fancy being part of the Technical Team but would like to try your hand at being part of the Street Team, you can! We want you to build as many skills as possible through your involvement with the festival, and we will do all that we can to support you.
If you’d like to apply for one of these positions, or would like some more information, please email Rebecca rebecca@frequency.org.uk

September 27, 2013 on News, News updates

Artist Focus 16: Justin Blinder

Justin Blinder is a Brooklyn-based media artist, programmer, and designer. His work examines how our claims of ownership, criteria for an object’s value, and ways of interacting with others have changed in the digital landscape. Justin’s projects aim to simultaneously provide usable tools and a critical analytical lens, sparking dialogues on how technology and digitization shape our social behaviors. His project Dumpster Drive, a file-sharing application that recycles digital files, helped to build a networked community of users around the ubiquitous, but understudied, digital process of deleting. 
Justin’s projects have received attention from media outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, the BBC, the Guardian, and Gizmodo. Justin holds a BFA in Design and Technology from Parsons the New School for Design. In the past, Justin has worked as a team developer on the open source project ShiftSpace, served as a Research Resident at Uncommon Projects, and was recently a Resident Technologist at EDesign Labs. Justin is currently the Creative Technologist at Sub Rosa, and an Honorary Fellow at Eyebeam Art and Technology Center.
Wi-Fi spotting
Using NYC.gov wireless hotspot data, Wi-Fi Spotting topographically visualizes Wi-Fi saturation in the metropolis.
Taking inspiration from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, the piece questions what is imagined, and what is real, when exploring the physical formation of digital networks. The meta-data of our wireless signals float off of us along specific routes like those on a map, but the structures and architecture of our communications and technologies—our virtual skyline—are not usually seen. By highlighting how our immediate environments are saturated by other’s signals, as part of an on-going revolution of white noise, Wi-Fi Spotting aims to prompt viewers to think about the underlying social contracts hidden in geographic datasets.
At first glance, there is nothing inherently revolutionary about digital files, but once we examine the history of media digitization, the liberatory potential of data to defy their original forms becomes apparent. Casting a critical lens on our digital files raises our awareness of how states govern and surveil data, and what the power dynamics between everyday citizens, corporations, and states should look like. His projects aim to ferment such potential revolutions by harnessing digital excess— the white noise that surrounds us. The binary code of our deleted files, the components rusting in discarded printers that litter the streets, and our ignored search histories contain the seeds of future, heretofore unrecognized changes.
 
Wi-Fi Spotting is part of the Where are we now? exhibition opening 14th September 2013 and running until 12th January 2014 at The Collection.
 Tune in to Justin’s news: www.justinblinder.com
Follow him: @justinblinder
More videos: vimeo.com/justinblinder

September 27, 2013 on Blog, News updates

Artist Focus 15: Graham Cooper

Senior Lecturer at the University of Lincoln, specialising in Digital Media, Graham is also an active digital content creator, producing a wide variety of outputs predominantly used for marketing and promotional purposes. He has been collaborating with audio producer David McSherry on a number of projects ever since 2011, where they produced the promo trailer for the first Frequency Festival.
Graham’s most recent projects include the production of digital set design for a staging of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials at the Royal and Derngate theatre in Northampton, and the creation of 2013’s Cinema advert for the University of Lincoln.
Frequency Festival 2013 promotional animated trailer

In 2011, Graham produced the animated trailer promoting Lincoln’s first digital culture festival, and has returned again this year to do the same. Collaborating with David Mcsherry once again, this year’s work has a familiar yet fresh style and feel. The trailer in particular was influenced by the idea of a ‘Call to arms’, intended to stir the audience into action.
In 2011 Graham produced the visuals onto which David supplied the soundtrack. This year, David produced the audio initially, to which Graham responded. The old switcheroo.
Tune in to Graham’s news: jayumcooper.co.uk
Follow him: @jayumcooper 

September 26, 2013 on Blog, News updates

Artist Focus 14: Urban Projections

‘We love the multi-layered approach Rebecca and Pete have taken to combine art and technology–it’s new and innovative. We look forward to seeing how this series develops. Enjoy!’ Wooster Collective
Stylus is an adventure between modern mural painter Pete Barber and digital artist, Rebecca Smith. It explores progressive forms of combining projection mapping with hand crafted image. In a live performance, both elements evolve and interact, to create a canvas of movement, light and paint. Dubbed the ‘Living Mural’, the pairs unconventional approach has led to critical acclaim from both the street and digital art communities.
Burn Yard Live
Their most recent work burn Yard™ Live in Budapest, brought a new creative energy to discarded, obsolete objects and made them beautiful again, the artists collaborated to transform the space with graffiti, street art murals and digital projections. Set against their backdrop of artistic collision, the event itself showcased contributions from some of the world’s leading artists and creatives, including; Gerry Judah, Dilk, M-City, Avicii, 2 Shy, Kimi Räikkönen, Bázis, Saddo + Aitch, Suflo, Sergey and Kirill from Russia’s Zuk Club, Faker, Dezmond and Rune Glifberg.
Stylus 

