Tag Archives: soundwalk

Introducing… #Dust.

Scroll down for Tl;dr version.

So, here we are, 1/3 of the way into work for the MADE splacist commission (1 out of 3 days). In case you don’t read my blog RELIGIOUSLY (RSS, yo), Splacism is manifesto’d over here, and it’s that manifesto that MADE have challenged me and Nikki Pugh to respond to in an actual piece of actual art/experience/whatever. The manifesto also includes the notion of being open about process, so here we are.

The end of the day workspace

Post its. Lots of them. That’s the main gist of it. We did some looking and walking and poking outside as well. But the ideas were post-itted. It’s a method I learnt from Alexander Kelly, and is brilliant for streamlining an idea. Like a portable brainstorm where as relevancies and relationships shift, you can re-place ideas. Move them onto a next stage. There are 3 here:

1) what are we doing and why

we summarised the manifesto points (yellow)
we summarised what MADE had asked us to do (green)
we summarised what we wanted to do (pink)

stage 1 post its

2) write this as a brief

We then took this and turned it into a brief, here you can see things that moved forwards from the manifesto points and self-challenges; Interfaces, resonance and fragments/particles. Heat and lights, the fabric of a city, and racing hearts. Space, and catalysts for narrative. And a story I told about an Edgelands speaker describing the storming of a stage (“an act I had only previously seen on a football field … they needed to feel the resonance there”)

stage 2 post its

2.1) The Brief

Does what it says on the post it.

brief post it

3) Respond to the brief.

stage 3 without spoilers

This is our main thinking space directly to the brief, the thing in the middle is what we settled on making. Another thing, too, but that would spoil a bit of it, so we’ll tell you afterwards. We wanted to push the idea of stories you walk by, of moments and fragments forgotten, floating around a city (Motes…). We’re going to make a device for you to listen to them. But it will also challenge the interface of the headphone piece, it will be tactile and awkward and breakable and intimate. There will be some things never found. You will scan the city from above, and then search its streets below. Also we will provide hot drinks.

not the death star, promise


And then we named it: Dust.

Book tickets (for free) here, and look out for the next bit of open process on Nikki’s blog, which will be all about building and testing the protoype listening device.

Summary/Tl:dr version:

WHO: Made by me and Nikki Pugh, with some other people, commissioned by Made. For anyone to do. At least one aspect of the experience (out of 2) is highly suited to people with hearing and vision impairment. Those with mobility issues should be fine if in a wheelchair, top walking distance is 10 minutes. Top walking around time half an hour.

WHERE: on top of a car park, in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham, and for a couple of blocks around.

WHAT: You are invited to listen in to the whispers of strangers. A large dusty device that catches different voices depending on where you point it. Like a satellite dish, but made of clay and big and round. You will also be sent out in search of Motes. #Dust Motes are a mystery. For now.

WHY: To challenge us as artists, to challenge the perception of how space is inhabited, to pick up the fragments that you often walk by, to consider interfaces, ways at getting at the world; the map view and the street view.

HOW: Using clay, memories, arduino, audio, our brains, and the bodies of people.

Umbrella Project – beginning of week 4

umbrella project umbrellas

So just over the 3 week point in the Umbrella Project (it’s 5 weeks long) and things are just about starting to get to the point where I’ve enough time to blog. Biggest realisation from this experiment was how more than slightly ridiculous collecting the material for, transcribing, editing, recording, collaborating on, testing, mixing and releasing 3 soundwalks actually is. Including running events and trying to run a bit of digital awareness raising, too. Phew. Think a concerted amount of the ‘you can download and do these things’ work is going to have to happen afterwards. We’ve another day out with our big inflatable dome thingy on the 12th (the last day) so I think that’ll be a good point to do that.

So yes, all the story collecting trips are done, although you can still leave your stories of journeys via the number on the umbrellas up until the end of this week (when writing happens).

The first soundwalk – Evening – is done and available for download (designed to be done after dark outside the bigger of the two Betty’s Tea Rooms) the download link and full instructions (do grab those too) can be found over here.

The second soundwalk – Daytime – will be released on Tuesday (designed to be done sitting down somewhere in the pedestrian bit of Parliament Street, at a busy time of day, lunchtime, or a Saturday). That will be up on the same download page.

And the final soundwalk ‘Commute’ will be released on the 10th, with event days for Daytime on the 5th, and Commute on the 11th. Join us on those days if you’d like to get the chance to talk to me or Tom (artistic producer on the project) about it.

Also, worth me putting down in pixels, how absolutely positively brilliant everyone at Pilot have and are being on this, to take the risk on what is still being termed an experiment (learning an awful lot creatively as well as logistically, which would make a re-mount/developed version quite drastically different, I think) in the first place, as well the incredible support in kind, and actual bodies-on-the-ground support etc. Would probably be curled up in a ball weeping if it wasn’t for them. So THANKS, PILOT.

And here’s some pictures (facebook link) of story collection days to amuse you, and a trailer for the first soundwalk (making the second trailer tomorrow).


Oh, and if you don’t know what any of this is going on about, head over to this video, or the site.