Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Things we like....The Science Museum's Future Playground

The Science Museum have launched a new exhibit called 'The Future Playground'. On show are a giant inflatable sphere on which images can be projected and a pneumatically driven chair that helps people interact with games. Also being showcased is a drama that people interact with by singing.

Find out more at:
BBC News - Technology
Science Museum - Future Playground Press Release

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Capgemini confirms sponsorship of FreqOUT! in 2007

We are delighted to announce that Capgemini has confirmed sponsorship of FreqOUT! in 2007.

Capgemini have been supporters of FreqOUT! through staff volunteering, technical assistance and funding since 2005 and we welcome their investment for the year ahead. The funds will contribute to the running of workshops for young people in the Westminster area.

We would like to thank in particular, Nigel Kirby Green, Monica Wilson, Frank Longworth and John L ward for their advice, guidance, enthusiasm and committment to the project.

Capgemini have a strong tradition of local community support - you can find out more about Capgemini and their CSR activities at: Capgemini Corporate Social Responsbility

Thursday, November 30, 2006

FreqOUT! visits Liverpool

This week FreqOUT! visited four Liverpool based arts institutions, FACT, Open Eye, The Liverpool Biennial and Tate Liverpool to talk about possibilities for future collaboration and research models of social engagement.

Each gallery/team approached engagement of young people through their programmes in different ways – from delivery of one off and short-term projects related to exhibitions through to rolling activities and services for local communities. All groups agreed that gratuitous imposition of ‘do-gooding’ arts activities on communities were not useful, but that thoughtful matching of high calibre artists with communities who express a wish to extend their skills and experience in stated directions were worthwhile.

There was a universal desire for sensitive facilitation to ensure that programmes match the triumvirate of needs of artists, communities and institutions, which result in creatively credible material and meaningful exchange between people. And of course all four were searching for further sustainable funding which with to achieve this.

Thanks very much to Patrick at Open Eye, Renae at Biennial, Angharad at FACT and Naomi at TATE Liverpool.

You can find out more about the galleries/events through the links below:
FACT / Foundation for Film, Art & Creative Technology
Open Eye Gallery
The Liverpool Biennial
TATE Liverpool / Young TATE

Monday, November 27, 2006

FreqOUT! artist debuts soundwork in New York

This week FreqOUT!lead artist and tutor Mellissa Bliss launched her new soundwork 'THE TELEPHONE TOUR'which will run until 13 January 2007.

The work is part of 'Peter Stuyvesant's Ghost', a civic art project in Manhattan which celebrates Dutch Art & Culture Past and Present. The project takes place within the footprint of the 17th century farm of Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch Governor, in what is now the East Village.

THE TELPHONE TOUR is a series of soundworks by US and international artists delivered through telephones. The public can download the map and walk round the locations marked, calling numbers from the pay phones or mobiles at each location.

Melissa's soundworks were also heard on Michelle Nagai's Dutch Days Radio Hour on free103point9 daily 15-19 November 2006.

The project is documented on Melissa's website Living Cinema

You can find out more at:


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Things We Like! - Trading Places

The South Bank Centre has been working with people of Lower Marsh on a project that discovers the hidden poetry of everyday places. The project haas bee running in partnership with the Lomography Society (a Lomo is a small russain built camera distinctive in taking images which produce photographs with a darkened 'halo' effect around the edge of the frame)and inspire by local residents and the begining of teh South Bank's Poetry Festival.

The project has culminated in an interactive sonic and photographic exhibition outside the Royal Festival Hall. While the building is undergoing reconstruction the installation provide a welcome focal point for visitors. Passers by are encouraged to touch a photograph on the 'lomo wall', which will trigger the playing of a related sound recorded in Lower marsh Street.

Find out more at:
The South Bank / Trading Places
The international Lomographic Society

Monday, November 20, 2006

Things We Like! - Turning virtual reality into objects

Rajiv Kumar of Vertex, a member of teh freqOUT! Steering Group has brough the following link to our attention...Sketch Furniture

The Swedish, 'design as performance' group FRONT have developed and explored the Motion Capture as a technique that translates motion into 3D-files. Motion capture is mostly used for animations in movies and computer games. Front have used the technique to record the tip of a pen when they draw pieces of furniture in the air during their theatrical activities.

Rapid Prototyping is a technique that materializes 3D-files. A laser beam builds the 3D-file layer by layer within a liquid plastic material. Every 0.1mm the liquid harden by a laser beam. After a few hours, the 3D-files come out as materialised pieces - each FRONT performance results in newly made furniture!

Front performed their extroadinary performance at Art Basel and Miami / Design 05 and at Tokyo Wonder between 31 October – 5 November this year. The project is made in collaboration with Barry Friedman Ltd.

To see other reviews go to:
PC News
Hacked Gadgets

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Art Of The Digital Age - book launch and lecture

This week FreqOUT! attended the launch of the book 'Art of The Digital Age' by New York Digital Salon pioneer and new media art academic Bruce Wands. The launch, hosted by James Faure-Walker at Camberwell School of Art included a short lecture of the history of digital art by Bruce Wands, and guest speakers William Lathom and network artist Ilza Black (Porta 2030/AmbientTV).

