Over the past few months I have been collaborating with a number of partners on the Beacons for Science project in Manchester, which is aiming to create an innovative app to experience Science in the City through Augmented and Virtual reality. Using beacon technology to enable people to experience science in new ways as they navigate the city.
My role has been to co-ordinate the development of the virtual reality and augmented content, produced with the support of a number of cultural partners, artists, scientists and co-creators from around Manchester, and to work with the developers to shape the mixed reality user-experience. We were also very lucky to have Samsung provide their new 360 Camera, one of only a few in the country, for the filming at the Jodrell Bank Observatory.
Here’s some information about the project, which is being led by Andy Miah, Professor of Science Communication and Future Media, at Salford University:
FROM Joule to Jodrell, computers to graphene – Manchester is a world renowned centre of science.
As the city prepares to be crowned European City of Science this summer, organisers are seeking your ideas about what makes Greater Manchester a special place for mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and engineering.
The Universities – with their rich heritage of scholarship and research – are part of the equation but so to are industry and commerce. Manchester’s innovative, can-do, spirit of the people has recently re-emerged in a thriving citizen science movement, amplified by the Northern Powerhouse debates, the success of Manchester Science Festival, and the popularity of the Museum of Science and Industry.
Beacons for Science is an interactive digital project which aims to create a science experience of the city, sharing facts and figures to a wider audience via their favourite accessory, their mobile phone.
The project will launch on 9th May and will provide the public realm mobile experience for the entire European City of Science programme (July 22 – 29) and the University and its partners are seeking “the best and the rest” facts and figures about local science.
It could be a ‘first’ or discovery, a person, a ‘bet you didn’t know’, an example of science improving the city, or current research, such as the University’s advancements in acoustics.
Colleagues and students can throw in their own ideas at two ‘hack’ days, hosted by the University on May 3 and May 9. Organisers hope to gather around 100 key pieces of ‘content’ and turn them into interactive features on a new ‘Science in Manchester’ app.
“The idea is for visitors to the city or people interested in science to have a picture of Manchester as a ‘City of Science’ at their fingertips,” explains project manager Simon Andrews, the University of Salford’s Head of Enterprise.
“Content should ideally reflect, the past, present and future of science and innovation in the city and the more suggestions we receive, the more we can reflect the rich and varied impacts on our lives.”
Simon says the content may also include ‘light facts’ about, say exhibitions, tours, science groups, debates, even jokes or urban myths.
“The idea is to produce a mixed reality experience that infuses an alternative tourism experience with novel ideas and inspires people to see places differently. As well as scientists, we very much welcome artists, filmmakers, digital experts, writers and all round makers who can help us curate this map.
Creative lead for the project, Professor Andy Miah said ‘In a time when we are constantly searching for new content on our phones, this project allows people to be surprised by what’s around them and to experience their devices differently. The ‘stumble upon’ tourism experience is still quite new and Manchester’s science scene is a great vehicle for trying out something like this. It’s going to be a big year for science in Manchester and we want everyone to feel like a part of that journey”
The events are hosted by the University of Salford and Spark Compass, with support from Manchester 2016 European City of Science and its stakeholders, notably Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Manchester.
“As connected devices and services continue to develop, filmmakers will be able to place a story layer over the real world. Inanimate objects and physical locations will become an opportunity to extend stories and engage audiences in ways that propel 21st-century storytelling.” Lance Weiler
This project is exploring the possibilities for transmedia, augmented and virtual reality storytelling by creating a number of experimental films that fuse filmmaking, digital environments and creative technologies. I am particularly interested in the way that these immersive environments create new forms of embodiment and can help us to experience geographical space in new ways.
Many people argue that VR can lead to highly empathetic and emotional kinds of storytelling experiences, which could have a number of applications for the social sciences, humanities and the arts. They therefore have really strong potential for storytellers addressing issues related to personal, cultural, social and behavioural change.
Filmmakers and storytellers who are working in this area are also having to rethink the way that they design ‘story architecture’ around non-linear forms of transmedia engagement. It is therefore an inter-disciplinary project that explores a range of areas such as the behavioural and cognitive sciences, user-experience design, immersive performance and transmedia storytelling.
