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Fri, 10 Aug 2012
Interact Live 4 @ Fabrika

The forth Interact Live event will take place on Thursday 16th August at The Interact Gallery at Fabrika. This one is being organised as part of the Leicester Fringe festival that I have been involved in for a number of years.

The idea of these events is to mix music, installation art and live art in a single evening and I think this will be the best yet. We have music from Muted Fnord, ASMO, MSB and Sally Hossack, plus VJs Blend Visuals, Millie Beanz and Cuttlefish and installations from Mowgli, Oli Sorenson, Genetic Moo and myself.

I'm hoping for a good sized crowd. Entry is £5, which gives you a wristband that will get you in to other Fringe venues on the night. Doors open around 8pm.

Mon, 06 Aug 2012
BYOB @ Fabrika, Leicester

On Saturday Fabrika and the Interact Gallery hosted Leicester's first BYOB (Bring your Own Beamer) on Saturday. The event was put together by local VJ Tony Coleman and friends and collaborators and featured projections from local artists and VJs, as well as work form people further afield. I was really impressed with the range of work on display - in fact I think it was one of the best looking events we have done at Fabrika.

Two pieces will remain in the gallery for the next few weeks - an interactive picture by Mogli and a projection mapping piece by Oli Sorenson. On the 16th August they will be joined by more work as part of our Leicester Fringe digital art and electronic music event.

If you missed this BYOB then watch out for the next one in 6 months or so. See pictures from the event here and a video walkhrough here.

Mon, 09 Jul 2012
Metro Boulot Dodo's Track Down MK

Phew. It's been a bit hectic, but I've managed to finish the iPhone and Android apps for Metro Boulot Dodo's Track Down project. The apps look pretty much the same and offer the same functionality - including an interesting tone player that works in conjunction with a number of Max/MSP patched.

The project will be open to the public between 20th and 29th July as part of the International Festival in Milton Keynes.

More information about the project, together with download links, can be found on my project page.

Wed, 27 Jun 2012
BYOB is Coming to Leicester!

The international grassroots multimedia event BYOB is coming to Leicester on 4th August at Fabrika. BYOB aka Bring Your Own Beamer is a free live event where anyone - visual artists, VJs, film-makers - can bring their own projector and show their work to an audience. Think of it as an open mic night for people who make visuals!

BYOB Leicester is being organised by local VJ Tony Coleman in collaboration with The Interact Gallery. The event starts at 3pm on Saturday 4th August and you can simply turn up on the day with your projector (and computer or DVD player), find a wall space and join in. In the evening their will be live music and VJing. Entry is free.

Also opening on the day will be a three week exhibition in The Interact Galley of work by a group of international VJs and artists.

See for the latest information or visit the BYOB Leicester page on the Interact website.

Sat, 23 Jun 2012
Loneliness of the Long Distance Diva @ Curve

On the 21st and 22nd June Carol Leeming premiered her "choreopoem" The Loneliness of the Long Distance Diva at Curve in Leicester. Carol as been developing the project for a number of years, and I have been involved as Digital Director for around a year now.

This involvement included creating a platform for the delivery of the multimedia elements of the show and operating it from behind the scenes during the performances. The final platform consisted of three video screens, powered by a Mac computer and a Max/MSP patch coordinating everything.

One video image was embedded within a custom-made dressing table prop on stage right, the next was projected centre stage and the third on stage left, back projecting on to a dressing screen. It made for a simple, but flexible stage set.

Video footage - filmed and edited by local videographer Sally Hossack - consisted of sequences designed to add to the impact of the spoken narrative, with images cut to make full use of the surfaces available. For the finale of the show classic 1990s club style visuals were projected on all three screens.

The next next use of the platform will be to deliver an installation based on the Loneliness of the Long Distance Diva story that will take place at Phoenix Square in November 2012.

Pictures from the Curve shows and rehearsals can be found here. There is also a page on my website about the project.

Mon, 11 Jun 2012
Picture Wall at Sparking The Imagination

Picture Wall - a version of Dropsketch for children - was installed at Phoenix Square this weekend as the part of Sparking The Imagination event. Young people were able add their own drawings to the wall using four supplied iPads, or by downloading the Spark Festival app on their own (or their parent's) iPhone or iPad. Over the two days of the event over 750 pictures were created and uploaded.

Over the coming week the pictures will be on display on the large screen in the Phoenix Square cafe. A selection of images from the event can be found on my Flickr site. If any young people want to play with the drawing tool it is still available within the Spark Festival app on the Apple App store.

Wed, 30 May 2012
Nick Lambert Talk

Nick Lambert, the chairman of the Computer Arts Society gave a very interesting talk about the history of the society and computer arts at Phoenix Square last night. His talk was illustrated with pictures and videos of work from the past 40 years.

Pictures from the talk can be found here:

A full video is now available here:

Thu, 24 May 2012
Raspberry Pi - First Impressions

My Raspberry Pi has arrived! The diminutive computer came through the door in an unassuming packet direct from Element 14 (Farnell) 10 weeks or so after I placed my order. This was pretty much when they said it would arrive, so I have no complaints.

To get it working you first need to download an operating system from the Raspberry Pi website. I downloaded Debian 6 because it's nice and familiar - although other operating systems are available. You have to install the operating system on to an SD card using a software utility. I followed some instructions I found here. Next you simply plug the SD card into the Pi, add a USB mouse and keyboard and connect it to your TV via an HDMI cable. Finally, you will need a micro USB power supply. I used the one from my Kindle.

As soon as you plus the power supply in to the device it starts to boot up. You get the classic Linux loading screen with lots of messages as the system boots and reports on progress. A word of warning. I initially used a 16Gb Sandisk Ultra SD card but the boot process hung half way through saying "Waiting for hardware interrupt". I then tried a 4Gb card and everything worked fine, giving me the login prompt at the end.

The username is "pi" and the password is "raspberry". Once logged in you get the system prompt. Typing "pwd" will show where you are in the file system. Linux/Unix users will know what to do from here. I used "apt-get" to download a graphic interface. But I actually don't think I needed to do this. Just type "startx" and a desktop should appear. Next, I opened the "Minori" web browser to see how my website looked (pretty good!). Finally, I followed the instructions here and installed the Chrome browser and had a proper test.

My first impressions are that the Pi is exactly what the creators say it is. It's a fully fledged computer running Linux suitable for programming and experimentation. As you would expect for the money it's a bit sluggish, but not overly so. It comes with plenty of programming tools to help you get the most out of the resources available.

It runs Chrome fairly well so I should be able to use one to run my web-based artworks - such as ArtScanner and the Dropsketch viewer. When browsing the web I found that video playback was slow, but I know that it can run videos off of the SD card without a problem. I may also not be running an optimal system configuration yet.

That's it for now, I'll post again when I've had a more complete look around. I uploaded a few pictures here on Flickr.

Sun, 20 May 2012
Genetic Moo Talk @ Phoenix Square Video

A video of the talk by Genetic Moo at Phoenix Square on the 9th May 2012 is now available here. Some photographs are also available on Flickr.

Tue, 15 May 2012
Squid Soup Infestation at Phoenix Square

There is a great - albeit creepy - installation on at Phoenix Square at the moment. Infestation by Squid Soup is in the Cube and features a host of projected spiders and bugs that you can interact with! As you walk around you invariably end up squashing a few, but luckily plenty of new ones appear to replace them! It's great fun to play with and it on until the 10th June. See a few pictures here, but to experience it properly get down to Phoenix Square.

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