Bruce Wands was particularly interesting when talking about works included in the installation, or 'immersive experience' catergory such as Char Davies user controlled fly through piece called 'Ephemere' from 2003 and Erwin Redl's LED works (shown on the front of the book jacket).

Ilza's contemporary, socially engaged perspective brought a refreshing criticality into the arena. Her talk covered the use of mobile and wireless networks to highlight connectivity (Usman Haacke's mobile phone project and John Gail's wireless umbrella's which light up as they detect a 'friend' within range) and the varied use of personal data in a digital age.

You can find out more about the book and the speakers and the below:
Thames and Hudson / Art Of The Digital Age
Camberwell Schoolof Art / James Faure Walker
NY Digital Salon / Bruce Wands
Porta 2030 / Ilza Black

Friday, November 10, 2006

CHArt Conference

This week FreqOUT! attended the CHArt (Computers In the History of Art) Conference at The Clore Lecture Theatre, Birkbeck College in Central London.

This year, the focus bringing togather the lectures, PHD papers and demosntrations was, 'Fast Forward - Art history, curation and practice after media'. A hightlight was a panel session from CRUMB (AKA Sarah Cook, Beryl Graham and Ele Carpenter, University of Sunderland) and their paper on curating new media art.

Another was from Katrien Berte of the Department of Communication Sciences at Ghent University who spoke on 'User Requirements for a 'Virtual Arts Centre of the Future''. Her research into the leisure activities of Belgian citizens has found that a new layer of culture comsumers are emerging consisting of minimumly educated young people who experience culture (music, film, games) only online. Her department found this group will enter a virtual cultural centre (museum/arts venue) online, but not in the real world. Based on this research the Belgian authorities are focusing more resources on developing online cultural information and digitally delivered activities to this group.

You can read the abstracts and papers at http://www.chart.ac.uk

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Emotional Mapping workshops in Lisson Green

Last week FreqOUT! hosted the artist and innovator Christian Nold who ran a series of Emotional Mapping workshops with young people from the Fourth Feathers and the Marylebone Bangladeshi Society youth clubs in Lisson Green.

The workshops were a great success. They gave the young people aged between 13 - 21 years old, the opportunity to try out Christian's bio-mapping devices which consist of a galvanic skin sensor linked to a GPS unit. The equipment monitors the wearers sweat levels and plots their geographical position over time as they walk around their local environment

The data collected from the young people's walks were downloaded and visualised using Google Earth. The resultant images became the focus of debate around the diversity and similarities between individuals experiences; their relationship to their local environment; the transformative power of technology upon our lives and data protection and interpretation issues.

All photographs by Jake Nowak/FreqOUT!
Huge thanks go to Vertex, particularly Tim Lonsdale, Mario Tsavellas and Rajiv Kumar whose generous support facilitated these educational events.

You can read more at:
Christian Nold's Bio Mapping web site
Vertex's Corporate Social responsibility Strategy

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

NESTA's 'Making Innovation Flourish'

FreqOUT! went to NESTA's 'Making Innovation Flourish'conference at London's Business Design Centre today. Amongst the exciting innovations on display we particularly liked the Schizoporotica 'Melody Shredder', and the Futurelab team, who pioneer many exciting mobile learning applications for young people in partnership with creatives and private bussines. We'll be contacting the immenently for further discussions.

Tessa Jowell made a particlarly interesting speech about the need to empower this countries young people - especially those from deprived backgrounds - for careers in the IT and innovation industries where communication, collaboration and creativity meet.

You can look them up at:
Troika's Schizoporotica

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Things we like: The Phillips Magic Brush

Rajiv Kumar of Vertex has highlighted a 'Magic Brush' as his new favourite invention which merges art and technology.

Earlier this month Phillips Electronics unveiled several new and innovative products based on its ‘sense and simplicity’ brand at their 2006 Philips Simplicity Event. Amonst them where Drag & Draw where the entire home becomes a virtual canvas for expression and play for young children, thanks to a magic brush, a magic eraser, a magic wand, and a laser projection bucket. The images here shows Andrea Ragnetti, Chief Marketing Officer of Royal Philips Electronics, showing a child how simple it is to use.

You can read more about it at Phillips Simplicity

Thursday, October 12, 2006

FreqOUT! visits BBC Blast

FreqOUT! was excited to visit BBC Blast at their White City HQ last week and learn about their touring truck which provides inspiration and advice for those wanting to get involved in music, art, dance or film.

The truck tours the UK and acts as a mobile classroom. The Blast team have have agreed to host a group of young FreqOUTers when the truck is next parked in Trafalgar Sqaure next Spring time.

To find out more about BBC Blast go to:
BBC Blast

Monday, October 09, 2006

Why I got involved with FreqOUT! - Steve Lau

Steve Lau is Westminster Youth Service's Service Manager, and he sits on the FreqOUT! Steering Group. We asked him a few questions about his invlovement with the project:

Why did you get involved with FreqOUT!?:
I carry a number of portfolios for the Youth Service, which include both the Arts and information Technology. I was therefore the natural link to the youth service when the concept of a wireless technologies/youth arts project was first put forward. Having said that, it has always been one of the more interesting projects to have come across my desk, simply because it lies ‘outside of the box’ for so much of the time.

