INTER/her

> INTER/her

Intimate immersive journey inside the female body

INTER/her is a sensory and emotional experience which looks from the inside out within in the virtual womb. This VR work is accompanied by a wearable haptic garment providing a visceral vibration responsive experience on the lower abdomen. 

> Videos

A recent talk by my collaborator Maf’j Alverez on the prototyping of the early exploration and research phase of the project.

July 2020

> Gallery

> Timeline

2019 – 2021

> Collaborators

  • Camille Baker – Artist/Artistic Director
  • Maf’j Alverez – Unity/ Interaction Designer
  • Sarah Büttner – Environment / Tiltbrush Artist
  • Bushra Burge – Haptic Costume Designer / Engineer
  • Kat Austen – Sound Designer

> Abstract

INTER/her is an intimate, immersive and VR installation that explores of the inner world of over 40’s women’s bodies and the reproductive diseases they suffer: endometriosis, fibroids, polyps, Ovarian and other cysts, cervical, ovarian, uterine and endometrial cancers and the lack of clear medical information/ support they face.

INTER/her is explored through a feminist lens, as personal exploration, public education, and community building, positioning the physical body as a site to explore psychological issues of womanhood, identity and the sense of self, exploring the body. 

> Partners

  • Arts Council England
  • UCA / University for the Creative Arts
  • Access Space Sheffield

> Budget / Funding

  • £15,000 ACE Aug 2020-May 2021
  • £2,485 / UCA, 2019/20 (Round 1) UCA
  • £2,000 / UCA, 2020/21 (Round 2) UCA

> Outcomes / Impact

  1. Prototype phase completed December 2019-Auust 2020
  2. Phase two – production and exhibition September 2020 – May 2021

> Further Information

Sensory Spaces

> Sensory Spaces: Academic–SME Fellowship Collaboration

StoryFutures AHRC Creative Cluster

Sensory Spaces is a fellowship collaboration for the StoryFutures AHRC Creative Cluster, part of UCA’s (University for the Creative Arts) participation in the larger consortium. 

> Videos

In progress.

> Gallery

> Timeline

May 2020- October 2020

> Collaborators

  • Ivan Isakov – Innovator / Fellow
  • Dr Birgitta Hosea – Academic Collaborator
  • Dr. Camille Baker – Academic Collaborator

> Abstract

Sensory Spaces fellowship collaboration for the StoryFutures AHRC Creative Cluster, is part of UCA’s participation in the larger consortium. I am participating as an academic fellow on the Future of Storytelling scheme, alongside UCA colleague Dr Birgitta Hosea, in collaboration with CTO and co-founder of Valkyrie Industries, Dr Ivan Isakov.

The project involves research on haptic and sensory experience and the further development of a toolkit for sculpting in virtual reality using haptic gloves by the team.  

> Partners

  • Royal Holloway University
  • UCA / University For The Creative Arts
  • Valkyrie Industries

> Budget / Funding

  • £5,000 via the StoryFutures project, lead by Royal Holloway University.

> Outcomes / Impact

A haptic VR sculpting tool that enables non-experts accessible entry into 3D modelling and 3D animation creation.

> Further Information

STARTS Ecosystem

> STARTS Ecosystem

Community Engagement to support the European Commission STARTS (Science, Technology & the Arts) initiative. 

STARTS an initiative of the European Commission, launched in 2016 under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme as a follow-up to the ICT & Art Connect activities since 2012. Its purpose is to support collaborations between artists, scientists, engineers and researchers to develop more creative, inclusive, and sustainable technologies. 

> Video

> Gallery

> Timeline

April 2019 – November 2021

> Collaborators

  • Ana Solange Leal – Project Coordinator / Area Manager, INOVA+
  • Aurelia Delater – Senior Project Manager, INOVA+
  • Tania Moreira – Project Manager, INOVA+
  • Dr Camille Baker – Principal Investigator for UCA
  • Lucy Bunnell – Research Manager, UCA
  • Veronika Leibel – Director of European Cooperation, ARS Electronica
  • Kristina Maurer – Senior Producer European Cooperation, ARS Electronica
  • Hughes Vinet – Director of Innovation & Research Resouces, IRCAM
  • Guillaume Pellerin – Web Services Manager, IRCAM
  • Marie Albert – Head of EU Projects, LFTGP
  • Aneffel Kadik – Officer for EU Projects, LFTGP
  • Christoph de Jaeger – Founder & Director, Gluon
  • Ramona Van Gansbeke – Project Manager Art & Research

> Abstract

STARTS  (Science + Technology + Arts) -is about thinking out-of-the-box and building bridges between these three fields. With disruptive methods of exploration and an accurate critical eye on the use of technology, artists decisively raise awareness of the societal challenges and global concerns we are facing. STARTS is driven by the conviction that science and technology combined with an artistic viewpoint also open valuable perspectives for research and business, through a holistic and human-centered approach.