We are currently developing a number of projects, campaigns and teaching initiatives with partners and organisations under this banner, so stay tuned for updates as they develop…
In the meantime, follow the Immersive Storylab on twitter for updates and links to work that we think is really exciting. Or get in touch with me to discuss a project via: mail (at) petewoodbridge.info
I’ve been out and about the last few weeks getting my head around virtual reality 360 degree filmmaking for a few upcoming projects that I am developing. As part of my testing I’ve made this short video, called Virtual (anthropo) Reality , whilst out and about on the Wirral over the weekend.
I’m really excited at the moment by the potential of virtual and augmented reality as a highly empathetic storytelling medium, as well as enabling us to embed stortelling into the physical world. There’s a number of research projects currently happening around the world that show how VR/AR can contribute to peoples emotional and embodied understanding of other peoples experiences so this has enormous potential for those involved in the media, campaigning and communications industries.
Stay tuned for more updates as I develop some projects, but in the meantime please enjoy this short video…
After.video : Assemblages is a hybrid video book (paperback book and video) stored on a Raspberry Pi computer and packaged in a VHS case that assembles theory into practice. It will be available here soon.
The project was demonstrated at this years Transmediale Festival and includes a ‘re-assembled version’ of my video essay on Control Societies.
Also available as online video and book PDF download.
Video and PDF – http://after.video/assemblages
ISBN: 978-1-906496-23-4, 2016, published by Open Humanities Press
after.video realizes the world through moving images and reassembles theory after video. Extending the formats of ‘theory’, it reflects a new situation in which world and video have grown together.
This is an edited collection of assembled and annotated video essays living in two instantiations: an online version – located on the web at http://after.video/assemblages, and an offline version – stored on a server inside a VHS (Video Home System) case. This is both a digital and analog object: manifested, in a scholarly gesture, as a ‘video book’.
We hope that different tribes — from DIY hackercamps and medialabs, to unsatisfied academic visionaries, avantgarde-mesh-videographers and independent media collectives, even iTV and home-cinema addicted sofasurfers — will cherish this contribution to an ever more fragmented, ever more colorful spectrum of video-culture, consumption and appropriation…
Table of Contents
Peter Woodbridge + Gary Hall + Clare Birchall
Scannable images: materialities of Post-Cinema after Video
Karin + Shane Denson
The Crying Selfie
Rózsa Zita Farkas
Contingent Feminist Tacticks for Working with Machines
Lucia Egaña Rojas
Capturing the Ephemeral and Contestational
You Spin me Round – Full Circle
Oliver Lerone Schultz
Pablo de Soto
Laila Shereen Sakr (VJ Um Amel)
Jacob Friedman – Open Hypervideo Programmer
Anton Galanopoulos – Micro-Computer Programmer
Adnan Hadzi – OHP Managing Producer
Jacob Friedman – OHV Format Development & Interface Design
Joscha Jäger – OHV Format Development & Interface Design
Oliver Lerone Schultz – Coordination CDC, Video Vortex #9, OHP
Cover artwork and booklet design: Jacob Friedman
Copyright: the authors
Licence: after.video is dual licensed under the terms of the MIT license and the GPL3
Art + Civic Media as part of Centre for Digital Cultures @ Leuphana University.
Art + Civic Media was funded through Innovation Incubator, a major EU project financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the federal state of Lower Saxony.
Latitude is a satirical road trip film about two geeks who go on a treasure hunt to find the world’s ultimate technology, which they believe is hidden in a game called geocaching. It’s a bit of a metaphor, with the two lead characters being based on two very well known technology companies, and explores narratives of technological progress.
The film was made as a teaching project aimed at creating a low budget, and slightly critical, feature length film with undergraduate media production students. The script, funding and production was all conjured up over 4 months. It was produced across England, Wales and USA with a very small production team and tiny budget just to see if we could do it.
Well, here is a little taster of the film, we hope that you enjoy.
In contemporary liberal democracies there is a polarisation between ideals of transparency – borne out in open government legislation, freedom of information, and confessionary culture – and what we might call a secret sphere, an institutionalised commitment to covert security operations that exist beyond the public view.
In the wake of the Snowden revelations about the surveillance capabilities of intelligence agencies around the globe, an interdisciplinary symposium at King’s College London** in 2015 gathered experts to discuss the place and implications of secrecy for contemporary cultural politics. Speakers addressed what was politically, ethically, socially and ontologically at stake in cultures of secrecy at the individual, national and international level.
Recordings from the event have been hidden across some of the darkest corners of the world wide web and will be revealed through a series of leaks and revelations.