What do you think it can offer to young people?:
So much, and perhaps best illustrated by what young people got out of FreqOut last year. What was very clear from last year’s presentation at the ICA was that the young people had had so much fun in the workshops. The Youth Service is about having fun. But equally there were some very important issues which were touched upon, issues which have a very real impact upon young people’s lives on a daily basis, whether issues of privacy and the introduction and use of CCTV, or society’s judgement of people on first impressions. I’ve no doubt that FreqOut offered young people the opportunity to learn about these and similar issues in a meaningful and fun way. Then there’s all the practical skills which young people acquired - mainly around information technology, but also some of the social skills of team work, of making a first impression count and so on.

The importance of your contribution to FreqOUT!:
I’m not sure this is entirely a question for me to answer. I can say I bring a professional youth work dimension to the management committee, with a strong focus on putting young people first, empowering them, education and safeguarding young people. I think these are important aspects of a strong management committee that needs to encompass robust technical, creative as well as educational elements.

What would you like people to know about WYS?:
Westminster Youth Service sits within the Lifelong Learning Directorate of the Children and Community Services Section of Westminster City Council. The Service is part of a wider package of Services aimed at young people, including Connexions, Positive Activities for Young People, Sports Development and the Play Service, all of these are services which we are working ever closer with. Our aim is to provide young people in Westminster with positive out of school activities that are fun and meaningful, and which contribute to our young people being healthy and safe, enjoying and achieving in life, making a positive contribution to society, and preparing them for a prosperous life.

You can find out more about the Westminster Youth Service at:

Friday, October 06, 2006

'TAGGED' - RFID art at Space

FreqOUT! would like to draw your attention to Five new works by artists working with RFID technology as part an ongoing project produced by [ space.media.arts ] in Hackey, East London.

You can see Richard Barbrook (Westminster University and Cybersalon - see links: The Class of The New and Imaginary Futures)in the picture above testing out iTag by the artist collaborative Louis-Philippe Demers and Philippe Jean. Using a portable music device, available to pick up from the exhibition, shoppers can listen to music generated from the grocery aisles at local shop Hollywood Convenience. Items are electronically tagged allowing the grocery items to produce the artwork .

RealSnailMail is a project in development by Boredomresearch, using RFID technology to enable real snails to carry and deliver electronic messages on their own time, despite growing expectations of instant communication.

Mute-Dialogue (Yasser Rashid and Yara El-Sherbini have created the interactive installation, Origins and Lemons. Arranged as an East End market stall the installation invites you to pick up RFID-tagged items and scan them to receive clues as to their history and origin.

In SWAPOId, evoLhypergrapHyCx (C6)implement RFID technology in the Antisystemic Distributed Library Project, an alternative library of shared books, videos, and music with venues in community centres and bedrooms worldwide, and through this acting as but one site of resistance against a de-humanising, de-dimensional agenda.

Arphield Recordings by Paula Roush records the sound of citizens scanning their Oyster cards in London Underground stations, and outputs them in live performance, installation and public intervention.

A new essay by Armin Medosch, The Spychip Under Your Skin, accompanies this exhibition and is published on a new [ space.media.arts ] website: www.spacemedia.org.uk


Email: exhibitions@spacestudios.org.uk
Web: http://www.spacemedia.org.uk
Telephone: 0208 525 4339

Bus: 26 & 48 from Liverpool Street
106 & 254 from Bethnal Green
55 from Old Street

Tube: Bethnal Green
Train: Hackney Central Silverlink

Opening Reception: 6 October, 6 - 9pm; continuing until 21 October With a performance by Paula Roush
Open Wednesday - Saturday, 1 - 6pm


Things We Like - Tina Gonsalves' FEEL Series

Today FreqOUT! went to a lecture at the University College London's Institue of Cognitive Neuroscience and Functional Imaging Unit to hear artist in residence Tina Gonsalves talk about her work.

Tina has been collaborating with emotion neuroscientist Dr. Hugo Critchley to create a series of video installations that react to viewers emotional states. Wearing bio-sensors that dectect heart rate, perspirance, movement etc, viewers are invited to watch videos that externalise their emotional state and attempt to control that state.

Tina has also produced reactive Jewelery which incorporate tiny video screens displaying images that express feelings that the wearer may be working hard to conceal on the surface. We were shown documentary footage of Tina wearing the jewelery during at a public intervention at the ICA in 2004 where people strangely ended up taking to her jewelery rather than her face - creating intimate and often highly emotional scenes!

You can find out more at:
Tina Gonsalves
Greenwich Hugo Critchley / UCL

Peninsula Launch

Last night FreqOUT! Project Manager Amy Robins and FreqOUT! friend and representative of the Finish GPS company Pointer Jaimie Palmer went down to the launch of the Greenwich based project Penninsula. The launch presented five of the new media arts projects they have been nuturing - from Christian Nold's, 'Greenwich Emotion Map', to Daniel Belasco's, 'Peninsula Voices' - both of which use GPS to operate, and Lottie Childs', 'Accidental Holiday'. We also met up with Rob Dyke of Comwifinet whose project Peninsula.me.uk was also featured.