Co-creation processes between dancers, visual artists, painters, designers, and engineers, developers, sociologists, physicists, or machine learning specialists lead to ground-breaking explorations on our current social and economic challenges. They bring attention to climate change, cyber-security, human and robots interactions, artificial intelligence. Through their projects, STARTS teams work on new concepts and novel products that have the power to shape open-minded, sustainable and ethical technologies for a more inclusive society.

STARTS Pillars include STARTS Residencies, STARTS Prize, STARTS Lighthouses (WEAR Sustain, RE-Fream and MINDspaces), STARTS Regional Centres and STARTS Academy.

STARTS is an initiative of the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.It was launched in 2015, following up the findings of previous activities funded by the European Commission, namely ICT&Art 2012, FET-ART, ICT ART CONNECT 2013 and ICT ART CONNECT study, whose results demonstrated the worldwide emergence of communities of hybrid collaborations among science, technology and arts and their relevance.

> Partners

  • INOVA+
  • UCA / University for the Creative Arts
  • ARS Electronica
  • IRCAM / Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique
  • La French Tech Grande Provence / LFTGP
  • Gluon / Platform for Art, Science & Technology

> Budget / Funding

European Commission, EU Horizon 2020 ICT-32-2018-2, Community Support Action,  STARTS ecosystem: Support to STARTS Community and Lighthouse Projects through the creation of an ecosystem for hybrid talent, Grant ID: 824950 (€999,918.75 total across all partners/€160,875.00 for UCA)

> Outcomes / Impact

STARTS Ecosystem has built an umbrella web platform to bring the Arts and Technology/Science community together, as well as launching in-person and online events and exhibitions to showcase STARTS funded collaboration teams and projects around Europe over the duration of the project and ongoing.

It is hoped that this platform will continue to be maintained after the end of the project in 2021 by future STARTS family projects.

> My Role

I was the leader of Work Package 1 (WP1) Community Motivation and Online Platform, whose job was to enliven the STARTS Family and the greater related European community and to join the platform to participate in our many activities online and in person. I am also a participant of WP4 STARTS IN Motion supporting project progression of previously funded project teams, as well WP2 which is about developing the Collaboration Toolkit and Engagement of the community through events online and offline which I have been leader in.

> Further Information

WEAR Sustain

> WEAR Sustain

Wearable technologists Engage with Artists for Responsible innovation

WEAR Sustain brings artists and designers to work together with technologists and engineers across Europe, to shift the focus of development in the EU wearable technology and smart textile industries, to address the core issues of ethical, sustainable, aesthetic, environmental and responsible approaches at the research, design and development stages.  

> Videos

More videos available on the WEAR Sustain YouTube channel.

> Gallery

> Timeline

January 2017 – April 2019

> Collaborators

  • IMEC – Coordinator & Project Management
  • UCA – Creative & Critical Lead, Project Initiator
  • Queen Mary University – Dissemination & Promotion Lead
  • Universitat der Kunste – Prototype Management & Sustainability Lead
  • We Connect Data – Mapping & Network Developer
  • Blumine SRL – Fashion / Textile & Mapping Partner
  • Digital Spaces Living Labs – Technology & Incubation Partner

> Abstract

The goal of WEAR was to develop best practices for enabling, facilitating, and growing the Europe-wide wearable technology, smart and electronic textiles network, developing collaborations and innovations between artists, designers, technologists and engineers to make ethical and sustainable solutions and technologies for a better future.

WEAR Sustain brought artists and technologists together to work in local hubs, in the end funding 46 prototype projects at €50, 000 per project, toward market and technology readiness. 

WEAR Aims and Objectives were to:

  • Develop a sustainable European network of stakeholders and hubs, to connect and push the boundaries in the design and development of wearables;
  • Encourage cross-border and cross-sector collaboration between creative people and technology developers to design and develop wearables; 
  • Develop a framework within which future prototypes can be made that will become the next generation of what ethical and aesthetic wearables could/should be;
  • Lead the emergence of innovative approaches to design, production, manufacturing and business models for wearable technologies;
  • Help citizens, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders more aware of the ethical and aesthetic issues in making and use of wearable technologies.

> Partners

  • IMEC, Belgium
  • UCA / University for the Creative Arts, UK
  • Queen Mary University of London, UK
  • Universitat der Kunste Berlin, Germany
  • We Connect Data, Belgium
  • Blumine SRL, Italy
  • Digital Spaces Living Labs, Bulgaria

> Budget / Funding

The European Commission Horizon 2020, from Work Programme 2016-17, call ICT-36 Creativity and Sustainability – Innovation Action (H2020-ICT-2016-1) Total funded € 2,998,925 total (80% going to fund 46 smaller prototype projects) – €111062.50 for UCA with Camille Baker as PI for UCA. Seven work packages across seven partners with UCA / Baker leading two of these.

> Outcomes

Knowledge exchange and dissemination events (symposium, industry showcase & exhibition), conference presentations, one book chapter, several journal papers, mini TV documentary, and three 30-second promotional videos. 

