Monday, 29 March 2010

Soundlines Create and Connect

Today was our Soundlines: Media Goes Mobile! workshop for BBC Blast's Create & Connect conference at @Bristol. Aimed at school students and staff, in particular to inspire their approach to the new creative media diploma for 14-16 year olds.
The hour-and-a-half session was overflowing (34 people) with more turned away - great to have so much interest in Soundlines!

I started my workshop with an introduction to Strata and Soundlines, how it has worked with the Weston schools, and fits with the diploma and Arts Award. A bit of background - mscape, create-a-scape, filmmaking mediascapes with e-merge and Something More. A bit of context, creativity, engagement, supprot and equipment from the pervasive media studio.
Then we moved on to Sand Point taster activities - a taste of interpreting landscape through stories, acting and animation, to a slideshow of images from the Point. None of the participants had been to Sand Point, and only a few to Weston, but they responded well to the challenge of conveying stories from the place to the rest of the group.

Then we went outside for a mobile media experience in Anchor and Millennium Squares, complete with ipaqs and headphones, and even a little brighter break in the weather! I'd remapped the audio from Sand Point to areas around the squares - water features, markings in the paving stones, statues, walkways and the Big Screen. At Sand Point the visual experience is all about looking at the land. In Bristol it seemed important to bring Sand Point and the Weston students' interpretations into the view, so the 70 or so regions triggered 50 different animation clips (boiling landscapes from our animation workshop, which will be featured on the Soundlines website shortly), playing as the walkers explored the space and sounds.

After the walk, and checking back in all the ipaqs and headphones, we had a preview peek at the website, and then brain-stormed responses to the Soundlines experience, and ideas for what these students would want to work on -  if they were to take part in a media goes mobile project - at school or with Strata!

Thanks to Lis, music teacher from BristolMet, for the photos and feedback:
"Lovely to meet you too. We have used lots of ideas that came out of your workshop already. Good luck with the premier."

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Soundlines link Sand Point and Millennium Square

The last couple of days I've been checking through final adjustments to the Sand Point audio mediascape ready for Tuesday's walk. The content sounds great, and plays well. Just tweaking the start and end - because we're recording data from the walks for web playback, it all gets a bit more complicated... worthwhile though, website is looking good (thankyou Ben!)
At the same time, I've been remapping the Sand point sounds, along with the students' animations, into a mediascape walk for Millennium and Anchor Squares in central Bristol. Why? Because Strata were asked to present the project at the BBC Blast conference, Create and Connect, on Monday 29th March.
So here's testing the new format in a very different place...
This one shows the gps trace, undercover areas where it gets lost, and test regions. Not too bad, but a few minor adjustments to improve it before Monday.

Hilltop event coming up

Next Tuesday sees the 'live event' of the Soundlines project, with participating students spending a day on the hill experiencing the Soundlines mediascape experience in situ.
Students will be encouraged to record their thoughts after the walks. This feedback will be worked up later into comments for their webpages, which will also reveal the traces of their walks, the animations, and their soundscapes.
They will also work with Tim from eShed to document the event, whilst others will be photographing the landscape for a slideshow to be shown on April 27th at Worle School.
During the day Russ will be working on a hilltop panorama with visual and personal landmarks.
We expect the students to:
• Investigate sources of inspiration
• Use those to develop creative outcomes
• Develop ideas and present them to an audience
• Keep a record of investigations into sources of inspiration used for generating creative ideas

The only thing we're not so sure of is the weather!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Printed Cards

Hot off the press - postcards for Soundlines and Strata Collective.
6 fronts + 3 backs = 8 designs!

Monday, 15 March 2010


A taste for adventure.
An impression of the past
A breadth of understanding.
A consideration of the unknown
A storying of possibilities.
A lungful or two of fresh air.
A sense of place
An intimacy with horizons.
A stirring of the imagination.
A learning through doing
An exploration of sound and silence
A chance to look up
An adventure with immersive technology and mediascapes
A personal relationship with a constellation of satellites.

Descriptions - Dull or Delightful?

OK, the strata manifesto suggests that documenting should be fun.
I'm bored of writing (long) formal descriptions. Anyone have any suggestions for snappy stuff that sizzles with the smell of soundlines?

Here's a slow start..

Story and inspiration

Exploring the landscape

Music improvisation and recording

Bubbling animations

Tracks and traces

Mentoring and making mediascape

Documented on video

Reflected in writing

Portrayed with photography

Mapped with music

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Map for the website

Ideas from the creative media diploma students in a mentoring session in January have gone into the pot along with Strata's ideas, Ben's playback system, and the requirements for the website... The animations will be triggered over a grid of nearly 200 squares, so it should be pretty cool with lots to watch and listen...

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Warm and well-fed in the tea-room, with the beautiful view of Sand Point out of the windows!

And out onto the hilltop for more testing... amazing light, icy cold wind!

cliffs tea rooms

Good place for a Soundlines meeting. Wind howling, choppy waters, Sand Point across the bay in bright March sunlight.

Talking about interpretation, and transformation. Artist / content / user / place.

Initially you have artist, user, place. (a)
Finally, you still have artist, user, place. (b)

We assume that artist and user can but need not meet.

We also suppose (?) that place is not altered.

The interface (intervention) between (a) and (b) is pervasive media.

This interface becomes a tool for the interpretation process.
This interpretation is either created by the artist or by the user with guidance from the artist.
We need to prove that transformation occurs through the interpretation.We also need a definition of transformation, and to consider whether it applies both to user and artist.

Monday, 8 March 2010

New places and projects

Strata visited the site of our next project.. an audio tour with commentary by local people and friends of the cemetery at Milton Road, Weston.

We hope to launch the gps audio tour at an event to welcome people to the cemetery to re-open the chapel, sometime this summer.

There's also plans afoot to combine the talents of the Soundlines participants with the audio tour structure to create a special kind of themed cemetery walk for later in the year...