Peninsula is an exceptionally well curated project that matches locative, wireless and new media to community concerns, memories and future wishes. I won't explain them all here - you can look them up at the following links:

Peninsula Projects / Independant Photography
Greenwich Emotion Map / Christian Nold
Peninsula Voices / Daniel Belasco
Accidental Holiday / Lottie Child
Gasworks to Dome / Rib Davis & Tom Keene
Peninsula.me / Comwifinet

Plus Jaime Palmer's Finish GPS links:
Pointer GPS Solutions
Pointer for Pets

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Artful Gaming at the Dana Centre

As part of the London Games Festival Fringe, Cybersalon and Select Parks have been hosting 'Artful Gaming' at the Science Museum’s Dana Centre this week - a one-day forum and week-long exhibition that spotlights innovation and platforms new work, new developments and new thinking in gaming culture.

FreqOUT! went along today and two works caught our eye due to their experiential learning potential for young people.

The first was 'Chit Chat National Park' (see above), a live MUD (multi user domain) by Toshi Endo, where individuals can take on avatars, and communicate with corresponding emotions in a utopian environment. We think this would be extra interesting if played between two youth communities on different estates across London - allowing young people to communicate on a level, without judging each other on dress/voice/skin colour/age etc.

The second was 'EdgeBomber' (see above below right), by Susigames - a german art colletive. EdgeBomber is a pervasive video game installation, where the creation of the game world is an active part of the game. The player uses tape, stickers and scissors to create his own playground on a blank wall. The system then grabs the scenery and creates a virtual level for our jump-n-run video game. The newly grabbed playground is extended and finally projected back to the original scenery. Thus a mixed media/augmented reality level is created. This seems like an exciting way for palyers to gain control over the way their interactive gaming environment looks and works - rather than just being a consumer.

You can find out more about Artful Gaming at:
CyberSalon / Artful Gaming

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Pay by phone parking launched

Yesterday we heard that as Westminster Council's wireless service grows they have launched a Pay by Phone Parking scheme in a large part of the West End and around Harrow Road, as part of a 6-month trial.

We're not sure yet how we could utilise this service as the basis for an arts or education project, but we're sure its possible! Leave a comment here or email arobins@cwh.org.uk if you are an artist or technologist with any ideas!

Find out more about the scheme at
Pay by phone parking in Westminster

Sign up to the service at:
Sign up to pay by phone parking

Monday, October 02, 2006

Things we like! - Sascha Pohflepp

Rajiv Kumar, our FreqOUT! Steering Group delegate from Vertex has come across an art project by Sascha Pohflepp which combines a Sony Ericsson k750i with a black case to let you take other people's pictures. The design works by recording what time you click the button to "take" a picture, then later on connects to the internet to scope out shots other people took with that same timestamp.

Have a look at it at the following link:
Blinks and Buttons

Monday, September 25, 2006

Bio Mapping - community partners confirmed

We are delighted to announce that during the '06 Autumn half term holiday, FreqOUT! will be working with the Marylebone Bangladeshi Society (MBS)and Forth Feathers Youth Clubs.

Christian Nold will be delivering a series of Bio Mapping activities for the young people. Through the use of GPS and Galvanic Skin sensors, he will lead them to explore their relationship to the built environment, thier own and other residents perceptions of safety, urban planning and regenration issues.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Why I got involved with FreqOUT!

Charlotte Fergusson is the City of Westminster's Arts Liaison Officer and a member of the FreqOUT! Steering Group. The FreqOUT! team interviewd Charlotte to find out more about why she is involved in the project.

FreqOUT!: Charlotte, What is your role on the Steering Group?
Charlotte: I'm a non voting member giving input on behalf of Westminster City Council from an arts perspective.

FreqOUT!: Why do Westminster City Coucil want to support the project?
Charlotte: It's innovative and genuinely impacts on the participants. On top of that FreqOUT! partners with many interesting and diverse agencies which can only benefit the Council.

FreqOUT!: What element of FreqOUT! is most inspiring?

The new artistic applications of wireless technologies

FreqOUT!: Why is FreqOUT! different to most other creative education provision in Westminster?
Charlotte: It utilises a relatively new art form. Pioneering projects like this one don't appear very often.

FreqOUT!: Why do you think its important to introduce young people to new technologies?
Charlotte: We live in a world where IT skills are esstential for employment. It is also a good way to engage young people in learning because they feel comfortable with the technology and it's relevant to them. They get a chance to stretch their imaginations.

To find out more about Westminster Council's support of the Arts go to:
Westminster City Council Arts and Entertainment

Artist Wish List - The Familiar Stranger team

FreqOUT! is always on the look out for interesting artists and development or research units who we'd like to work with.

Through the Neural Net online magazine we have spotted The Familiar Stranger Project developed by Eric Paulos and Elizabeth Goodman from Intel Berkeley Lab, which we think would be an interesting project to collaborate with - possibly linking group of young people in the UK and their daily routines to this high profile research in the USA.

The project uses Bluetooth technology to explore the loose connections we have to people we see during our daily routines, but never speak to. A good example is a person seen on the bus every morning: if this person fails to show up we suddenly notice it. The claim is that the relationship we have with the familiar strangers is indeed a real relationship in which both parties agree to mutually ignore each other. And this familiarity with strangers help us to feel part of a group.

