Monday, 30 May 2011

New App from Cuttlefish

 The Article below is reproduced from the Huffington Post Blog. It is related to the on-going relationship between Cuttlefish Multimedia and the IOCT who have been working in parallel on the Empedia Platform as part of an sKTP:

In art and myth, the journey is usually a heroic quest, dripping with metaphor. But what if a journey involves, instead of a highly-sought destination and revelation, simply bouncing between ports in the most banal way possible, like on the cross-channel ferry between Dover and Calais?
2011-05-25-faithfullscreenshot.jpgFor artist Simon Faithfull, the anti-heroic banality of this crossing made it a perfect launching ground for his Limbo project (commissioned by the Film and Video Umbrella), which transmits and geo-locates, in real time, digital drawings made by Faithfull via a custom-made iPhone app. For a full six days (May 14th through 19th), Faithfull stayed on the ferry for an unorthodox artist residency orchestrated by artconnexion, a French art organization, going back and forth in this "window between states" while he created -- and instantly broadcast -- drawings on his iPhone. (They can be viewed not only via the iPhone app, but by following the project on Facebook or Twitter. ) Drawings of the water, fellow passengers, passing ships, luggage, signs, shorelines, and docks were all posted in real time via the app, along with precise latitude and longitude. The ubiquitous nature of smartphone use is such that Faithfull was able to carry out this residency in perfect anonymity, looking like any other passenger passing the time checking e-mails or text messaging.
As a teaching artist who splits his time between London and Berlin, and thus spends a considerable amount of time in airports, Faithfull is all too familiar with those never-thrilling netherworlds between states; this experience has been part of the inspiration for Limbo, the premise of which is to turn that negative into a positive with a mobile studio that broadcasts to the world.
2011-05-25-faithfullbreeze.jpgFaithfull has been making electronic device drawings for over 10 years -- in 2004 he traveled to Antarctica with the British Antarctic Survey on an Arts Council fellowship, where he transmitted via email drawings made on a Palm Pilot -- so in addition to broadcasting new drawings as they are completed, the Limbo app presents a full geo-located catalogue of over 500 observational sketches that Faithfull has made throughout the world over the years. The app provides a world map view, allowing the user to find drawings near their current location or anyplace they select.
The bespoke Limbo app created for Faithfull by Jude Venn of Cuttlefish is customized not only in terms of the user experience, but on the level of the drawing program. Unlike older devices, the new smartphone drawing programs tend to render anti-aliased lines -- creating a smooth non-pixelated stroke; but Faithfull wanted to keep the raw pixel quality of his early Palm Pilot work, so his drawing program allows for a more low-tech, jagged line. "I'm not interested in having the program interpret and try to correct my strokes," he says, "It's a jagged line but it's my jagged line."
Faithfull describes Limbo, which carries the subtitle "an expanding atlas of subjectivity," as an open ended project; he will continue indefinitely to create and transmit drawings wherever he goes, "mapping my subjective take on the world."
About that subjectivity: Faithfull is interested in the power of day-to-day observations, which, when translated into memories become a highly personalized reality, "a sort of parallel world." Limbo, likewise, begins with observational, subjective sketches which, once they are posted online or broadcast to iPhones, become a powerful memory world that eventually seems more real than its subjects. So real are these drawings that Faithfull occasionally sees the real world in a strange new light. He notes how odd it seems to go back to a place he's drawn: "It jumps out and seems bizarre that it actually exists...It seems the world is copying me instead of me copying the world."
For more on the Limbo project, as well as Simon Faithfull's other projects, visit To follow on your iPhone, Limbo app is available on the iTunes app store.

Images Reproduced courtesy of Simon Faithfull.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

SEMINAR Evaluating Impact: NLab, Amplified Leicester, and creative innovation via social media 4pm 8th June, IOCT Lab

I'm pleased to announce this forthcoming seminar by Dr Souvik Mukherjee, Impact Research Fellow, Faculty of Humanities, De Montfort University

Evaluating Impact: NLab, Amplified Leicester, and creative innovation via social media
Wednesday 8th June 2011, 4pm at the Institute of Creative Technologies De Montfort University, Leicester, UK . Coffee and refreshments. All Welcome

Since 2005, DMU has initiated a series of projects which share a common focus of exploring social media as a means of stimulating creative innovation in business, non-profit, and community life in and around Leicester. They include NLab and CreativeCoffee Club (funded by HEIF, the Higher Education Innovation Fund) and Amplified Leicester (funded by NESTA, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts). Professor Sue Thomas has devised and directed these activities across the Faculty of Humanities and the Institute of Creative Technologies.