#secrecymachine was a project of slow secretion, devised by Pete Woodbridge and Clare Birchall, to reveal the event’s secrets beyond the academy. It started on the 8th October 2015. Participants were exposed to a number of secret emails, each revealing codes and details for accessing content from the event.
All of the talks are now available and open to the public here http://immersivestorylab.com/secret/
Please share this secret with anyone you trust …
**’The Politics and Practices of Secrecy’ was a symposium organised by Clare Birchall & Matt Potolsky and funded by the Institute of North American Studies, King’s College London.
I’ve recently been working on the development of a BA (Hons) Degree in Digital Media at Coventry School of Art and Design. It’s a brand new degree exploring media design, storytelling, digital arts and digital culture.
Students will be working on convergent media projects in content production, moving-image, storytelling, speculative design and a number of related areas across the digital arts. Designed for learners who want to be hybrid-media artists, creative professionals and entrepreneurs in the increasing pervasive digital realm.
First year modules will explore digital culture, convergent multimedia production, digital publishing, storytelling and creative technology. The year will culminate in an intensive ‘creative hack lab’ project where students put their problem solving, innovation and design skills to the test with a live brief.
The second year will explore the creative and critical side of the digital arts, along with modules in digital advertising, transmedia storytelling and opportunities to undertake professional experience. There will also be options to develop skills in other areas of media production, including photography, experimental media and short film as well as opportunities to undertake visits with international partner organisations.
The final year will focus on critical digital research methods, exploring how to use creative technologies for research and the creation of new forms of knowledge, products and artistic expression. Students will then use their skills to develop a final research project, aimed at creating cutting-edge experiences and speculative possibilities for the future.
The degree is underpinned by an interdisciplinary approach to the design and analysis of digital culture and media, drawing on a range of methodologies from the digital and media arts, sciences, business and creative computing subject areas. It will be addressing the implications, challenges and possibilities of living in a world of disruptive innovation, peer 2 peer collaboration, connected devices, augmentation, pervasive storytelling, automation, big data and the internet of things and exploring this through projects that challenge and critique it.
Students will be involved in live projects, real industry and cultural briefs and working simulations that are informed by problem-based, activity-led and challenge-based learning methodologies. This will be supported by technology-enhanced learning approaches in a department that is internationally recognised for its innovative approach to learning design.
To find out more about the digital media research work in the Department of Media please visit the Centre for Disruptive Media website.
Culture Machine Live is a podcast series dedicated to discussions of culture and theory.
and many more
Editors: Janneke Adema, Clare Birchall, Gary Hall and Pete Woodbridge.
Following on from our Open Class in Creative Activism, we’ve decided to think about how we can use some of the working practices we developed to explore other areas on our curriculum.
So this October we are launching the ‘Cine Collective‘- which is an Open Undergraduate Class exploring and experimenting with Digital Cinematography.
Over the course of 10 weeks we will be looking at a variety of approaches to studying, practicing and interrogating cinematography. Alongside this, the participants on the course will work on a series of cinematic responses to weekly creative briefs- that will contribute to form a showreel of work by the end of the class. Students are asked to openly post their response to each task to our community.
It’s an exciting time for ‘Open Teaching’ in Film, with a number of organisations and universities opening up their doors and helping to change the way that education is structured in the 21st Century. Surely it won’t be long until there is a very real prospect of undertaking a truly ‘distributed’ degree- choosing the best and most appropriate courses from around the world, to create some kind of educational playlist. There’s a lot of potential here for something truly digital, and radical, to emerge. It’s really exciting to see projects such as the Peer 2 Peer University, Coursera, OERU and Mozilla’s Open Badges gaining momentum in this area- each taking a different approach and model to rethinking education.
In the meantime here are a few other open classes that you might want to explore next academic year….
“Open Source Culture” taught by Mark Tribe (@marktribe on Twitter) Brown University
“Digital Storytelling -DS106” taught by Alan Levine et al (@cogdog on Twitter) University of Mary Washington
“Guerilla Film Marketing” taught by Randy Finch (@randyfinch on Twitter) Florida State Uni
“Building StoryWorlds: the art, craft and biz of storytelling in 21c” taught by Lance Weiler (@lanceweiler on Twitter) Columbia University
“Digital Media and Participatory Culture” taught by Melanie E.S. Kohnen, Ph.D (@_mesk on Twitter) Georgia Tech
“The Language of Hollywood: Storytelling, Sound and Color” taught by Scott Higgins at Wesleyan University
“The Camera Never Lies ” taught by Emmett Sullivan at Royal Holloway, London University
(List originally published by Sheri Candler on The Film Collaborative)
Living Books About Life is a series of curated, open access books about life — with life understood both philosophically and biologically — which provide a bridge between the humanities and the sciences. Produced by a globally-distributed network of writers and editors, the books in the series repackage existing open access science research by clustering it around selected topics whose unifying theme is life such as air, agriculture, bioethics, cosmetic surgery, electronic waste, energy, neurology and pharmacology.