The researchers claim that current trends in mobile phone usage increasingly divide people from co-located strangers within their community. In quirky situations or strange places in fact we use our mobile phones uncomfortably, dramatically decreasing the chances of interacting with individuals outside our social groups.

The creators Paulos and Goodman are developing a tool capable of detecting other Bluetooth mobile phone users. One of the most powerful elements is that it is not driven by the bits of an online network, but by actual real-life, by the movement and interaction (or non-interaction) of others whose path we cross. Therefore, the number of 'participants' is not simply the size of some database on a central server but a more powerful and personal membership in urban life. To be specific, every Bluetooth mobile phone user is within the Jabberwocky community.

You can find out more about the project at
Neural Net

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Brokering Creativity - Jock McQueenie visits FreqOUT!

Jock McQueenie, the Sydney based creative events broker visited FreqOUT! at Vital Regeneration's Westminster based HQ last week. His interest was in finding out more about a young project which has already successfully built partnerships between technology related companies, artists and communities for the mutual benefit of all involved with a view to using us as a model in his European and Australasian University level lecturing sessions.

Jock has a ten year history of cultural brokerage which has broken new ground in business/community/arts partnerships. His approach synthesises innovative custom-designed arts projects which 'join the dots' of diverse stakeholder agendas and perspectives and demonstrating in practical terms the transformative potential of the arts.

In brokering collaborations between arts organisations, companies and communities his aim is to positively position the Arts in relation to the often competing and intersecting agendas of economy, society and technology. His 3Cs model (community, culture and commerce - see below) provides cultural organisations, local and state governments and the corporate sector with strategic planning and visioning, concept and project development, cross sector workshops and training.

Jock is also looking to build a group of internationally based, arts educated indviduals who practise in this area and regard brokering as a creative act in itself. If you recognise yourself in this description, please contact me at arobins@cwh.org.uk and I will pass your details on.

To find out more about Jock McQueenie's work go to:
Jock McQueenie’s ‘3C’s’paper
Museum Australia
CCD - Community and Cultural Development In Australia
Arts Tasmania
Southland Museum, New Zealand

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Vertex confirms 2006 Sponsorship

Yesterday the customer management company Vertex confirmed their continuing sponsorship of FreqOUT! by commiting to fund a strand of Emotional Mapping workshops led by Artist Christian Nold this autumn.

Vertex were introduced to FreqOUT! through their involvement with the Westminster Wireless City Initiative and the flame has been kept alive by a string of committed employees, from Cheryl Bennett who helped steer FreqOUT! in its early stages; Rajiv Kumar who has been consistent in his support for over a year; through to the Community Outcomes Manager Mario Tsavellas and Tim Lonsdale, Vertex's Client Director at the City of Westminster Council who have secured this current round of funding. Thank you very much to all of you for your vision and committment.

Vertex have a strong Corporate Social Responsbility (CSR) strategy. FreqOUT! fufills their wish to support activities relating to education, employability, equality and diversity. You can find out more about Vertex and their CSR activities at: Vertex Corporate Social Responsbility

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Artist Christian Nold to join FreqOUT!

We are delighted to announce that artist Christian Nold will be joining FreqOUT! to deliver projects in 2006/7. Christian is acclaimed for his work with Greenwich council and residents on the Greenwich Emotion Map (see links below).

Young people will have the opportunity to work with Christian Nold whose Bio Mapping tool allows the wearer to record their Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) - an indicator of emotional states in conjunction with geographical location. Data colected is used to construct maps that visualise which locations create stressed or excited responses, Christian will explore the young people’s relationship to their local area. Dates and locations will be confirmed shortly.

To find out more about Christian's work go to:
Greenwich Emotion Map review by the British Coucnil
Greenwich Emotion Map
New Scientist

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

First Impressions at the Science Museum

First Impressions - the short film made by FreqOUT! particpants now turned film agency 'Wiseroot' was given its first airing at the science Museum last week.

The film was bought by the Science Museum's education department to compliment their in house staff training programme called 1st Impressions, which teaches staff to interact sensitively to visitors.

Anne-Marie Devitt, the Schools Traing and Programme Manager said "...this video captured the essence of our training programme. It was made by young people and featured people from a wide selection of cultures and backgrounds. It is fantastic - very well made, humorous, thought provoking and leads to useful discussion. We would definately use Wiseroot again."

FreqOUT! would like to say well done to Wiseroot and wish them the best of luck in the future. We are looking forward to them returning to the project soon to assist in the introduction of a new cohort of young people to film skills.

To find out more about the Science Museum go to:Science Museum

To find out more about the makers of the film and their continuing education go to:Urban Academy

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Wireless Blogging

Appropriately for a wireless related project this and the previous post were uploaded using the wireless connection on a GNER train from Edinburgh to London.

Passengers can access the Internet after paying a fee. To read a review of the service go to: http://www.newswireless.net/index.cfm/article/646 . Being a map addict I particularly enjoyed the online tracking device that shows you the progress of your journey across the country.

If you're watching this GNER maybe you'd like to get involved with FreqOUT!. Will be running education projects nationally by 2007 and incorporating in-transit arts activities (GPS treasure hunts?) for young people would have benefits for all concerned.