Mixing paint and projection, Urban Projections, create a stunning and fascinating piece of ever changing art. Set against the backdrop of St. Benedicts Square they make the city of Lincoln their canvas, enticing audiences to question what they think they are seeing…
“Our intention for the Stylus piece at the Frequency Festival is to create a site specific installation that plays with ubiquitous propaganda imagery. The images will evolve over three days revealing layers of subtle detail and changes that distort the image and the audiences understanding of what’s being created. Under projection we will play with the perception of space and moving image confusing the viewer and creating a sense of wonder as audiences question what is real or painted and what is the projected image”
Urban Projections will be presenting Stylus as part of Frequency Out of Hours 24th-26 Oct 6pm till late.
For more information: Urban Projections at Freq 13
Tune in to Urban Projections news: wearestylus.com
Follow them: @Urb_Projections
Connect: /urban.projections

September 26, 2013 on Blog, News updates

Artist Focus 13: Jean Arbeu

‘When he isn’t hugging the stage in graceful rolls and protracted handstands, the choreography engages him in punchy rhythms and circular motions.’ The Times
Brazilian born choreographer and performer Jean Abreu choreographed his first work in 2003, and later that year was honoured with the Jerwood Choreography Award. Since then, his work has toured throughout the UK, Europe and Brazil including performances for London Dance Umbrella and the Southbank Centre.
He founded Jean Abreu Dance in 2009 and subsequently created Parallel Memories in collaboration with Brazilian choreographer Jorge Garcia, which premiered at the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and toured to Brazil.
In 2012 Jean collaborated with Director Topher Campbell on a Channel 4 film commission that was part of the Random Acts series curated by the Ballet Boyz. He also researched and developed a new work Blood for its premiere in May 2013, which will be showing at Frequency 13.
Blood
The challenge in making Blood has been to lose a fear of the technological revolution that is happening around us. Soon most of our interactions will involve a digital interface of some kind, and Blood brings these two worlds together. Human interface and technology.
A captivating multi-sensory experience that goes beyond dance – Jean Abreu’s new work is a celebration of the strange beauty of life. Microscopic images of bodily fluids created by Gilbert & George from 1996-1998 are magnified and animated by digital artists Mirko Arcese and Luca Biada into a fluid, organic environment that both responds to and is manipulated by Abreu in this intensely physical performance.
Blood is also the first time Gilbert & George have allowed their paintings to be used in performance.
Revolution represents change, a challenge to what comes before. Like the world is in motion and new things are to come.
 
Tune in to Jean’s news: http://www.jeanabreudance.com/
At Frequency: http://freq17.wpengine.com/frequency-2013/jean-abreu
Follow him: @jeanabreu

Follow his Tumblr account: jeanabreuBLOOD.tumblr.com
Watch a trailer: http://vimeo.com/user2982395
 

September 24, 2013 on Blog, News updates

Artist Focus 12: Brian House

Brian House is a media artist whose work traverses alternative geographies, experimental music, and a critical data practice. By constructing embodied, participatory systems, he seeks to negotiate between algorithms and the rhythms of everyday life. He is currently a doctoral student at Brown University in the Music and the Modern Culture and Media departments and teaches in the Digital + Mesdia program at RISD.
Quotidian Record
Quotidian record is a vinyl record made from recoding the artist’s location date over an entire year.
Every place, city, country the artist visited were record using GPS on a phone and then assigned a musical note.
Each rotation of the record represents a day and night in the artist’s life, a 24 hour period.
There are 365 rotations on the record, the entire year lasts 11 minutes.
The sounds suggest that our daily rituals and travels have an inner rhythm. Might these daily rhythms create a new kind of portrait of an individual?
Joyride
Joyride shows us the path of a stolen iPhone over 5 days. By utilising the application OpenPaths, the artist was able to track Sue’s phone and even locate the house of the thief. Brian then used this data coupled with images from Google Earth to recreate the phone’s journey.
The artist, working like a detective had to piece together the most likely path the phone would have taken between the regular intervals of its GPS signal using Google directions to help join the dots. The jolted video stems from the way in which Google earth only shows us images from set intervals along a pathway.
If our phones are sending out signals constantly, we can use home computers to track a stolen phone and recreate its journey. We must consider how much other date is being collected about our movements, just as this work represents the journey of a stolen phone, it could have easily been the phone in your pocket. Where are we now and more importantly who knows?
Brian House presents us with on one level the artwork, but also the subtext of how much do we really want to share? How much control do we have, if any, over our date and in turn our privacy?
Revolution is a return to form, new voices for first principles, it is the body in the data, the sound in the network, the hack that reveals the truth.
 