> Impact

The long-term impacts are still to come but include adding forty-six teams made of art, design and technology professionals, who will take their experience of ethical and sustainable design process into their future practice, pushing suppliers, manufacturers and others within the supply chain and industry as a whole to (ideally) change their own business practicing a large-scale trickle-down effect:

  • Society = change in awareness of how the wearable and e-textile products are made.
  • Economy = a shift towards more ethical / sustainable products and services sold, transforming the whole supply change toward to better practices.
  • Policy = future EC funding focussed on more ethical and sustainable proposals – shift in what is considered a fundable innovation, with ethics and sustainability embedded

> My Role

I was an ambassador for the project and as such interacted with, engaged with and developed relationships with key research users, beneficiaries or audiences collaborators through European Commission ICT events (i.e.ICT 2015 Lisbon – where WEAR collaboration began and potential partners developed), as well as numerous conferences presenting the ICT&Art Connect/FET-Art, WEAR Sustain outcomes.

Defragmentation

> Defragmentation

Curating Contemporary Music

The New and Contemporary Music research project called Defragmentation was concerned with transforming the new music genre, and by extension new music composition, performance and festivals.  Defragmentation had four topic areas and four advisory teams focussed on: curation, technology, decolonisation, gender and diversity in the New Music context. 

> Videos

> Gallery

> Timeline

January 2017 – March 2019

> Collaborators

  • Dr. Joanna Armitage – Maker
  • Dr. Freida Abtan – Maker
  • Diann Bauer – Writer
  • Dr. Camille Baker – Technology Adviser
  • Klara Kofen – Participant
  • Mark Dyer – Participant

> Abstract

The project set up like a thinktank, was an attempt to begin a new discussion about the fragmented New Music scene, disconnected from a social discourse and supposedly marginalised, in four central thematic areas is the focus of the present project.Starting from the principle of curation, adopted from the visual arts and increasingly used in musical matters, three large, at first seemingly music-unrelated thematic areas examined in terms of their applicability and their contact with the music of our time: gender/diversity, technology, and decolonisation. 

Here the term “defragmentation” from the field of information technology can serve as an apt metaphor. In IT, defragmentation is defined as: “a process that reduces the amount of fragmentation […] by physically organizing the contents of the mass storage device used to store files into the smallest number of contiguous regions (fragments)” (Wikipedia article “Defragmentation”), and thus its application to the field of contemporary music expresses the aim of working out, in detail, a central narrative thread amid the highly divergent discourses and practices. In this sense, the goal is for a deeper understanding of curating practices and a far-reaching merging of these focal points – gender/diversity, technology and decolonisation – to help develop a more coherent picture of current questions faced by New Music.

The idea for Defragmentation developed from a basic sense of unease. The feeling that contemporary music suffers from serious flaws, and that existing festivals not only fail to correct these flaws, but also large neglect to incorporate social debates and challenges into their programming concerns, stimulated numerous conversations involving the directors of four festivals: the Donaueschingen Festival (Björn Gottstein, since 2015), the Darmstadt International Summer Course (Thomas Schäfer, since 2010), MaerzMusik – Festival for Contemporary Issues, Berlin (Berno Odo Polzer, since 2015), and the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival (Lars Petter Hagen, since 2012). In these conversations, it became clear that a reorientation is required in New Music, and that the necessary foundations for such a reorientation need to be laid. These foundations can now be determined within the framework of a specific discourse which will involve curators, artists and scholars. 

> Partners

  • German Federal Cultural Foundation
  • International Music Institute Darmstadt (IMD)
  • Donaueschinger Musiktage
  • MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues
  • Ultima Festival & Academy Oslo

> Budget / Funding

  • £5,000 from Partners (for Technology Advisor Role)
  • £5,000 from Partners (for Workshop Organisation)

> Outcomes / Impact

In order to overlap with the Gender and Diversity group, and women in technology is an underrepresented group in the New Music genre,  I felt it important to bring in strong innovative women from music and technology to explore technology issues from a feminist perspective. 

I brought this approach to the Darmstadt Summer School 2018 context and the Defragmentation symposium in particular as part of it, to expose the summer students to arts and technology activities, as a unique challenge and experiment, to see what the outcome might be. 

Video artist Diann Bauer to lead the Booksprint / writer’s group and she was one of the women in the Laboria Cubonics Collective who spawned the Xenofeminism project.  Electronic composers Joanne Armitage and Freida Abtan lead the Music Technology hacking workshops.

Other outcomes include: Videos of the workshops and symposium talks, a self-published book, a book chapter authored as a result of the booksprints, and a unique instrument created by Dr. Abtan during the making programme.

Hacking The Body 2.0 / Performance

> Stutter Flutter & Feel Me / e-textiles IoT Performances

Hacking The Body 2.0: Residency To Performance

Hacking The Body / HTB 2.0 is a collaboration between Dr Kate Sicchio and myself, which evolved since 2011 until 2018 and started by examining rhetoric within the online computing community around concepts of code, hacking, networks, the quantified self, and data, as a new approach to examining inner and outer states and sensations of the human body, using sensing devices within performance. 

