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Come Together

How can we use a mix of digital and physical spaces to connect and come together?

‘Come Together’ was a programme of public events, training, co-creation and commissions (summer-autumn 2021) exploring how we stayed connected through the COVID-19 pandemic and what new ‘hybrid’ spaces of connection we could imagine and create, using a mix of digital and physical spaces and tools.

The programme was designed to support artists and communities to develop new skills in ‘hybrid’ arts practices (mixing digital and physical) and co-create new inclusive spaces / experiences for connection and coming together

Read the full Project Outline

Come Together Weekender Public Programme of Events

After a summer of inspire workshops, experimentation and six artist commissions, we hosted our Come Together Weekender!

From 18th-21st November, we held four days of talks, workshops, and events exploring ways to connect through a mix of digital + physical (‘hybrid’) spaces. Each day delved into a different question around ‘hybrid’.

Read about each day below, see photos and listen to free audio experiences for yourself.

An illustration of a busy desk with a cork board above it and orange walls behind. A whiteboard with hand written text reads ‘HYBRID = PHYSICAL + VIRTUAL” with an arrow pointing down to “BE CREATIVE WITH ACCESSIBILITY”. A grey laptop with two hands typing on it, on its screen is a screenshot of ‘Gather’, which shows a virtual outdoor space. The cork board is filled with: a calendar that has the date November 18th heavily circled in red; post-its; a sign at the top with ‘Inclusion in action’ written onto it; and a disability badge and a symbol of two heads in a loop. In between these are logos for Knowle West Media Centre and Come Together.      An illustration of the words 'Making It Sensory' written in cloudy letters on a dark grey background with the date 'Friday 19th Nov' scribbled below it. This is surrounded by illustrations of: a pair of hands with purple nail polish holding a yellow tea cup; hands pouring a teapot over a gold tea strainer into a cup; a green gloved hand holding herbs; hands kneading dough; and hands twisting gold wire together. At the top of the image is the Knowle West Media Centre logo and at the bottom right of the image is the Come Together logo, both in green.

An illustration of a hand holding mobile phone shining its torchlight onto a local map. The map is on a wooden desk surrounded by: diagrams, a measuring tool, elastic bands, pencil, paperclips, mini wooden Block West blocks, and brightly coloured letters reading ‘imagining for real’. On the mobile phone is a Zoom call of six people of different genders, ages, and races. At the bottom of the image is the date, ‘Sat 20th November’ and the Knowle West Media Centre logo, both in white.      An illustration of a woman with short curly black hair lying on her back on fresh green grass. She is wearing a yellow top and her eyes are closed, listening to something on her phone through white earbuds. A disposable camera and blue water bottle are lying on the grass next to her, underneath text which reads ‘CLAIMING THE RIGHT TO REST’. The text is dark brown on a background which looks like soil, as though the words have been dug into it. Black and brown hiking boots walk above the text in a horizontal line, with the Bristol landscape behind them. In the centre of the image is a date, ‘Sunday 21st November’ and at the bottom are logos for Knowle West Media Centre and Come Together.

Illustrations by commissioned artist Mary Flora Hart.

Day 1: Inclusion In Action: What happens to ‘hybrid’ when you start with access and inclusion?

On the first day, ‘Inclusion In Action’, we held a hybrid (in-person + via Zoom) Creative Access & Inclusion Lab to share ideas and activities based on disability cultures. In the evening, we moved online for a Remote Access Party: a virtual nightlife party celebrating the magic and wisdom of disability communities. 

Day 2: Making It Sensory: How can we make digital experiences sensory, warm and engaging?

On Day 2, ‘Making It Sensory’, we explored how to engage each of our senses inside digital + hybrid spaces. We connected over tea both in-person and virtually with commissioned artist Linda Brothwell, explored multi-sensory utopias with Jae Tallawah from MAIA Group, had conversations with strangers as part of Quarantine’sNo Such Thing’, and had a virtual cook-a-long with Motoko Fujita of Grizedale Arts with ingredient packs for BS4 residents specially prepared by Square Food Foundation.

People were also invited to have a cuppa and enjoy ‘Listen, I’m Here For You’, an audio experience by commissioned artist Michelle Roche. You can still call this free number 01174631815 to hear a 23 min audio experience. Alternatively, listen to the audio here.

Day 3: Imagining for Real: How can we mix tools to include everyone in neighbourhood visioning?

