Sean Clark's Blog

Displaying 1 to 10 of 259

Sun, 31 May 2020
Online Teaching in China

I've just finished my latest teaching in China. Of course, with the pandemic in place, I didn't get to travel over there this time. Instead, the course was delivered "virtually" using VooV, the Chinese equivalent of Zoom.

I have to say, in the run-up to the course, I wasn't sure how it would go. I had planned to begin by teaching Scratch and then move over to BBC Micro:bit, where the students would learn both hardware and software development. However, it was not just me working remotely, the students themselves were still working from home, so it was not possible to get the hardware needed to them for the course.

So instead the students were given three Scratch-based projects. The first to help them get to grips with Scratch programming, then a computer drawing project, and finally a project to help them explore the history of Guangchai - Cantonese Porcelain.

The students worked really hard an delivered some very interesting work. The use of VooV was surprisingly good. While I missed the immediate feedback you get in face-to-face teaching, I was able to teach in a workshop style - mixing short lectures with plenty of hands-on time for the students. The students themselves worked in 5-person groups, using WeChat to communicate and share materials.

It will be interesting to see how these experiences affect the future of teaching. If the teaching works, and the students achieve their goals, might there be a lot more of this sort of teaching the future? Perhaps I don't need to spend so much time in China in the future?

Maybe online reaching will become the norm? If so, I won't miss the long flights, but I will miss the food!

See more information and outputs from the course can be found here.

Fri, 08 May 2020
Leicester Digital Artists in the Lockdown

Interact Digital Arts is very pleased to announce that we have been successful in obtaining funding from Arts Council England to help support the Leicester Digital Artists community. The support will help us with our overheads during the lockdown, to develop the Computer Arts Archive project and plan a revised launch date and - most importantly - will give eight local digital artists grants to create and showcase new work.

The project was formulated during a series of Zoom meetings hosted by Interact on Monday evenings at the start of the lockdown and will include an online exhibition of artist's work, together with three online arts events. Much of this activity will take place in June as part of a re-worked "Digital June" event. Digital June was due to happen at the LCB Depot during that month. LCB Depot will be involved in the new event, helping to promote it and encouraging other organisation and artists to participate.

The eight Leicester-based artists involved in the ACE project at present are Jim Frize, Sean Carroll, Leonie DuBarry-Gurr, Paul Mazzitelli, Paul Rudman, Joe Moran, Anoushka Goodwin and Sean Clark. Others will be invited to participate in the live events.

To keep up-to-date with developments on the project visit the Interact Digital Arts website, or follow the Interact Digital Arts Facebook Page. You can also join the discussion on the Leicester Digital Artists Facebook Group. For more information about Interact Digital Arts please contact Sean Clark at seanc@interactdigitalarts.uk.

Mon, 09 Mar 2020
Light Up Leicester 2020

Light Up Leicester was Leicester's first city-wide light festival. Organised by ArtReach, it saw the city centre filled with light artworks from Thursday 5th until Sunday 8th March. The works on show included illuminated see-saws, Shadow Dance by Impossible Arts (picture above), a giant robot and a piece from renowned digital arts group SquidSoup.

interact Digital Arts was involved in the festival in two ways. First, we ran a programme of engagement activities with local schools and artists under the name "Connectedness Clinic". The idea here was to introduce people to the sorts of technologies that are typically used in the construction of digital artworks and to talk about how digital connectivity can be used creatively. Second, we created some experimental work that connected some of the digital artworks in the event as part of the general "connectedness" theme of the festival.

See my full report and pictures on the festival on the Light Up Leicester 2020 web page on the Interact Digital Arts website.

Sat, 29 Feb 2020
The Computer Arts Archive

The Computer Arts Archive is a non-profit company that collects, exhibits and promotes computer artwork for the benefit of artists, audiences, curators, educators and researchers. It collaborates with other collections, museums and galleries to explore the impact of digital culture and ensure that computer art is recognised as a significant contemporary art form with a rich and diverse history. In particular, we work closely with the Computer Arts Society, a member-based organisation founded in 1968.

Interact Digital Arts and the Computer Arts Society will be launching the Computer Arts Archive in June 2020. Visit the website at https://computer-arts-archive.com/ for information on how to stay in touch.