> Videos

> Feel Me / Garment Hack

> Flutter Stutter / Garment Design

> Rehearsals / November 2015

> Sheffield Rehearsal & Performance / February 2016

> Watermans Art Centre / February 2016

> Timeline

April 2015 – February 2016

> Collaborators

  • Dr Camille Baker / Dr Kate Sicchio – Artistic Direction, Concept, Interaction Design
  • Dr Kate Sicchio  – Choreography
  • Dr Rebecca Stewart – Electronics Design, Development, Garment Integration
  • Ms Tara Baoth-Mooney  – Garment Design, Electronics Integration; Voice & Music
  • Rick Loynes – Sound Design
  • Dr Camille Baker  – Sound Editing
  • Tara Baker / Phoebe Brown – Dance Performance
  • Peter Todd –  iPad Mobile App Design

> Abstract

Exploring the concept of hacking data to re-purpose and re-imagine biofeedback from the body. It used states of the body and hacked that data to make new artworks, such as performance and costumes. Through performance the aim was to communicate to the public new ways dancers engage with their bodies and technology, through intimacy and sensation embedded in wearables. It was as much performance investigation into body as creative material as a conceptual research endeavour data as identity and ethics of data ownership. 

From April 2015 to June 2016, this instantiation the collaboration started as a residency at UCA in April 2015, with rehearsals and testing In November 2015, culminating in three performance stagings in Sheffield and London between February 16-18, 2016 and a further performance staging in June 2016 in Brighton. The instantiations of the project helped to develop our hands-on skills in making and using DIY electronics, soft-circuits and smart textiles, as well as to unearth greater unethical data collection activities. 

Flutter Stutter was an improvisational dance piece that used soft circuit sensors to trigger sound and haptic actuators in the form of a small motor that tickles the performers. Dancers embodied the flutter of the motor and respond with their own movement that reflected this feeling. The sensors and actuators were bespoke designs by Becky Stewart and Tara Baoth Mooney that interacted, influenced and interrupted the flow of the dance, hack the body signals.

Feel Me worked with hacked commercial biosensing technology and structured improvisation dance. This piece used breath sensing technology from reworked fitness wearable tech garments and a custom-made app (made by artist Peter Todd, with permission of the fitness company OM Signal), that accessed the company’s development tools, and was used to communicate from the garment’s sensor to its actuator (a vibration motor), which buzzed when the dancers exhaled, causing them to respond within in a structured improvisation.

All the technology was developed over a several months, then integrated into the final garments and performances during an intensive three-week period running up to the performances in February. 

> Partners

  • Arts Council England
  • UCA / University for the Creative Arts
  • New Malden Studios

> Budget / Funding

  • £13,977 / Arts Council England, Feb – Oct 2016 (Creation & Performance Staging)
  • £6,750 / UCA, Apr 2015 (Artist Residency), Oct 2016 (Technical Development)

> Outcomes / Impact

October 5, 2018–February 8, 2019 Attempts, Failures, Trials and Errors exhibition of our video documentation of the live performances of Flutter /Stutter and Feel Me, curated by Hillevi Munthe and Tincuta Heinzel called OSEBNO / PERSONAL: international interdisciplinary exhibition at KIBLA PORTAL, Maribor, Slovenia. Webpage http://personal.kiblaportal.org/en_US/2018/10/01/kate-sicchio-zda-camille-baker-kanada-zk/ and other artists in the exhibition http://personal.kiblaportal.org/en_US/. Also featured on Slovenian TV and in an article by the curators Tincuta Heinzel and Ioana Popescu for Zeppelin Journal in Bucharest at https://e-zeppelin.ro/zeppelin-151/ More details here: http://www.kibla.org/en/news/news/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=5417&tx_ttnews[backPid]=1&cHash=aa50326f33 To see pictures from the opening https://www.flickr.com/photos/heinzelmenschen/albums/72157702077721485

Feb 21- April 1, 2018 Attempts, Failures, Trials and Errors exhibition with video of the live performances of Flutter /Stutter and Feel Me, curated by Hillevi Munthe and Tincuta Heinzel in Bucharest at the “Salon de Proiecte”. Online at http://salonuldeproiecte.ro/exhibitions/attempts-failures-trials-and-errors/ and Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1786684551415496/ images at https://www.flickr.com/photos/heinzelmenschen/sets/72157666073147048

Nov 16-Dec 9, 2017 Attempts, Failures, Trials and Errors exhibition of video for live performances of Flutter /Stutter and Feel Me, curated by Hillevi Munthe and Tincuta Heinzel, at Piksel art gallery, Bergen, Norway. Online at http://17.piksel.no/?p=432 and http://trials-and-errors.com/projects The exhibition “looks at the various stages of projects’ developments and attempts and perspectives and less mediatised wearable technologies and e-textiles projects.”

