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: . 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 (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