On the third day, ‘Imagining for Real’, we spent the day playing, building and neighbourhood imagining both in-person and virtually. Online, we reimagined our local neighbourhoods using Balance boxes with commissioned artist Malcolm Hamilton of Play:Disrupt then explored possible futures with illustrator Phoebe Tickell. In person, We Can Make showed us how neighbourhood planning has taken shape through their homes built in gardens across Knowle West. We were also invited to play with mini blocks of the Block West pavilion, which was co-created with the community using digital fabrication technology during lockdown.

Inspired by Day 3’s theme of ‘Imagining for Real’, you can still listen to a newly recorded  ‘Conversation for Change’ with Onion Collective and We Can Make (38 mins) below. Hear more about how communities can make the impossible possible. Discover how creative approaches and a mix of digital + physical tools and spaces can mean that everyone is included in neighbourhood planning, dreaming, imagining, making. Press the play button to listen:

 

Want to hear more about Block West? Watch a video about how Block West was made in collaboration with community members HERE. Artist and dancer Tim Lytc also created a dance film inspired by the making of Block West. Watch Tim Lytc’s film ‘Assembling’ HERE including audio from community members about our approach to neighbourhood planning.

Day 4: Claiming the Right to Rest: How can we use ‘hybrid’ to access spaces of rest & wellbeing

The final day of the Weekender, ‘Claiming the Right to Rest’, was a chance to pause and claim our right to rest. We re-grounded in nature with commissioned artist Emma Blake Morsi by listening to a meditative outdoor soundscape, making our own photo collages (at KWMC and via zoom) and then for those at KWMC we all walked together to the Roundhouse in Springfield Allotments to chat over hot winter veg soup, whilst those online listened to a special walk soundscape. What a lovely way to end the Come Together Weekender!


You can experience the outdoors yourself without leaving your home. Listen to a 13 minute chat between artist Emma Blake Morsi & local walker Vince
, mixed with the soothing sounds of Knowle West’s green spaces. Recorded & edited by sound artist Keziah Wenham-Kenyon. Listen by clicking the play button below:

 

Recorded especially for the weekender you can also still listen to this ‘Resourcing Rest’ conversation with Euella Jackson and Roseanna Dias. Produced by Will Taylor. Get comfortable, settle back, lie down if you’re able to, and enjoy a 40 minute conversation exploring what we need to create collective spaces of rest. Asking: What are the spaces that make us feel good? How can we resource and hold these spaces with care? Can digital tools can help create inclusive spaces for connection and community wellbeing? Listen by clicking the play button below:

 

Thank you to everyone who came along to our Come Together Weekender and helped to make the four days so special. We will be compiling an archive of documentation and resources into a brand new Come Together website, watch this space for a link in Spring 2022!

The Come Together Artist Cohort

In July 2021, we commissioned a cohort of four artists: Ant Lightfoot, Linda Brothwell, Malcolm Hamilton, and Emma Blake Morsi; and two digital storytellers: Mary Flora Hart and Michelle Roche. They each have different lived experiences, that they were excited to bring to the project, and are at varying stages of their career. Together with the local Knowle West community they explored new ways of connecting through a mix of digital and physical approaches and tools. They also developed relationships with our national partners across the country (Onion Collective, Maia group and Grizedale Arts) and shared their projects and learnings at the Come Together Weekender.

Click here to read more about the artists.

Commissioned Artist Cohort for Come Together 2021

Inspiring the Come Together Artist Cohort

Throughout July 2021, the cohort attended workshops exploring how to create more inclusive and accessible ‘hybrid’ spaces that mix the digital and physical.

These included, a Proxy Politics workshop led by artists Arjun Harrison-Mann and Kaiya Waerea, exploring perspectives on access through creating DIY harnesses for video calling devices, as well as a workshop in ‘Creating Inclusive Hybrid Spaces’ co-facilitated by John Kelly and KWMC with special guests from: Extraordinary Bodies Young Artists and Access all Areas.

The cohort joined local residents in re-imagining Filwood Broadway using an augmented reality experience called ‘Future Places Toolkit’ created by Uninvited Guests, which pictured everything from ‘’more community benches’’ to ‘’hoverboards’’.

Alongside this, the cohort developed practical skills in Soundtrap and live broadcasting, as well as integrating online collaboration tools such as MiroJamboard and Padlet.