March 5th, 2017 Refest2.0 ITP NYU, New York City, a telematic performance via the Internet of Things protocol of X-OSc of Feel Me dance and wearables piece, created for February 2016 performances below, between one dancer in New York City and one in London, UK – documented briefly on our blog https://hackingthebody.wordpress.com/2017/05/01/performance-at-refest2-0-at-nyu-itp/

June 30-July 2, 2016 International Conference on Live Interfac es, Brighton, UK, performance of our Flutter /Stutter dance and wearables piece, created for February 2016 performances below www.liveinterfaces.org/ – conference proceedings https://thormagnusson.github.io/liveinterfaces/proceedings2016.html and video of live performance https://youtu.be/wDD1tQEJNJk

July–November 2015 Hacking the Body at 2015 Wear_NEXT Exhibition, Brisbane, Gallery artisan & touring Australia and Asia https://www.weekendnotes.com/wear-next-exhibition-gallery-artisan/ and online catalogue https://issuu.com/beckdavisgriffithuniversity/docs/wearnext_catalogue. A radio review of the show: http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2015/09/bst_20150903_0843.mp3 and a video made during R&D residency at UCA and Siobhan Davies https://hackingthebody.wordpress.com/ or https://vimeo.com/133353621 featured in the exhibition

Hacking the Body Research

> Hacking the Body & HTB2.0

Research

Hacking the Body and HTB 2.0 was a research and performance collaboration between Dr Kate Sicchio and myself, which evolved from 2011 until 2018 and started by examining rhetoric within the online computing community around concepts of code, hacking, networks, the quantified self, and data, as a new approach to examining inner and outer states and sensations of the human body, using sensing devices within performance.

> Videos

> UCA HTB 2.0 Residency R&D 2015

> Timeline

2011– 2018

> Collaborators

  • Dr Kate Sicchio – collaborator and co-investigator

> Abstract

Hacking the Body and HTB 2.0 was a reserach adn performance collaboration between Dr Kate Sicchio and myself, which evolved from 2011 until 2018 and started by examining rhetoric within the online computing community around concepts of code, hacking, networks, the quantified self, and data, as a new approach to examining inner and outer states and sensations of the human body, using sensing devices within performance.

Hacking the Body used concept of ‘hacking’ to repurpose and reimagine internal signals from the body in two ways:
(1) to explore how internal physiological data can be gathered and harnessed to understand the experiential states of the body, and then
(2) how we as artists will ‘hack’ to explore new methods for creating artworks, using sensing systems and audiovisual technology.
Through this exploration we became critical of concepts of ‘code versus body knowledge’ and expanding our work to develop new parameters of revealing this hidden body as part of the greater social, political and technological networks. As such, body data can be hacked, repurposed and re-visualised. With a theoretical focus on understanding the ethos and methods of the hacking community, while seeking project funding we educated ourselves in the hands-on practical making processes of DIY electronics, soft circuits, and smart materials.

During our research we observed how self-monitoring and quantified-self activities have led to new forms of narcissism and encourage corporate and government spying and exploitation. The focus for us, however, then became about interpreting inner states and processes in order to be seen or interpreted as one’s personal identity, which may (or may not influence) one’s movement and interaction with others.

Hacking the Body 2.0 was thus born to follow on from a need to explore and critique how wearable technology extends our senses but also how personal data identity and privacy issues can be revealed and understood through layers of ‘known-ness’. The project became concerned with identity and data ownership in performance. As such, HTB2.0 has used modern DIY wearable electronics and smart materials alongside hacked corporate fitness tech, to explore these issues within the wearable technology, smart textiles and smart fashion industries, while adding a new dimension to performance technology and its evolution.

> Partners

  • Arts Council England
  • UCA / University for the Creative Arts

> Budget / Funding

> Outcomes / Impact

There were many papers and presentations from this research over the 7 years – see the publications section on the writing on the project. Below are presentations and activities for the Hacking the Body research before the performances documented elsewhere:

May 16-22, 2016 ISEA: International Symposium for Electronic Arts 2016 Hong Kong, presenting an artist talk on performance development and wearable costume design Flutter /Stutter and Feel Me performances (with video and demo) and a paper presentation on Hacking the Body research and performance development. ISEA 2016 conference website http://isea2016.isea-international.org and conference catalogue http://wikisites.cityu.edu.hk/sites/scm/Shared%20Documents/OtherDoc/isea2016_catalogue/isea2016_catalogue.pdf

July 29th–31st, 2013 The Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA) 2013, London, UK. Presented a paper ‘Open-source, custom interfaces and devices with live coding in participatory performance’ and ‘Hacking the Body’ paper with Kate Sicchio.

July 17th, 2013 Maker’s Guild on Wearables, Centre for Creativity and Collaboration, London. Presented the ‘Hacking the Body’ project in collaboration with Kate Sicchio.
July 6, 2013, Elephant and Castle Mini-Maker Faire, London, UK, co-produced by between London College of Communication, University of the Arts, London and the Victoria and Albert Museum Digital Programs. Presenting and showing work from the collaborative performance media research project “Hacking the Body”, the collaborative project with Lincoln University collaborator dancer/choreographer Kate Sicchio.

June 17-21, 2013, ACM Creativity and Cognition, June 17-21, 2013, Sydney, Australia – conducted an all-day workshop with research collaborator Kate Sicchio, teaching the basics using soft circuits and wearable technology, as well as the basics of programming in open-source software Arduino for electronics development.

