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New online resource for arts organisations entering the data age

Arts organisations across the UK can now access a free online resource to help them engage young audiences and develop new work exploring the artistic potential of data.

We’ve worked with residents in our local area since 1996, helping them use the arts and digital technologies to make positive changes to their lives and communities – now we want to support other organisations to venture into new and perhaps unfamiliar territories: working with data and young people.

In order to do this, we’ve produced the Data Toolkit – a step-by-step guide to gathering and visualising information in creative ways, and involving interns and trainees in the process.

Organisations can use and adapt the content in the Toolkit to suit their aims, budget and context. For example, one could collect information about their local area and help residents start a campaign. Another could gather statistics and visualise them in creative ways so they can be incorporated into exhibitions. Art galleries could create fun and unusual methods of gathering audience feedback.

The website www.datatoolkit.org.uk includes templates, case studies and animations based on the experiences of seven interns, who worked on data projects at KWMC over six months in 2013-2014.

One such project was The Living Living Room. The interns began by developing an online survey to collect information about residents’ perceptions of their community and their lifestyle choices. In March 2014 the survey was brought to life in a 3D gaming room where people could answer the questions by interacting with eight full-size pieces of cardboard furniture.

Now we hope that other organisations will use these free case studies and resources to develop their own artistic practice and assist young people with their career development.

Naomi Yates, coordinator of the Data Toolkit project, said: “We can collect data about almost anything – from weather patterns and crime statistics to people’s perceptions of their local area. By studying data in depth we can gain a greater understanding of the subject.

“The resources in the Toolkit are based on real projects that took place in the Knowle West community. No previous experience of working with data or young people is required! We hope that other arts organisations can learn from us and find new ways of working that are creative, resource-efficient, and empowering to the communities they work with.”

The toolkit can be viewed at www.datatoolkit.org.uk

The Data Toolkit was produced as part of the Curating Activism programme, which was a partnership project between KWMC, IBM and the University of the West of England, supported by the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts – Nesta, Arts & Humanities Research Council and public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Data Toolkit Screen Graphics

 

#artvstech Round Two

Knowle West Media Centre will be putting Art and Tech head to head for a second time this half term.  Join us to create a collection of memories and bring your stories to life – digitally!

On Tuesday 27th May Ludic Rooms will join us again for a day of mapping, getting lost, and finding our way again. Help us to find the answers to questions like: “How many scooter lengths from Knowle West Children’s Centre to KWMC?” and create new ways of measuring Knowle West.

Work with artists Pippa and Fiona on Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th May to find and design interesting objects triggered by memories. Use new materials to re-cast found objects, and use Fiona’s laser cutter to make your designs.

On Friday 30th May join the KWMC Young People’s Team to make a sound story or audio clip of your favourite memory. Use Google Maps to make a map of memories and bring it to life with your creativity through craft work, drawing and more.

The Young People’s Team will be on hand all week to help you create films and other digital records of the memories you collect. There will also be all the things you would expect from a week of KWMC activities: more Raspberry Pi’s, more Littlebits, more music, more photography…

  • All activities are free.
  • Knowle West Media Centre, 27th – 30th May 2014, 10am-3pm. Ages 10-19. Please bring a packed lunch.
  • To book your place call 0117 903 0444.

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Young people pit art against tech

This Easter over 70 young people aged 10-19 joined staff, artists and volunteers to give Knowle West Media Centre a digital makeover.

Project Piano was an experimental fusion of art, music and technology. Young people worked with volunteers to replace most of the piano strings with pots, pans and anything we could find that made a noise. Another team worked with staff to record live sounds and play them back through one octave of the piano using sensor pads, an arduino, and a laptop. You can visit the piano now at KWMC.

Other popular activities included playing and programming games on the Raspberry Pis, photography, a Wii Sports tournament, and workshops from Nth Camera and PiBot. Find out more about what happened at #artvstech

Photographer Kirsty Mackay took 40 beautiful portraits of children, young people and their families in Hengrove Park during the Easter holiday. They’re on display now in the KWMC studio. If you haven’t collected yours yet, please come and see us. Find your picture and it’s yours for free!

We’ll be bringing art and tech head to head again in May half term from 27th-30th May. Join us to make a collection of memories and bring their stories digitally to life.

 

Gallery

 

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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