To read more about the service go to:GNER Mobile Office .

International Conference on Arts In Society - Report from Day Two

The day kicked off with Tessa Jackson, Co-ordinator of the Edinburgh Art Festival talking about visual arts in the UK. Afterwards in the garden (below right) she answered questions from American delegates in particular who where complimentary about the UK’s ability to create art spaces in reclaimed industrial buildings and reach out to wider audiences.

Today I found three presentations particularly engaging:

1...Cities Learn Through Arts Discourse,
by Dr. Brooke Jacobson from Portland Sate University (shown speaking in a ‘talking circle’ below left in the image above) on the work of Andres Deimun, a Dutch filmmaker who was pivotal in allowing input from communities input the development of their own city between 1950’s-70’s. His aim was to create dialogue between the ‘many different Portlands’ – the communities, urban planners and architects through documentary filmmaking. Dr Jacobsen puts forward the view that Deimun’s filmmaking facilitated the creation of a city with ‘walkability’ (rare in America) which is today celebrated as a city that is eminently ‘liveable’. Find out more from…..

2...The Arts and Social Heath: Tracking the American Experience,
by Dr Marque Miringoff, Sociology Dept, Vassar College, USA revealed patterns in the way Americans value and participate in the arts, showing how cost, location and lack of information can impact on deprived communities access to the arts and the perception of arts as beneficial to wellness. Download the report at http://iisp.vassar.edu/ (link below).

3...Brokering Creativity: Reflecting on a Decade of Arts Development
by Jock McQueenie, Centre for Cultural Research, UWS, Australia (shown during his presentation in the top left hand corner of the image above). Jock gave us an overview of the work he has done with communities, companies and culture in masterminding imaginative, innovative and mutually beneficial cultural events in Tasmania and Australia including an Opera in Paper Mills and photographic exhibitions in Breweries. He emphasised the importance of creating news ways of working and how brokerage is a creative process in itself.

Related links:
Edinburgh Arts Festival / Tessa Jackson
Artes Mundi / Welsh International Visual Arts Prize / Tessa Jackson
Portland, Oregon Urban Planning
Arts and Social Heath in America/ Dr Marque Miringoff
Arts Tasmania / Jock McQueenie
Jock McQueenie’s ‘3C’s’paper

A hello goes out to the other members of the ‘Arts in Communities’ talking circle to which I was assigned, and which I had to leave before the week was over. If any of you would like to continue our debate using the comment facility below – go ahead!

International Conference on Arts In Society - Report from Day One

Despite numerous setbacks including many last minute cancellations and numerous delegates having only the clothes they arrived in with their luggage and presentations stuck at Heathrow, the conference began well yesterday. Many speakers have had to abandon their prepared scripts and multimedia presentations and have instead spoken from memory and started dialouges with the audience. This has proved no barrier, having enhanced the sharing of stimulating ideas.

I presented a paper on FreqOUT! as part of the 'Arts In Communities' stream. The reception was very positive – many congratulating the project on its innovative approach to education and track record in nagivating the complexities of new technologies, artistic practise and multiple funding streams. Since then I have been approached by a wide variety of organisations for more information about what we do - including English Heritage and Universities in New Zealand and the USA.

Another presentation that particularly impressed me and which has parrallel aims to FreqOUT! was the 'SayIT' project from New York State, led by Professor Terrance Ross (New York's Adelphi University) which teaches literacy skills to young people through media critique and film making. Prof Ross talked about ‘building on young people’s interests', in order to enage them in wider dialouges.

Before my own presentation was one which set up a dialouge on the outcomes of community art initiatives given by Dr Martin Mulligan and Pia Smith from the Globalism Institute at RMIT University Australia. They have conducted wide ranging research on the efficatiousness and use of community arts in society. Part of their research acknowledges that community arts activity can ..."make the invisible (people) more visible and give a voice to the voiceless; leading to more open discourses on how to reduce social exclusion". That certainly has alignment with the goals of FreqOUT!

Links to the relevant bodies and parctitioners I have mentioned above:
Professor Terrance Ross / Adephi University
Martin Mulligan / RMIT University
English Heritage - Characterisation

Monday, August 14, 2006

FreqOUT! at International Conference on Arts In Society Conference

FreqOUT! Project Manager Amy Robins will be presenting a paper at the first International Conference on Arts In Society at Edinburgh University this week.

The overall theme of the conference will be 'Arts of Engagement' and the international audience will consist of noted artists, writers, curators, and cultural policymakers, researchers and practitioners. Amy will be speaking at 2pm on Tuesday 15th August under the 'Arts In Communities' stream.

To find out more go to:
International Arts Conference

Thursday, August 10, 2006

FreqOUT! Steering Group Members at ISEA

Saul Albert and Julie Freeman, both independant artist representatives on the FreqOUT! Steering Group are acting as ambassadors for the project at the Thirteenth International Symposium for the Electronic Arts in San Jose, California this week.

Saul and Julie are checking out the latest developments electronic art and will be reporting back on innovative uses of wireless technology. They may also get the opportunity to hear the remote lecture given by Christian Nold, who is tipped to be contributing to the FreqOUT! programme later this year with his Emotional Mapping workshops.

