This month we are lucky to be travelling all over, meeting new friends and playmates, checking out festivals and events and sharing the work we’ve been doing on the Random String Fellowship programme. We started in October with Dom & Susan making a flying visit to Amsterdam to check out the MediaLab at Cinekid. Great to see such a well established (and well supported!) festival in full swing, particularly with such a focus on participatory practice. In November, things start to get a little crazy: Nov 8th, doing our best to distract ourselves from the US election, we will be hosting a Pecha Kucha Night takeover at The Tin Music and Arts on the theme of Adventures in Art and Technology. Nov 9-13th, Susan & Paul will be heading north of the border to the NEoN Festival and Symposium in Dundee Nov 10-11th, Anne will be in Manchester for the Crafts Council Make:Shift innovation conference building our networks and looking at how we can get contemporary crafts better represented at Random String next year Nov 18th, Dom & Anne will be taking the RS Fellows down to Bristol to host a lunchtime talk at Pervasive Media Studio and catch up with our friends at Knowle West Media Centre If you are coming along to any of the above, please do drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org or @ludicrooms in all the usual places. We like making...
This week Dom will be in residence at Daimler House, home of Imagineer Productions, working on R&D for ‘Wandering Web’, a new piece which will hopefully see full fruition in 2017. Wandering Web is part participatory interactive art project, part giant rope-crafted spider’s web, part ouija board, part maypole dance. Or something like that. It aims to explore a way of connecting people on a journey where a web both connects them and determines their direction of travel through sonic and / or digital impulses. It will also involve learning lots of new knots. There will be a presentation and playtesting session this Friday at 3pm. Free and open to all. For more details see http://www.imagineer-productions.co.uk/ Big thanks to Imagineer for stepping up to support this all important crystallising stage of the...
We were invited by Make Space to run a creative play session at this year’s Godiva Festival, the UK’s largest free and ticketless family festival (there were nearly 150,000 visitors this year!) Over the course of the weekend we welcomed around 3000 people into the tent to build and play with a giant Rube Goldberg-esque marble run. By the end it was around 5m³ and had 300 or so golf balls running around it at a time. We asked people either to build a ‘module’ by themselves which we could add on somewhere, or to augment something that was already in place. There were self-contained spirals, jumps, cyclones and banked ramps as well as nifty details like rocking flags and noise makers. Will definitely be doing this one...
We’re delighted to announce that we’ve just confirmed the support needed to deliver the Random String programme again in 2016. Random String is a wide-ranging development programme based in the West Midlands, offering opportunities for artists, arts organisations and the wider public to explore creative, interactive and connected technologies. The project is a Ludic Rooms production in association with Warwick Arts Centre. Random String consists of: A public facing festival in June, with performances, workshops and artist showcase. A sector-focused Symposium at Warwick Arts Centre on June 10th, with talks, workshops and exhibition. Public workshops at Warwick Arts Centre and in Coventry City Centre. A Fellowship programme to support artists’ professional development. Engagement with academics and researchers in the development of new applied research projects. Head on over to randomstring.co for more information and to get involved! Random String is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and by the Coventry City Council Project Development Grant programme, building capacity for Coventry’s bid for City of Culture...
After weeks of playing around in trees and woodlands with talented young carers from across Warwickshire, we’re delighted to announce that our installation ‘Canopy’ opens tonight at Warwick Museum. The work has been commissioned by Heritage & Culture Warwickshire as part ‘Reframing Sheldon’ of a broader development programme looking at the role of digital technologies in audience development and heritage engagement. The work focusses on how interactive technologies can facilitate a co-created contemporary map of Warwickshire. We have adopted psychogeographical techniques to explore the role of trees in the rural landscape and used this to explore themes of risk-taking and perspective-taking, themes very relevant to the client group. And what better way to play with these themes by climbing trees!? The show is open for two...
We’ve recently been successful in a bid with the fabulous Knowle West Media Centre to deliver a new project as part of the Bristol Green 2015 Neighbourhood Arts Partnership. ‘The Forgotten Toys Compendium’ invites people to see junk in a fresh way by tapping into the shared experiences of play across different generations and cultures. It creates new invitations, pretexts, tools and spaces for social interaction, by starting with the very personal & then connecting up with neighbours and neighbourhoods. The project will work with lead local residents on a journey of social archaeology to rediscover and repurpose the playable gems hidden among the dusty piles of forgotten “junk” lurking in people’s attics, garages and sheds, shining a light on the latent social and cultural potential of these objects through the lens of collaborative play. These playable artefacts- from rusty bike wheels & old sledges to bent hoola-hoops, dusty console controllers and forgotten Furbies will be reborn through story-telling and active play. You can find out more and see the stories unfold at...
The Kitchen Circus brings circus performances, songs and digital arts onto the streets, to explore ideas about identity, hospitality and how we live now.