By creating twenty one ‘living books about life’ in just seven months, the series represents an exciting new model for publishing, in a sustainable, low-cost manner, many more such books in the future. These books can be freely shared with other academic and non-academic institutions and individuals. Taken together, they constitute an engaging interdisciplinary resource for researching and teaching relevant science issues across the humanities, a resource that is capable of enhancing the intellectual and pedagogic experience of working with open access materials.
All the books in the series are themselves ‘living’, in the sense that they are open to ongoing collaborative processes of writing, editing, updating, remixing and commenting by readers. As well as repackaging open access science research — along with interactive maps, visualisations, podcasts and audio-visual material — into a series of books, Living Books About Life is thus engaged in rethinking ‘the book’ itself as a living, collaborative endeavour in the age of open science, open education, open data and e-book readers such as Kindle and the iPad. The book that I worked on, along with Janneke Adema, explored the way that concepts and ideas around the theme of Symbiosis can be applied to a number of areas within the (digital/networked) humanities.
Living Books About Life is a collaboration between Open Humanities Press and three academic institutions: Coventry University, Goldsmiths, University of London, and the University of Kent. Funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), and published by Open Humanities Press (OHP) (http://openhumanitiespress.org). The Editors of the series are Clare Birchall (University of Kent), Gary Hall (Coventry University), Joanna Zylinska (Goldsmiths, University of London). Other members of the project team include Sigi Jőttkandt (Open Humanities Press), David Ottina (Open Humanities Press) and myself (Coventry University).
In January 2012 we launched our Free and Open Undergraduate class exploring Creative Activism– opening up the class, as much as we can, so others can participate, join the discussions and follow our lectures and podcasts.
The class explores the potentials of creative media activism through encouraging the creation of ‘live’ creative interventions that make a positive change.
Looking at how media activists and campaigners have used their media knowledge, creativity and community building skills to ask difficult questions, provoke debate and raise awareness of important issues and problems in their local, national and international communities.
The class is supported by a range of collaborators and guest speakers who are changing the world. So far our participants include:
and many more.
If you’d like to get involved, or just stay up to date with the work of this class, please contact me via twitter/facebook. You can also download the Creative Activism Podcasts in iTunes U – all are free to share, rip and remix
Filmed as part of the Migration Aware project I have been working on in the City of Ibadan in Nigeria, Africa. More to follow soon.
Was checking out the camp and taking some shots yesterday outside St Pauls Cathedral and was fortunate enough to catch this inspiring speech by retired labour politician Tony Benn at #OccupyLSX during my break.
Rushed an edit together last night, let me know your thoughts, i didnt have a tripod so its a bit shaky. Song is called Mercury Fingerprint by Dan Skinner (from Audio Networks)
This was featured on Adbusters TV
Over the past few months I have been working with Jonathan Worth and the Photography Team at Coventry University to develop an iPhone App for a free and open undergraduate course called ‘Picturing the Body’.
The ‘trendsetting’ app has been mentioned by the British Journal of Photography, PDN Pulse, Times Higher Education and Professional Photographer Magazine. The innovative class, and the innovations associated with it, have been described by one of the teams collaborators as ‘an innovation in photography education’ and by Wired’s Rawfile team as ‘Blowing minds & shifting paradigms in photo education’.
The beta App allows people to engage with the community of practitioners and students who are taking part in the course. Pulling in photographs from Flickr, content from the blog, comments from Twitter as well as a range of photography podcasts from our iTunes U Project.
The intention is to see whether mobile applications can enhance the experience of being involved in the course and to help us to think about future developments in this area as part of our mantra for Open Media at Coventry University. Since the launch of this app, we have been involved in developing a number of innovations for mobile based learning, including the launch of the MediaPRO – Media Production Course App
(The image at the top and on my homepage – Crash Courtesy of Jonathan Shaw)
The Picbod App was developed as a part of my Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education. You can find the poster presentation of the PICBOD App here. Thanks to all the colleagues, students and other people who were involved in its development.