June 14-16, 2013, TekStar Art and Technology Festival, Byron Bay, Australia – conducted an all-day workshop with research collaborator Kate Sicchio, teaching the basics using soft circuits and wearable technology for performance creation;
June 8th-16th, 2013, (ISEA) International Symposium of Electronic Art 2013, Sydney Australia – conducted an all-day workshop with research collaborator Kate Sicchio, teaching the basics using soft circuits and wearable technology for a variety of applications.

May 10, 2013, Mediamorphosis Symposium, at the University of Brighton, presented by The REFRAME Digital Platform for Research in Media, Film and Music research group (http://reframe.sussex.ac.uk/) and the Creative Critical Practice Research Group at the University of Sussex – presented a paper on “Hacking the Body”, the collaborative project with Lincoln University collaborator dancer/choreographer Kate Sicchio, presentation here https://www.slideshare.net/secret/zzvY5BTXiPuwdz

April 10, 2013, Becoming Nomad: Hybrid Spaces, Liquid Architectures and Online Domains, University of York St John, York, UK – presented a paper on “Hacking the Body”, the collaborative project with Lincoln University collaborator dancer/choreographer Kate Sicchio, on behalf of both of us.

March 3rd, 2013, Exhibiting Performance Conference, University of Westminster – presented a paper on the collaborative project with Lincoln University collaborator dancer/choreographer Kate Sicchio, “Hacking the Body” (working with electronics, biofeedback sensors, mobile phones and Kinect) on behalf of both of us.

Nov 27, 2012 Digital Workshop at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London UK. Demonstration of project “Hacking the Body”.

September 7th-8th, 2012, LIVE INTERFACES in Performance, Art, Music ICSRiM School of Music, University of Leeds – presented a poster with Lincoln University collaborator dancer/choreographer Kate Sicchio, on the collaborative project “Hacking the Body” – presentation available on request.

May 19, 2012 Handmade Everything Maker Faire as part of the FutureEverything Festival, Victoria Baths, Manchester, UK. Demonstration of project “Hacking the Body” – images available.

e-stitches

> e-stitches

smart / e-textiles & wearables meetup

e-stitches regularly brings artists, fashion and other designers – including performers, makers, electronic technologies, bio-technologists, wearable DIY enthusiasts, and quantified-selfies – all together to discuss, show, share, educate and learn from each other on the current issues and future directions in this developing area. 

> Videos

In progress.

> Meetup Galleries 2014 – Present

> Timeline

November 2014 – Present

> Past Presenters

  • Amy Winters
  • Brook Roberts
  • Michele Danjoux
  • Johannes Birringer (2nd event)
  • Kristina Dimitrova
  • Berit Greinke
  • Annie Lynwood
  • Lyndsey Caulder & Sarah Robertson
  • Caroline Yan Zheng
  • Olsen Wolf
  • Priti Veja
  • Giulia Tomasello
  • Emilie Gillies
  • Yulia Salias
  • Olga Noronha
  • Bushra Burge
  • Lesley-Ann Daly
  • Amy Congdon
  • Elena Corchero
  • Marina Castan
  • Aniela Hoitink
  • Sophie Skach
  • Mili Tharakan
  • Becky Stewart
  • Melissa Coleman
  • Maria Paneta
  • Stefanie Posavec & Miriam Quirk
  • Elena Corchero
  • Victoria Geaney
  • Nigel Guèrin-Garrett
  • Marina Toeters
  • Danielle Roberts
  • Maria Almena
  • Rachel Friere
  • Pollie Barden
  • Panja Gobel
  • Francesca Perona
  • Becca Rose
  • Tincuta Heinzel
  • Nicola Woodham
  • Ricardo O’ Nascimento 
  • Caroline McMillan
  • and myself, on my own practice

> Abstract

e-stitches is a gathering for artistic / research / practice sharing, show & tell, workshops & talks, which originally took place every six weeks to two months, and now monthly online since April 2020, on the themes of..

  • Soft circuits & e-textiles
  • Digital fashion
  • wearables and DIY electronics

…and related topics in art, design, research and performance.

The group combines discussion on topical issues around these technologies, along with show-and-tell opportunities for participants to show their current work, with occasional hands-on skills-building workshops with expert designers, in a causal meet-up format, with an additional aim to bring other London-based artistic, industry and academic groups together. 

This is a non-profit, non-registered, voluntary organisation since 2014 

> Partners

  • Camille Baker – Founder & Organiser
  • Melissa Coleman – Co-Founder & Co-Organiser (Jan 2015 – Feb 2020)
  • Irini Papadimitriou – Co-Organiser (Nov 2014 – Jul 2018)
  • Emelie Giles – Co-Organiser (Apr 2020 – Present)

> Budget / Funding

None. All funding in-kind or volunteer.

> Outcomes / Impact

e-stitches aims to evolve one day into a cross-disciplinary, cross institutional research & development lab, and advocacy group.

Currently we have almost 200 members, and have hosted more than sixty designers and innovators presenting their work and sharing their skills.

The WEAR Sustain project was spawned from this meetup group and many of the mentors and recipient designers that were involved in WEAR Sustain came from this group.