To find out more go to:
Saul Albert / The People Speak
Julie Freeman / The Lake
ISEA 2006
Chritian Nold / Emotional Mapping

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

FreqOUT! Champion at Vertex moves on...

Cheryl Bennett, Westminster Wireless City Programme Director for Vertex between spring 05 and Autumn ’06 is moving on from her role, but luckily not from FreqOUT!, as she will be acting as an International Ambassador for the project.

You can see Cheryl here giving an opening welcome at the FreqOUT! showcase at the Institute Of Contemporary Art, London in October 2005.

Cheryl was an early champion for FreqOUT!, recognising the benefits of the project to local communities and to her organisation. She says "I think the social benefits of Vertex being involved with FreqOUT! was received very well within our organisation. It was also a great education for us at all levels. Seeing the impact on the young people involved was amazing and very humbling. I also believe it had a huge impact on my team in terms of motivation; enthusiasm and giving something back to the community".

Over the next few months she will be travelling widely, with a brief touch down in Cannes in November/December to facilitate workshops and present at the Wireless Cities Congress. We wish her the best of luck.

Cheryl leaves us in the capable hands of Rajiv Kumar who serves on the Steering Group, and Mario Tsvallas who is working to shape the Vertex Corporate Social Responsibility programme for the future. Don’t send a postcard Cheryl – post a comment here & then we can all keep up with you!

To find out more go to:
Wireless Cities Congress

Monday, August 07, 2006

FreqOUT! Volunteer is A-STAR According to Capgemini

John Ward, a Technical Architect with Capgemini, who is working on the City of Westminster's Wireless City initiative recently won A-STAR award from his employers for his community volunteering activities.

By giving John the award Capgemini recognised the effort and dedication he put into making the FreqOUT! 'CCTV Is Following Me' workshop at Churchill Gardens Youth Club in 2005 project such a success. John was part of a team, who installed, maintained, trouble shot and trained the artists tutors and young people to use the digital CCTV equipment, the wireless network and the remote controling devices. The workshop gave the young people the opportunity to make a film using their own dedicated CCTV camera which John installed in the ceiling of their club room for the period of the project.

John was also a hit with the young people at the youth club, who enjoyed playing table tennis with him each night before the workshop began! This photo shows John coaching one of the young people on how to control the camera mounted above their heads.

To find out more about Capgemini's work in the community go to:

Friday, August 04, 2006

Artist Jennie Savage to join FreqOUT!

FreqOUT! is delighted to announce that artist Jennie Savage, known for the successful STAR Radio project in Cardiff is currently in negotiations to develop and deliver a sound based project for young people in London.

Jennie will work with young people to write and record fictional stories based on their local areas. The stories will be broadcast in a public location via wireless headphones. Dates have yet to be confirmed - but we will keep you posted.

The images below show young people recording their work for STAR radio in Cardiff 2005.

To find out more about Jennie's work go to:
STAR Radio
Jennie Savage

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Thousands watch FreqOUT! on TV news

In October last year BBC and ITV news crews visited the Churchill Gardens Youth Club to film young people taking part in GPS drawing, debates on issues around CCTV in their community and also to accompany them on a visit to Westminster's CCTV Control room.

The FreqOUT! team have just found out that according to BARB stats ITV & BBC commanded 92.1% of the 32,440,000 daily viewers of television in the week of the FreqOUT! coverage - making it a highly watched item - great news for a charity based community activity.

Thanks to our supporters and Cllr Sarah Richardson, Cabinet Member for Childrens Services at The City of Westminster Council for making it happen.

To find out more about the services mentioned go to:
Churchill Gardens Youth Club
GPS Drawing
City of Westminster's CCTV Control Room
City of Westminster's Childrens Services
BBC News
ITV News

Monday, July 31, 2006

Subscribe to the 'Artists In Social Housing' email list

Vital Regeneration and FreqOUT!, as part of the NODE London season of media arts in March this year hosted the inaugural meeting of the Artists In Social Housing Forum.

The aim of the day was to bring together housing professionals and artists to share and discuss good practise around resident engagement; comissioning, paying and developing artists; working with young and vulnerable people and finding funding.

Speakers included David Bowler from Hammersmith and Fulham NDC, Emilia Telese from a-n magazine and artists Melissa Bliss (Living Cinema), Adnan Hadzi (Deptford TV) Michael Needham (Neighbourhood Watching), Nina Pope (Bata-Ville)and Amy Robins (FreqOUT!).

As a result of the day, an email list was set up to support further discussion and to disseminate information and opportunities.

Join our list - So we can grow and support as many people as possible! If you would like to email arobins@cwh.org.uk .

Related links are:
Node London
a-n magazine (The Artists Information Company)
Hammersmith and Fulham City NDC
Michael Needham - Neighbourhood Watching
Adnan Hazi - Deptford TV
Melissa Bliss - Living Cinema
Nina Pope - Bata-Ville

Sunday, July 30, 2006

FreqOUT! visits Peninsula Voices

FreqOUT! delegates Amy and Nick went to check out the 'Peninsula Voices' project in Greenwich this weekend.

Independent Photography and artist Daniel Belasco Rodgers have created a fantastic GPS triggered sound walk experience around the Greenwich Peninsula where the Dome has its home. The project uses location-aware technology which delivers stories and memories which relate to the landscape.