Fri, 10 Jan 2020
In The Dark 2020 - Pictures and Videos

We've now uploaded a collection of pictures and videos from the In The Dark 2020 exhibition organised by Genetic Moo and The London Group with the Computer Arts Society and Art in Flux and held at the Cello Factory between 8th and 11th January. The pictures can be found on Flickr at:

https://flickr.com/photos/seancuttlefish/albums/72157712582942603

and the videos at:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLENJb8nmAr0hXZ032V4cgUt0xKcXTzFWT

Sat, 21 Dec 2019
Interact'19 Exhibition and Live Event

This year's Interact'19 exhibition has finished with a great live event at the LCB Depot in Leicester. I organised the first exhibition of Leicester-based digital artists in 2014 as part of the five-year celebrations of the opening of the LCB Depot. The show went well, but I hadn't intended to make it a regular event. However, in 2018 there was an opportunity to organise something similar and it seemed like a good idea to organise another one in 2019. I think it's fair to say that it will now be an annual fixture :)

Full details of this year's exhibition, together with pictures from the live event can be found at https://interactdigitalarts.uk/interact19. An announcement about next years' exhibition will be made in September 2020.

Tue, 29 Oct 2019
VR and AR in Leicester

On Saturday 19th of October at Phoenix in Leicester, there was a showcase of local Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality producers that featured work by MBD, NSC Creative, DMU Institute of Creative Technologies, CATS are not PEAS and Ben Fredericks.

The showcase demonstrated the wealth of VR talent in Leicester and I think we can justifiably say that the city is something of a Virtual Reality hotspot. What's more, the type of work being produced is interesting, with a strong emphasis on narrative and performative work.

As part of a short discussion after the showcase, I spoke a bit about the history of VR locally and mentioned the VR exhibition I organised at Loughborough University way back in 1993(!) as well as Leicester's place VR history through the pioneering work of VR arcade game company W Industries / Virtuality, that was based nearby in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

I hope to organise a bigger event in the not too distant future. Until then, you can find out more about Leicester-based VR producers on the Leicester VR/AR Creators Facebook Group. Pictures from the showcase can be found at https://interactdigitalarts.uk/leicesterxr.

Mon, 14 Oct 2019
The Pixel Wall and artThings

Today a new video-installation went live at DeMontfort University on the front of the Vijay Patel building. The Pixel Wall comes with an editor that you open by scanning the on-screen QR code on your mobile phone. You can then draw your own video game sprite and add it to the screen for others to see.

It's a simple idea and intended to be a fun part of the One Giant Leap celebration of the moon-landings that's happening in Leicester this week. However, for me, it marks an important step in testing and finalising the release of my artThings technology.

artThings emerged from my PhD research as an infrastructure for enabling artworks running on micro-controllers, computers and web browsers to communicate with each other over mobile, WiFi and LoRa networks. I now want to establish it as an open standard for connecting digital artworks and this test will hopefully confirm that it's ready for public release.

Of course, it's not just about swapping video game sprites. In my artworks, I already use it to exchange artwork elements, colours, sounds, generative parameters and so on. I typically create networks of artworks for exhibitions and events, but I also have an interest in turning Leicester itself into a large "connected artwork" where diverse artworks placed around the city are able to communicate and respond to each other and to the data being produced by the multitude of sensors that are now around us.

I see this city-wide network of artworks being created by multiple artists and making use of the Internet of Things technologies that will soon become common-place as Leicester moves towards being a "smart city". This project might sound ambitious, but as the technology develops and more artists express an interest in it there is no reason why it can't be made to happen.

If you like the sound of what I'm looking to build please get in touch and I'll share more plans. For now, go to DMU (and, as of tomorrow, Curve) and have a play with the Pixel Wall. The video installation will be running all week between 12noon and 2pm.

Sun, 04 Aug 2019
Event Two @ The Royal College of Art

Event Two at the Royal College of Art took place between 12th and 17th July 2019 and was a great success. Every evening event was fully booked and day visitors numbered many hundreds. We are still sorting for through the documentation gathered at the event but have managed to sort through the first set of photographs. You can find around 350 in an album on Flickr. Additionally, there are pictures of the install, plus videos, 3D photographs and 360 panoramas on the Event Two web page.

An updated version of The CAS50 Collection is currently in production. This will contain information about the 24 artists in the collection, plus a selection of photographs from the various exhibitions, including Event Two, that have happened so far as part of the CAS50 programme.

You can pre-order the catalogue from Etsy

Sun, 28 Jul 2019
China Sessions @ EVA London

As part of my roles as an International Professor at Guangdong University of Technology (GDUT) and a member of the EVA London programme committee, I helped put together a number of China-related activities at the EVA London conference in July this year. This included chairing a panel of China-related papers at the conference, followed by an evening panel session and a small exhibition. I was joined at the conference by GDUT colleague Yi Ji (pictured) and four students from the University.

Pictures from the activities can be seen on the FE Art Lab web page. If you are interested in knowing more about the work I am doing at GDUT or want to talk about collaborative projects, please get in touch.

Displaying 1 to 10 of 259


Subscribe to RSS Feed Help for RSS Feeds