Emergence has been a dominant feature of all the projects and, despite being driven by different agendas, each has informed the shaping of the others. An important element has been the creation and evolution of spaces, both physical and intellectual, which support:

  • the application of academic research to real-life problems
  • the connection of cutting-edge research into social media innovation with local creative businesses
  • the creation of a network linking De Montfort University with small businesses, non-profits, and local agencies

Dr Souvik Mukherjee has evaluated the impact of these projects both in relation to their importance for the Research Excellence Framework and with regard to indications of future developments building on current achievements. In the process, he has also gleaned valuable insights into the REF Impact agenda which will be of interest to colleagues in a wide range of disciplines.

Large_souvik.mukherjeeDr Mukherjee is a Research fellow in the Department of Media, Film and Journalism in the Faculty of Humanities. He is currently involved in analysing the impact of social media projects on communities, especially in relation to business innovation and transliteracy. Having completed his PhD on storytelling in New Media, especially focusing on videogame narratives, Souvik has published and presented papers on a range of related topics. Besides New Media, he also takes a keen interest in e-learning and has been involved in analysing online media and virtual learning network usage in higher education. After completing his project at DMU, Souvik intends to return home to India to develop New Media research networks there. Research blog: Reading Games and Playing Books

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The Third Woman in New York


The Third Woman film-game explores the theme of pervasive global threats of bio-engineered terrorism in the 21st Century. Participants interact with the film by voting on choices based on moral and emotional perspectives embedded in the film.

An interactive Mobile Video Game using sensing (via QR codes) on phones capable of using barcode reading software. Text options are sent after scanning. Choosing one causes film materials to be sent to participants’ mobile phones and also casts a communal votes for a large screen selection. Photographing a QR barcode on a costume automatically downloads a text and when selected, a video clip presents thematic content by progressively revealing the chosen layers of a multipath contemporary film drama.


The Model-Performers, The Algorithmics, wear interactive costumes printed with QR-code images. They weave in algorithmic patterns across the stage, freezing in poses to trigger instructional visuals. Spilling off stage into the audience, the performers invite people to play the film-game and create new versions of the film determined by communal voting. Participants playing the game become part of The Third Woman Interactive Performance.

Models mingled with the audience to enable the scanning of QR codes on costumes. These released text options which allowed the previewing of multiple versions of the same scene on smartphones.

The coherence of the experience depended on a user successfully choosing from the texts delivered to their smartphone. There are nine options possible at each choice point. Choosing one allowed a user to review a version of a film scene on their smartphone.

The main screen counts down during the scanning process and morphs a QR code image into a film-related image and displays the texts as they are selected by the audience. The selection of a text automatically cast an audience vote for the most popular scene version to be played on a larger cinema screen in the venue. In such a way the audience constructed the choice of scenes which are shown as a completed film at the session end.

The Third Woman interactive Performance & film-game was held at Galapagos Arts venue in Dumbo Brooklyn New York on 8th May 2011


Homage to Graham Greene
Film clip "THE THIRD MAN" (Carol Reed 1949) by CANAL+IMAGE UK LTD

Nita Tandon for the idea of “Vienna Underground”
Anna Dumitriu for the idea of “Miazma”
Eeva Kaipainen for “Virus-Art”

Aalto University, Research group aivo AALTO, Helsinki, Finland
Aalto University, Department of Media, Medialaboratory, Helsinki, Finland
Arts Council of Finland
AVEK / The Promotion Centre for Audiovisual Culture, Finland
Bath University Computer Science, UK
NY Art Projects LLC
Södertörn University, Department of Media Technology, Sweden
University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria

OBLOMOVIES OY in association with IOCT / FUSE MEDIA/ De Montfort University, UK © 2009

Further information: