What is the impact on our relationship with the environment – when existing in a world where sensor monitors constantly interpret our daily surroundings, prescription producing endless streams of data? Are we moving into the final phrase of Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction?
The Weather Camera is Kjen Wilkens response to her search for a human presence within this deluge of electronic readings. Instead of taking a photograph to a record a special moment, the user of The Weather Camera can record the atmospheric conditions, weaving these into autobiographical memory. In time encouraging new methods of narration, titled by the designer as “Sensor Poetics.”
Described as “object of empowerment”, Becky Pilditch‘s prothestics showcase how functional pieces of designs can be both a thing of beauty and an extension of the wearer’s personality. Becky worked and developed the project with Holly Franklin .
Hand 8 the final part of the project, played with ideas of gesture and personality by creating numerous arms that related to Holly’s actions as she spoke or moved around a space. A fantastic aspect of the website is the blog, which can be used by other prosthetic limb users to feed back directly to the project.
In the Animation section of the exhibition Lauri Warsta’s Traumdeutung awaited. A wonderful animation baring the hallmarks (whatever that may mean…) of a “documentary,” the calming, not too dissimilar to the 1940′s DONT PANIC! voiceover narrated the data currently available on the subject matter: The Global Reserves of Dreams. The beauty in this short is it bared the possibility that it was itself entirely a dream.
The subtle block coloring of the animation maintained a ‘warmth’ more similar to hand drawn animation, that can sometimes be lost in 3D animation. An outcome of the animator’s experiments in combining ” two extremes (3D and Handmade) clash and merge. For example; bringing the uncontrollable movement of real hand-held footage to an otherwise sterile computer animation”
Adnan Lalani‘s experiment with augmented reality catches the attention, through being something the viewer can interact with. The action of turning the Pop Up Book’s pages is suplimented by additional narration appearing on the screen placed directly behind the book and inline with the viewers eye.
Below is a video documenting the Pop Up Book’s Prototype. Earlier this week Adnan kindly took a few moments to explain the idea behind combining the narrative structure of a Pop Up Book with Augmented reality: “The pop-up book felt like a natural compliment to augmented reality. I was hoping to see how AR could be used in a more tactile, playful context… i.e. take something we already know and play with, and allow it to be enhanced with animation and digital interactivity.”
Eventually Adnan hopes that as we grow more comfortable with the idea of Augmented Reality, ideas like the Pop Up book ” can allow a progression from the magical, novelty nature of AR, into more of a direct tool by which to communicate narratives and story telling”
The eye catching work of Design Interaction Graduate Louise O’Conner; used experimental dance to convey the movement of the smallest particles, for example: Atoms, in an attempt to connect us to movements that are beyond our physical awareness. Visit the exhibition to watch the film!
A particular lovely idea was the mapping out of the distances of the solar system along Kingsland High Street leading up to Stamford Hill. Eight Shopkeepers were asked if their shop would host one of the planets…
You can find the map and information about the project here:
Katrin Baumgarten’s Aesthetics of Disgust explores humans’ relationship and our reactions; both emotional and physical to the things or materials which disgust us. Using inanimate objects all too often taken for granted, (i.e. Light Switches) Kartin added disturbing features such as goo or hair that moved as the light switch is pressed. By ‘touching’ us back, the presence of these inanimate objects is brought back to the forefront of our attention.
In the installation at the Royal College of Art a screen documents the level of the reaction of each user.
Another subject explored by Katrina is Intimate touch or sexual disgust and how these feelings can be created “merely by inappropriate behaviours in society, such as touching another person in an intimate or sexual way in public, even though that might comfort the two persons involved and is a part of our human nature.” The outcome of which is the Intimate Touch Object, an item which enables you to touch another person secretly…
FINALLY on my second trip (yes second, it’s that big and really worth the time) I came across the brilliant work of Sivaprakash Shanmugam’s Expressive Scribble. Children draw onto the projector screen (this could be the kitchen floor, wall etc…) and an bring their drawings to life by clicking the ‘movie’ button. The idea being to “enrich their visual vocabulary,” sense of narrative and most importantly encourage children’s creativity.
Part two of the RCA show continues until 4th July 2010. It’s open from 11-8 daily at the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU. Admission is free.
Images Courtesy of the Students and addition photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft
Kirsty Almeida by Lisa Stannard.
On Friday we kicked off with Kirsty Almeida, generic who you can read more about in our interview here. My description of her music as bayou blues meets dub bass might suit her recorded material, but for this small show Kirsty ditched the big band that would later be accompanying her on the Avalon stage and instead took a more stripped back acoustic approach, dressed in a fetching stripy all-in-one pants suit.
Kirsty Almeida by Lisa Stannard.
A particularly creative course of action was required from all the percussionists who visited the Tripod Stage and, in between rattling and banging a wide variety of objects, Kirsty’s drummer once again stole the show… dancing and gurning in accompaniment to her song about the “wrong Mr Right” in a thoroughly endearing fashion.
