Following our workshop with visually impaired people at Trevassack we were left with mixed feelings, on the one hand the participants were very happy and seemed inspired by the day - but on the other hand we experienced plenty of technical difficulties with the new GPS system, and we didn't have enough time to really get into sonic mapping.The important thing was that the participants gave us so much feedback and lots of insights - and luckily our partners Access Lizard Adventure had planned an event at Clowance Estate near Camborne to showcase accessible kayaking for visually impaired people, which included the Sonic Kayaks. This gave us a chance to incorporate their feedback into a full system with a couple of different sound maps.
After two workshops and the testing day at the Eden Project we took the final version of Viruscraft out to Science in the Square: a big event run by Exeter university with around 3,000 visitors. It was a fantastically rainy day, which meant lots of budding virus builders of all ages took shelter in the big tent in the middle of Falmouth during peak holiday season. The installation turned out to be very popular, at one point 8 small children were simultaneously mutating the wooden virus under instructions from a couple of older kids.
For the last couple of years I've been doing sporadic teaching of electronics and programming for undergraduates and masters students across a couple of courses in my local university. This has taken the form of one on one teaching a day a week in the spring term, in a basement cupboard sized room with a soldering iron and piles of components. Students book up half an hour blocks of time to get help with their projects, find new directions or assistance developing new ideas they continually come up with.
The latest version of the Farm Crap App is currently undergoing final testing by agronomists and farmers before a new release in the autumn (let us know if you would like to take part in the beta testing). This version sees a gigantic increase in the amount of different crops and manures it contains, and the vast majority of the RB209 guide is now represented, so it is very satisfying to see this project become an officially recognised and government approved tool from its humble beginnings.
One of our biggest (and unfortunately entirely unpaid) research projects is administration. Accounting in particular is interesting from a range of angles, as a kind of cultural probe into the current state of what society considers important - but also as seemingly the single thing that very powerful white men loose lots of sleep over.Recently the UK Government decided to require all companies to issue their VAT tax returns, and eventually all similar reporting via an API, rather by filling in a simple online form.
A few pictures from last weekends debut of the Penelopean weaving robots at Algomech festival in Sheffield. After a frantic couple of weeks in mass production, a swarm of 8 robots and a may pole invaded the winter gardens: wove and un-wove braids to the sounds of livecoded beats and ancient Greek poetry.
When landscape appeared in European art it emerged first as a landscape of symbols. The Gothic depiction of Earth was populated with features that were primarily there as convenient symbols for a narrative. Now that landscape emerges in artificial neural networks, they seem to emerge as a landscape of commodity. DeepSteward looks for ways to let machines develop their own taxonomies: a deep bestiary..
We were recently invited by Michka Mélo to talk about complexity, uncertainty and possible futures in the context of innovation at EPFL - École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne. We had the pleasure of meeting the students, engineers and entrepreneurs to share our thoughts and experiences of in the form of a lecture performance and a "playshop". The text from the lecture has been published on medium and on our website.
This post is a summary of Karin Johansson's MSc placement at FoAM Kernow on the Sonic Kayak project. The Sonic Kayaks are currently being modified for use for people with visual impairments. Karin helped develop and test an evaluation approach that can be used in future to look at whether the Sonic Kayaks offer wellbeing benefits to the paddlers.
The AccessLab project has been a series of five workshops, aimed at decentralising research skills, encouraging open access, and building local communities. As the funding draws to a close, we ended by bringing participants back together for a scoping workshop to decide on possible future paths for the project. This is a brief write-up of the main outputs from the scoping workshop.
As part of our continuing mission to promote and celebrate all forms of administration, we are publishing our UK VAT accounting procedure. This is important if you are running an arts organisation, non-profit or independent research organisation (or all three in one glorious muddle, like we are) as this means your income is likely to be a mix of commercial and grant funding, making you partially exempt for VAT and a cause of a particular kind of fascinated horror by all tax and accounting professionals you run into at parties.
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