The 2015 performances in Hengrove explored the notion of ‘home’ and included a circus performance on the green, a trail of illuminated objects and musical performances at local landmarks, including on a boat.
The Kitchen Circus was commissioned for Bristol’s Circus City festival and produced by KWMC and Cirque Bijou.
The Forgotten Toys Compendium (2015)
Commissioned by Bristol Green Capital 2015 as part of their Neighbourhood Arts Programme, inviting people to see “junk” in a fresh way by tapping into the shared experiences of play across different generations and cultures. It creates new invitations, pretexts, tools and spaces for social interaction, by starting with the very personal & then connecting up with neighbours and neighbourhoods. The project will work with lead local residents on a journey of social archaeology to rediscover and repurpose the playable gems hidden among the dusty piles of forgotten “junk” lurking in people’s attics, garages and sheds, shining a light on the latent social and cultural potential of these objects through the lens of collaborative play. These playable artefacts- from rusty bike wheels & old sledges to bent hoola-hoops, dusty console controllers and forgotten Furbies will be reborn through story-telling and active play.
A sparkle itching to show (2015)
A performative projection-mapped visual poem made with young women outside mainstream education, produced with the incredible support of poet/MC Samira Arhin Acquaah and dance artist Dave McKenna of Being Frank Physical Theatre. Commissioned by the Core at Corby Cube as part of their Priority Project, supported by Mighty Creatives. Presented for the first time at the Core’s ‘Youth Arts Slam’, July 3rd 2015.
Wear Your Wheels (2015)
Wear Your Wheels is a fun and creative challenge for individuals and teams, families, co-workers, friends and communities. Work together to craft a wearable cardboard creation. Create something in the style of your favourite wheeled-wonder or dream up your own novel contraption.
A time-trial race like no other, competitors will don their CardCar creations and run a fixed course. This is not an engineering competition, you carry the vehicle, rather than the other way around. Feel free to add wheels – a CardCar would probably look odd without them – but they don’t need to function. Your CardCar cannot touch the ground at any point along the race.
CardCars will score points for design, speed and capacity; the more passengers that race inside your creation, the bigger you score!
Prizes will be awarded in each of these categories as well as an overall winner to be crowned Coventry CardCar Champion of 2015.
A lunchtime play session, commissioned by Watershed for the ‘Making Cities Playable Conference’ in 2014.
Our brief: make something “big, outside, with chalk”.
How can a simple piece of chalk unleash the possibility and freedom of play? We challenged conference-goers to create and partake in their own little ‘dusty acts of defiance’. A collaborative commission with the simply wonderful Splash & Ripple.
Ludi Lunt (2014)
We are preparing for a very 21st Century event to be held at the Lunt Roman Fort in Coventry, aimed at helping to breathe new life into the historic Fort – and applications are now open for people to get involved in a unique weekend of creativity, invention and fun.
Ludi Lunt (roughly translated from Latin: ‘public games at the Lunt’) takes place over the weekend of Sat 6th and Sun 7thSeptember, and is a hackathon-style event. Our aim with the event is to bring together creative people from around the UK to devise ways to improve the visitor experience, reveal more of the site’s fascinating past and breathe new life into this cultural gem, helping to re-establish the Lunt as a major Roman visitor attraction.
Ludi Lunt is being organised by staff from the Lunt and its management team, who are working with a diverse group of local historians and hackathon experts to put this very special event together. We are now looking to recruit people with a range of skills to take part in the event, including historians, artists, hackers, gamers, coders, writers, performers, designers, social media whizzes, educational professionals and craftspeople – as well as anyone who feels that they have ideas to contribute to a weekend of innovation and creativity.
In return for your efforts, you will have the unique opportunity to spend a weekend with other creative people at this amazing location, including camping, eating and working in the grounds of the Lunt. There will also be prizes for the best ideas generated over the course of the weekend, as well as the opportunity to be involved in the implementation of selected projects.
There is no charge for you to be involved in the Ludi Lunt hackathon, and applications are open now.
Shark In The Puddle (2014)
Connected Communities (2014)
” How might your daily commute differ if you travelled as slowly as possible? What might you see, touch or smell if you missed your turn and had to go a different way? Disobey a sign, give streets new and better names. Look for the bigger pattern in the city, notice the smaller details as you do. “
As part of the AHRC Connected Communities Conference, we devised a series of technology augmented walking workshops exploring new methodologies for documenting, provoking and sharing local knowledge. Using psychogeographical provocations and ‘stop and stare’ techniques, we used GPS to get us lost.
Workshops participants were able to play with consumer handheld devices as well as prototype, customised and hacked hardware to record the information that surrounds everyday journeys. Following the walking workshops, we worked together to investigate novel forms of data recording, analysis and visualisation.