One of a breed of strong female musicians who have no desire to fit the normal pliable record label mould, Kirsty was relaxed and chatty during her songs: an absolute delight. Her album Pure Blue Green comes out on Decca on 31st August, and she finished painting the album artwork just last night!
Kirsty on the Tripod Stage: I loved how creative yet peaceful the area was. The stage was so beautifully bonkers it brought our bonkersness out of us and gave us a licence to be cheeky too.
Kirsty’s favourite part of Glastonbury: Definitely all the street entertainers. I loved The Dead Weather too but for us as performers the highlight was definitely the chance to entertain and share our music.
Following Kirsty we had a session from Newislands, who despite worries that they would not be able to make a big enough noise managed to wow a small but perfectly formed mid afternoon crowd with their melodic post rock.
Newislands by Abigail Daker.
It was only after the gig that I discovered they were missing their bassist Bogart…. we are mutual friends of the Mystery Jets and met many years ago at a small festival called Blissfields that we all went to together. Later that night Bogart called on me in my tent with Marina Pepper. I was fast asleep and woke with the fear of God in me…. it wasn’t the best way to be reintroduced but apparently he insisted on seeing me “the nicest person he knows” – I look forward to meeting Bogart again one day when I am wide awake.
Lead singer David’s best bit about playing the Tripod Stage: Well apart from the lovely stage itself, complete with the best speaker system I’ve ever seen, receiving a cup of tea from yourselves midway through the set, was pretty special.
David’s Glastonbury highlight: Apart from playing two amazing gigs, (one for you and one for BBC Introducing), seeing Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood on stage together was ace… “For a minute there I lost myself…”
Newislands are playing at Napa Live in Cyprus and then return to the UK to play the Farm Festival. A new single, followed by their debut album, will be released soon. You can watch their other Glastonbury performance here.
We then had our first session from Climate Camp poets Danny Chivers, Claire Fauset and Merrick – all of whom deliver brilliant spoken word commentaries on the state of the world. Danny and Claire have a way of making the environmental/political mess we are in make complete and simple sense, and Merrick takes on the whole system. Why do we work? If you’ve heard Merrick speak you’ll question the sense in ever getting a job.
After a somewhat more subdued ceilidh we were then treated to the most extraordinary live set from Danny and the Champions of the World, who decided to ditch most of the electrical amplification and instead sprawl towards their audience in a great acoustic morass.
This band was made for live gigs…. myself and Dom, the banjo player in Green Kite Midnight, were so enthralled by the set that we dusted ourselves down after dinner and set off to hear them once more at the Croissant Neuf bandstand. Danny is a massively confident and skilled musician who has clearly been playing for years: talents like his ought to be better celebrated.
Danny and the Champions of the World by Donna McKenzie.
Danny liked playing the Tripod Stage because: the audience was really great and there was an atmosphere that seemed very ‘other’ to the mad hustle and bustle of the rest of the festival – like a haven of good vibes and togetherness, like a family or maybe like what my minds eye would conjure up when I think of festivals in the 60′s. We really just love playing and it’s always great to pass the instruments around, have fun with friends and sing a bunch of songs, and it felt like the perfect time for that – we could’ve played for hours. The lentil dal [for supper] was a treat too!
Danny’s favourite part of Glastonbury this year: I guess the best part of it was getting to play music with friends to loads of folks. We were lucky enough to play on a bunch of different types of stages so we got a pretty broad experience of it all – we played about seven times which was amazing… but my feet still ache! It’s what we live to do: drink a few ciders and pass the guitar around.
Danny and the Champions of the World on the road: Our band really lives and breathes on the road, meeting good people and having a great time playing tunes. We’re doing… Maverick, Cornbury, Lounge on the Farm, Deershed, Secret Garden Party, Port Elliot, Truck Festival, Summer Sundae and Greenbelt – and maybe a couple more that I’ve forgotten. We’ll probably start to record a new record at the end of the year.
But, it didn’t end there…. like a magic jack-in-the-box, there were more surprises in store. Out of the band popped a duo who’s music I have loved since the very moment their album plopped onto my doormat. Like a butterfly emerging (from a particularly sexy and gorgeous caterpillar) Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou shed the rest of the musicians to perform a few gorgeous tunes of their own. I was beaming like a motherfucker by this point.
A surprise performance from Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou.
And then… I discovered that the band line up also features the delightful brothers who run Truck Festival, a great independent music festival near Oxford. They also run the smaller and folkier Wood Festival which takes place at the gorgeous Braziers Park, a sustainable community where I have camped on many an occasion. I really hope I can hook up with them some more. A nicer and more talented bunch of folk I have seldom met.
This man runs Truck Festival.
Moving on, my next blog tackles a very busy Saturday on the Tripod Stage – read it here.
- Climate Camp at Glastonbury 2010: Line up information
- Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Tripod Stage Review: Thursday
- Climate Camp Tripod Stage at Glastonbury 2010: How did it all go?
- Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Tripod Stage Review: Saturday
- Glastonbury 2010 Climate Camp Tripod Stage Review: Sunday