Tune in to Brian’s news: http://brianhouse.net
Follow him: @h0use
More videos here: http://vimeo.com/brianhouse

September 23, 2013 on Blog, News updates

#RiseoftheSocialPlatforms

Before I start this blog, I’d just like to clarify a couple of things:
•I love social media
•I am however writing this as a pessimist
•I am aware of the irony of complaining about social media and then promptly advertising this blog post on Twitter.
Social Technology has advanced far beyond our expectations, it has invaded the vast majority of our everyday activities becoming a regular tool for communication. Facebook can be regarded as the dominant social medium, since it started in 2004 it has gained 1.16 billion users, roughly 16% of the planets population. A study conducted in association with Bournemouth University called The World Unplugged found that students that gave up technology for a certain period experienced withdrawal symptoms similar to that of a drug or alcohol addict. We are encouraged to upload everything on to the interest, photos, occupation, education, what we had to eat last night, it is worrying how transparent our lives have become.
On the other hand social technology has given us the incredible opportunity to experience other peoples lives and cultures around the world from the comfort of our own homes, we have unprecedented access to celebrities personal lives through Twitter and Instagram. It enables us to keep in touch with people living far away and because of this the act of leaving home is starting to become less of a worry . By using various social mediums families are contained with a “virtual household” which is capable of keeping members instantly connected over vast distances. Therefore it can be argued that due to new social mediums, families are more likely to maintain close relationships throughout their lives.
So, social media is great by the sounds of it, who can argue with the simple fact that it brings people closer and helping us to understand new and exciting cultures. But I believe that there is a darker side to this glorious social revolution. Social mediums are simultaneously bringing the world together and driving it apart. It contains us in a social bubble, privatising all our interaction methods, forcing us to always communicate through a membrane, for example a mobile phone or a laptop. Ultimately this could cause the decline of face to face interaction.
Most social activities have been privatised with the arrival of various technologies. When the Walkman was invented in 1979 it allowed a music collection to become portable. More importantly, that the user was the only person that could listen to the music. The act of enjoying music went from something that was often shared between multiple people, in an open environment to a private indulgence, a method in which an individual could escape.
Fast forward to 2001 and the explosion of the iPod in to popular culture and you do not have to look to far to see people in the streets with headphones plugged in to their heads. I am not claiming to be a saint, free from all social sins, as I write this I have music plugged in to the drown out the general noise of the public. Two earphones in is becoming the universal sign for “please do not talk to me, I am not interested”
As an architect in training, I am very passionate about spaces, places and people. I have made a habit of studying the decline of the public realm. Urban design could be an integral response to the change in interaction methods between humans as it represents the physical side of communication, one that is no longer the priority when it comes to creating and maintaining social ties. If we can create spaces that integrate technology with the motive of encouraging people to venture out from behind their screens and interact with each other, then, like computer software, we should update public spaces across the globe.
Through my studies I have discovered some scholars that believe that priority of Western public spaces was to beautify the urban environment, with visual order being of greatest importance, so, although methods of interaction are changing, the public areas in which we used to communicate were never designed in the first place to accommodate the public as a priority. This could set the scene for an overhaul of social spaces in urban areas.
In the modern age the streets have become the hunting ground for the shopper, stalking the jungle that is the modern high streets. You could argue that shopping is the last form of social activity. I feel that there needs to be a rethink of public spaces, one that incorporates new methods of interaction. Our current spaces are outdated, unused and will fall in to ruin if something does not change. I have seen people freak out of the realisation that their phone is running out of battery. So why not create a public square with it’s own power source? In a perfect world, you could harness the kinetic energy of people walking across the square to power this refueling station. Add in a free wi-fi hotspot and some flexible street furniture and you’ve got a public space that people can use as a resting place, charge themselves and their phones and venture on. Of course this idea is expensive but if a space is well designed then higher quality interaction will occur in it. Therefore people will be more likely to reuse the space. If you were to encase this space with shops (predictable I know) and the result is a space that contributes to it’s energy consumption, encourages people to spend money and raises the cities social status.
The need to understand and include social mediums in public spaces is urgent, because they are going from strength to strength with no sign of slowing down. The simple truth is that we cannot escape from the revolution we are currently experiencing. The golden age of social technology will only continue to gain momentum. The main challenge that designers face when confronting the modern style of interaction through social networking is that there is a lack of theoretical knowledge to truly understand how this shift in interaction methods is affecting us. This means that the reorganising of public spaces is faltering. Until we can acknowledge that social platforms have changed the way we interact, our public spaces will lay dormant. If we accept the fact that social technologies are challenging the preset ways we interact with and try to work with the new mediums, in both professional work and design contexts, public spaces will emerge as areas in cities that fully harness the flow of human movement. Virtual and physical occupants will be able to converse with each other to create a rich engaging tapestry of human interaction. The social revolution has already begun, architects and planners cannot afford to wait much longer until they react.
Please feel free to give me your thoughts and feelings on this subject, I am planning to base my Masters thesis on social technology and the design of public space so the more feedback I get the better.

September 22, 2013 on Blog, News updates

Touch presents…

A big one for us, we’re really excited to announce we will be bringing Touch presents… Chris Watson and Hildur Guðnadóttir, Anna von Hausswolff, and The Eternal Chord to Lincoln Cathedral.
After the success of Spire at Lincoln Cathedral at Frequency 2011, this is going to be something truly special.
Tickets will be available from us, on this very site, from October 1st. At only £5 (£3 students/concessions/under-16s) for world renowned artists, it’s a bit of a no-brainer really.
More event details, and info on the artists here.

September 22, 2013 on News, News updates