FET Art / ICT & Art Connect

> FET-Art EU FP7 Co-Creation

Connecting ICT and Art communities: new research avenues, challenges, and expected impact (ICT&Art Connect)

We need to study what problems art and ICT can solve together… Does there first have to be a convergence process between art, ICT, brain science, and psychology, whereby each discipline better understands the process and language of the other? …Do we need to understand better the intradisciplinary benefits of art and ICT collaborations, before going onto understand the inter- and transdisciplinary ones? …The element of the aesthetic in the ICT innovation process may also need more study. (Foden, 2012)

> Videos

> Gallery Name

> Timeline

June 2013 – May 2014

> Collaborators

  • SIGMA ORIONIS SA – Coordinator & Project Management
  • BRUNEL UNIVERSITY – Creative Vision, Matchmaking & Event Organisation
  • WAAG SOCIETY – Collaboration Facilitation & Monitoring
  • STROMATOLITE – Hackathon & Event Organisation
  • BLACK CUBE COLLECTIVE – Matchmaking & Event Organisation

> Abstract

The EU funded project called FET-Art, stems from the first “ICT & ART Connect” event, which took place in Brussels in April 2012 under the aegis of DG CONNECT, European Commission, and co-organised by the Future and Emerging Technologies Unit, Brunel University and University College London issued a series of recommendations, including the following ones:


We need to study what problems art and ICT can solve together… Does there first have to be a convergence process between art, ICT, brain science, and psychology, whereby each discipline better understands the process and language of the other? …Do we need to understand better the intradisciplinary benefits of art and ICT collaborations, before going onto understand the inter- and transdisciplinary ones? …The element of the aesthetic in the ICT innovation process may also need more study. (Foden, 2012)


The reported outcomes of the workshop and recommendations for future directions that the EU should take on in Art and ICT (information communications technology) co-creation, included:

  • A plea to the EU and Europe to think harder about art and ICT as complementary ways of thinking; whereby both computational and creative thinking include making models and metaphors of the world/experience that involve choosing between a range of narrative options.
  • To recognise that Art is generally accepted as a good vehicle for public engagement with an understanding of science and technology, and that Art often provides a holistic view of the social conflicts of science’s embodiment in technology. Art helps to convert knowledge into meaning.
  • To understand that Artists don’t like environments in which they are an afterthought, getting a pat on the back for making technology or science look pretty; and technologists don’t appreciate being brought into creative projects just as technicians. So we must think about how the revelation processes of Art making can be integrated into scientific/policy methodologies; and what the right conditions are for true co-innovation.
  • Together, Art & ICT can help the wider public to engage in the ethical issues around policy; and through ICT-enabled communication channels, involving participatory democracy around different artistic interpretations of choice, the public can participate and affect decision-making. But first collective tools for community management, sustainable management and broad exposure across Art & ICT need to be established. (Foden, 2012) Other policy recommendations were:
    • Explore other forms of engagement between art and ICT other than for dissemination purposes only;
    • Establish areas of research in ICT where stronger involvement of artists could be synergetic. Three candidates: Creativity, Social innovation, Global Systems science.
    • Develop a rationale and operational steps to include artists more prominently in these areas.
    • Plan an annual series of workshops in the spirit of ICT & ART CONNECT;
    • Consider an organisational structure to facilitate interaction of artists within ICT projects (‘in- project artists’);
    • Explore other forms of CONNECT engagement with art than for dissemination purposes only (for instance co-creation, public engagement with ICT)(Foden, 2012).

This event clearly confirmed that a great potential for the EU to be more involved in fostering more of an on-going dialogue between technology and art practitioners, and that it is important to efficiently support such dialogue now, in light big changes in the way the EU funds research project and the newly implemented Horizon 2020 mandate for funding, in order to contribute to the emergence of novel future emerging technologies research topics being developed by the European Commission, and its identification of new emerging research areas.

The aims inspired from the April 2012 event included:

  1. Move technology and art intersection/ interaction from the broad frame of Digital Humanities, or the domain of Creative Industries and SME’s, toward more specific and direct impact beyond business;
  2. Encourage technology/ICT specialists to work with artists, on an equal basis, on EU and other funded project initiatives – to show the ICT community the value artists will bring to their activities;
  3. Help organisations and companies to consider new organisational structures that facilitate interaction of artists with ICT projects (‘in- project artists’) and to develop operational schemes to include artists in funded projects

Thus, as a follow-on project to this event, a one-year project that started in June 2013, was intended as a catalyst project devoted to connecting European technology and artistic communities, and fostering productive dialogues, engagement, and collaborative work between them to demonstrate the synergies collaborative work between them, in order to identify new research avenues, associated challenges, and the potential impact of ICT and Art collaboration on science, technology, art, education and society in general, and how each can contribute to a new Europe.


Within this context, a FET-ART balanced partnership of committed organisations was formed, offering renowned expertise in the ICT and Art domains, important connections with ICT and Art practitioners in Europe and worldwide, many references at the ICT and Art intersection, and longstanding experience of planned activities.