Visitors can share a mobile pack between two people. Each pack contains two headphones, a handheld device using software developed by Mobile Bristol and a gps card which make it possible to walk round the area and hear the voices of those whose lives echo in the bricks and mortar, the pavements and railings. Once the device is switched on there is no more button pushing - its just like having a local with you revealing the dramatic changes in the area over the years, and the memories that lie in the places and spaces.

You can see the pair wearing the earphones and carrying the handheld device with gps card in the photo above. Over the next two years anyone can contact Andy or Isabel at Independent Photography on +44 (0)20 8858 2825 or email dan@planbperformance.net and make a date to take the equipment out. We highly recommend it!

To find out more go to:
Peninsula Projects
Daniel Belasco Rodgers / Plan b

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Safer Neighbourhood Teams join forces with FreqOUT!

Westminster Safer Neighbourhoods Police Teams in Churchill Gardens and Lisson Green have offered to support the FreqOUT! project 'CCTV Is Following Me' when it goes live later on this year. The project, facilitated last year by artists Melissa Bliss and Jake Novak allow young people to learn about the new digital CCTV equipment that has been installed on some Westminster estates and debate the pros and cons of public saftey measures.

Last year, using a CCTV camera mounted in the ceiling of their youth club for their exclusive use by Capgemini, the young people learnt to control the camera using various handheld and wireless devices and make their own film.

This year PSCO Simon Fielder, based in Churchill Gardens has offered the young people access to a mobile CCTV van, and to answer questions they may have on public safety issues. Sargent Ian Rowing is also assiting the FreqOUT! team in identifying how the 2006 project can assist reducing crime in the area.

See FreqOUT! GPS Drawings online

Artist Jeremy Wood led several FreqOUT! workshops in 2005 along with his co-collaborator Hugh Pryor at Churchill Gardens Youth Club in Pimlico, Westminster.

Jeremy has recently published the animations showing the routes taken by the young people holding gps receivers around Battersea Park and Churchill Gardens Estate. You can see an animation of the tracks above, including superimpositions of the track onto maps of the ares and more on his web site at... www.gpsdrawing.com...along with shots of the ICA showcase.

Joining in with this experience allowed the young people to gain some knowlege of satellite technology - including triangulation and how their mobile phones work; local geography, applications of GPS technology such as The City of Westminster Council's rubbish truck tracking and encoraged the participants to be creative on a really large scale!

The impact of new technology on the Arts

Hari Kunzru, the novelist and ex Wired Magazine contributer was in conversation with Hannah Reddler from the Science Museum today, talking about the impact of new technologies on the arts.

I was particularly struck by the assertion that the 2000 is characterised by, 'high culture available to everyone' (as opposed to the 90's as 'low culture as high culture') and instant global reach.

This statement chimes with the FreqOUT! vision of high quality arts, education facilitatied by technology. However - we're not forcing teenagers to look at jpegs of the Mona Lisa online! We're changing models of education to be more relevant to their lives.

Thanks to Rachel Baker of The Arts Council, England for arranging the talk.

Related Links:
Arts Council, England
Hari Kunzru
Wired Magazine

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

FreqOUT! Graduates set up their own business

FreqOUT! graduates from the 2005 summer programme, who were previously housed at the Cardinal Hume centre for ex-homeless young people have recently set up their own production company.

The group with ICA Director Ekow Eshun at the FreqOUT! Showcase

Nathan (21), Kane (20) and Matthew (19), first took part in the 'Victoria Voices' workshop with Melissa Bliss and Jake Novak in August 2005. They enjoyed the experience so much that they lobbied FreqOUT! and their hostel workers for a second opportunity to grow their skills and work with the artists.

They wrote a proposal for a short film called 'First Impressions' and we were so impressed by their effort we agreed to run another workshop. The group of six young people started filming a few weeks later. The resulting film features the reactions of a range of Westminster residents and workers to the question, "Should you judge people on first Impressions". The idea grew out of their own experience of discrimination. They spent two days filming and on the first day they dressed in hoodies and casual wear, and on the second day in smart suits in order to guage the public's shift in attitude towards them.

The film was shown at the FreqOUT! ICA Showcase in October 2005 and impressed a representative from the Science Museum so much that they offered to buy the film as a training video for their staff.

Encouraged by their success the young people, who are now living independantly have founded their own production company called 'Wiseroot' and are currently filming a short documentary for London Transport.

FreqOUT! 2005 at the Institute of Contemporary Art

FreqOUT!'s 2005 inagaural Showcase took place at The Institute of Contemporary Art on 18th October 2005

Films, animations, sound scapes and were exhibited in an interactive exhbition attended by supporters, artists and the young people who took part in the workshops.

In a 'CCTV Documentary' world first, the exhibition used live digital CCTV supplied by Westminster City Council and their Wirelss City Partners Capgemini and Vertex. An audience of FreqOUT! corporate supporters, artists and the young peopless and their freinds and family were both cinematographers and actors in a documentary of the opening evenings activities.

The audience was able to use a palm top devices to control the camera angle and zoom in, filming themselves and other visitors. The footage was edited on site by artists Melissa Bliss and young people, and viewed by the audience on a giant screen.