In-keeping with Come Together’s theme of ‘hybrid’, all physical workshops have been accessible digitally through Zoom as well as in person. Even the outdoor Tree Walk by local resident Jim Smith was made hybrid, with video callers being strapped into a DIY harness to experience the walk virtually!

Come Together Summer Workshops

Come Together summer workshops and resources for you to enjoy…

‘Creating Inclusive Hybrid Spaces’ with John Kelly, Eilis Bevan-Davies, Helen Bryer and Adam Smith 
We explored how to create inclusive hybrid (virtual plus in person) spaces and experiences with Diverse CityExtraordinary Bodies Young Artists, and Access All Areas. Watch a clip of Helen Bryer and Adam Smith’s presentation here (co-directors of Still Here)

Creative tools for remote collaboration: How To Use Miro’ with Fiona Dowling 
We learned how to collaborate using Miro, a free online whiteboarding platform where a group can add digital sticky notes, drawing tools, etc. It runs inside your web browser and all you need to join is an email address. Watch Fiona’s 32 minute tutorial here.

‘Connecting through audio experiences: How To Use Soundtrap’ with Mike Moast 
We learned how to use Soundtrap, an online digital audio workstation that allows users to create music or podcasts for free, a great tool for creating audio for hybrid experiences. It runs inside your web browser and all you need to join is an email address. Watch Mike’s 11 minute tutorial here.

‘Creativity and Care’ with Josephine Gyasi and Roseanna Dias  
We reflected on what care means to us, what we and others need to feel cared for, and how we can embed practices of care into our work. Josephine and Roseanna shared their ‘Creativity + Care’ project, watch their 12 minute presentation about it here and read more here.

‘Future Places Toolkit: Augmented Reality Experience’ with Uninvited Guests 
We joined local residents in re-imagining Filwood Broadway using an augmented reality experience called ‘Future Places Toolkit’ created by Uninvited Guests, which pictured everything from ‘’more community benches’’ to ‘’hoverboards’’.

‘Live Streaming and Running Hybrid Events’ with Lewis Campbell 
We learned how to set up hybrid events where people can join both virtually and in person. Lewis shared which equipment and software to use as well as how to assemble it. Watch Lewis’ 54 minute tutorial here.

Proxy Politics: Making and Unmaking Perspectives on Access with Arjun Harrison-Mann and Kaiya Waerea 
Arjun and Kaiya led us through different prompts for activities that invited us to see our domestic spaces from new perspectives, think broadly about the social model of disability and the politics of acting as a proxy for someone else through using the Proxy Protest tools.

Knowle West Tree Walk with local resident Jim Smith
‘Filwood Tree Champion’ Jim Smith guided us through the Northern Slopes. Jim spoke about the trees, local life and history of Knowle West. We met other local walkers who shared their experiences, and streamed our walk live on Zoom using a DIY harness from the ‘Proxy Politics’ workshop above. View our Miro board documentation here

Project Night

In June we hosted a special ‘Come Together’ themed Project Night where invited guests Anagram gave us the opportunity to experience an immersive hybrid work called Messages to a Post Human Earth. They shared how they made the work, for people to connect in local parks during lockdown, and give an insight into their process.

'Come Together' Hybrid Project Night, June 2021

Five Questions: ‘Coming Together In and Out of a Pandemic’

Throughout this project, members of the Knowle West and KWMC community shared how they came together during the pandemic. These recordings act as an introduction to our community and a way to inspire how we might stay connected in the future.

by Georgia Hall, Arts Producer at KWMC

by Ella Chedburn, Programme Assistant at KWMC

by Martha King, Arts Programme Manager at KWMC

by Ant Lightfoot, Commissioned Artist for Come Together at KWMC

by Emma Blake Morsi, Commissioned Artist for Come Together at KWMC

by Mary Flora Hart, Commissioned Digital Storyteller for Come Together at KWMC

by Don Jones, Knowle West’s local gardener

More information

Are you an artist or creative technologist making inspiring hybrid work? We would love to hear from you. Email martha.king@kwmc.org.uk

The call out opportunity for Artist Commissions (Artist Brief) and Digital Storyteller (Digital Storyteller Brief) has now passed.

Credits

The ‘Come Together’ project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.  

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
Bristol
BS4 1NL
+44 (0) 117 903 0444
enquiries@kwmc.org.uk

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