I spent some time this summer creating a mediascape for the Sweet History? project. The project run by the Architecture Centre in Bristol aims to make information about the heritage built environment of Bristol interesting and accessible to young people and lifelong learners. It explored the impact of the sugar and slave trade on the heritage built environment of Bristol, and enabled young people from the Archimedia group (Knowle West Media Centre) to create a host of digital media on the subject.
Using the young people’s audiovisual content as a starting point a website, a trail map and finally the mediascape have been built introducing 23 landmark buildings and houses linked to 18th century Bristol and the triangular trades of sugar, slaves and tobacco.
For information and downloads visit www.sweethistory.org
Hewlett Packard have recently launched a new version of their Mediascape software and an accompanying website where the software and Mediascapes can be downloaded. Along with other artists myself and Paul Matson were commissioned to create a Mediascape using photography as the starting point. The piece had to be non location specific which meant that its content had to be generic in nature and the overall concept one that everyone could relate to. Paul and I chose to work with an underwater theme. Our aim was to create a Mediascape experience that would be instinctively recognisable by many people, and would require little explanation on how to use it.
The piece is not meant to be a ‘realistic’ diving simulator, but through the use of sound and image provide the participant with a taster of what the actual experience might bring. Simple animated slideshows suggest movement, while the sound complements and suggests potential diving scenarios. Scubascape is not competitive and contains no gaming element; it’s about immersing yourself in the audio/visual experience, exploring the four different dives and having fun.
Although the initial version of Scubascape was designed, built and tested in central Bristol, a portable version is also available so the piece can be experienced anywhere. Scubascape can be downloaded from the mscapers website: Scubascape
‘imagined narratives #1‘ was shown as part of this years Southbank Arts Trail. It is an exploration in creating narrative from a set of seemingly un-related images.
Each person had their own idea of what the story might be; there was no right or wrong. Peoples ideas varied wildly, some stories filled with joy, others covering darker ground.
I would like to extend the work by providing postcards for the participants to send their feedback. Peoples stories could then be posted on the web thus extending the interactive nature of the piece.
‘here nor there’ is a locative art walk inspired by the Situationist ‘dérive’ or randomly motivated walk. Essentially about walking and discovery the piece allows you to wander freely in the area between the churches of St Paul’s Southville, St Mary’s Redcliffe and Bristol Cathedral, and whilst doing so rediscover images and sounds recorded during my own walks. These are triggered by GPS and relayed to your handheld computer screen and headphones.
Created using the Mobile Bristol Authoring Tool ‘here nor there’ is part calculated and programmed bu t also dependent on chance and spontaneous unknown factors. The piece reframes your experience of location and by fusing art and technology it employs a strategy from the past whilst pointing to, and suggesting possibilities for the future.
An interactive work created in Macromedia Director. The piece explores the processes of construction and deconstruction of visual imagery, and the psychology of colour and sound. It allows the user to manipulate six photographic images (split into nine segments) and their associated soundscapes in order to create a series of photographic and aural montages.
The piece is a prototype for an art-based installation. Ideally ‘Sides of Me’ would inhabit a cube shaped room where all surfaces are used for the projection of images and where speakers mounted on the back, left and right walls will help to envelop and engage the user through surround sound.
I can’t quite believe it, but after three years I’ve finished my MA in Interactive Media at UWE. I’m really pleased with my final piece, the locative art walk ‘here nor there’; it works really well and certainly makes you think and experience the city in a new way.
The image here (a bit small to do it justice) is a collaged map representing all the walks I made during the creation of the piece. It shows all the audio visual content zones, but with the underlying roads removed.
So, time to relax and think about the future….