One of the main aims of the FET-Art project, later branded as ICT & Art Connect, was to both seek and document consultation with experts and with the arts and ICT technology practitioners themselves on the issues and process of collaboration. The goal of the consultation was to highlight a much under discussed topic of collaboration experiences that artists and technology professionals have had (good and bad), either with others within their profession or across disciplines, and to glean recommendations for future collaboration process approaches.


Then events to bring artists and technologists together to collaborate were hosted by each partner. Each event was organised differently, and some included Hackathons or fast project prototyping, to ignite partnerships, while others focused on showing current successful art/tech projects, while discussing the issues and problems of art/tech collaboration more deeply. An active effort was made to find outside, objective experts from other European and international institutions and organisations with experts who have witnessed, researched and/or otherwise facilitated and nurtured numerous art and technology collaborations.

MINDtouch PhD Project

> MINDtouch

Ephemeral Transference: ‘Liveness’ in Networked Performance with Mobile Devices’

If you could exchange your sleeping dream imagery, feelings and sensations, with your friends and loved ones, what would it be like? If you could not only share and exchange, but remix and collage them, what would it look like?

> Videos

> Gallery Name

> Timeline

October 2006–August 2011

> Collaborators

  • Tara Baoth Mooney and Rachel Lasebikan – Garment Designers
  • Michael Markert – Arduino, electronics, DIY physiological sensor programming and mobile app developer
  • Manjit Bedi – Quartz Composer designer for sensor to video database mixing & visualisations
  • Evan Raskob – OSc, database, XML and network developer
  • Huw Williams (SMARTlab & BBC R&D) – Networking and Quartz Composer developer
  • Dr Marc Price – BBC R&D Engineer and PhD Sponsor

> Abstract

The practice-based PhD research investigated the four key qualities of ‘liveness’, ‘feltness’, ‘embodiment’ and ‘presence’ in mobile media performance, in order to shed light on the use qualities and sensations that emerge when mobile technologies are used in tandem with wearable devices in performance contexts.

The research explored mobile media as a non-verbal and visual communication tool that functions by repurposing the mobile phone device and its connection to a wireless network, not only for communication, but explicitly for the expression of ‘emotion’ in the form of a video mix, representing an interpersonal connection shared over distance.

The research aimed to identify and supplement existing scholarly discourse on the nature of these four key strands of kinaesthetic philosophy made ‘live’ in the online network, applying knowledge gained through the practice of enhancing participant experience of the use of simple ubiquitous mobile tools with bespoke biofeedback sensors and an online repository for the playback of users’ visual expressions. This enhanced toolkit enables participants to share personal relationships and social interactions in an immediate way, with collaborators at a distance.

The selected methodology of active research using kinaesthetic tools in live performance sought to identify and clarify new ways of simulating or emulating a non-verbal, visual exchange within a social participatory context, with particular attention paid to a sense of ‘feltness’ as an element of ‘presence’ or ‘liveness’, and with attention to the experience of a sense of ‘co-presence’ arising in real-time collaborative mobile performances at a distance.

To best explore these concepts, as well as the bodily sensations involved for participants, the research analysed original data gleaned from a larger R&D project (conducted in tandem with the PhD project, sponsored by the BBC) as its major case study. The project, called MINDtouch, created a series of unique practice-based new media performance events played out in real-time networked contexts. The MINDtouch events were framed as a means for participants to simulate dream exchange or telepathic thought transfer using mobile phones and biofeedback devices, linked to a bespoke video file protocol for archiving and sharing visual results. The corporeal, non-verbal forms of communication and visual interaction observed when participants use such devices within participatory performance events was examined by way of demonstrating the impact of specific live encounters and experiences of users in this emerging playing field between real-time and asynchronous, live and technologised forms expressing liveness/presence/distance.

The research benefited from access to the larger MINDtouch project and its original data, providing this research with a set of process-based evidence files both in video and transcript form (contained in the thesis appendices). By analysing this unique data set and applying the theoretical contexts of kinaesthetic philosophies where appropriate, the thesis demonstrates both the practical and the critical/contextual effectiveness of the media facilitation process for the participants, and shares their senses of ‘liveness’ and ‘presence’ (of themselves and of others) when using technology to externalise visual expressions of internalised experiences.

MINDtouch made an original contribution to scholarship in the fields of Performance and New Media, with additional contributions to the cognate fields of Philosophy and Technology, and locates its arguments at the locus of the fields of Performance Art, Mobile Performance/Locative Media, Philosophies of the Body and Communications. The research used methods, practices and tools from Phenomenology, Ethnography, Practice-As-Research, and Experience Design, bringing together the relevant aspects of these diverging areas of new media research and media art/performance practices. The research demonstrated that there was a need for new technological tools to express viscerally felt emotion and to communicate more directly. It was hoped that this study would be of use to future scholars in the arts and technology, and also that it might help to demonstrate a way of communicating rich emotion through felt and embodied interactions shared with others across vast distances (thus supporting political movements aimed at reducing global travel in the age of global warming).

> Partners

  • BBC R&D PhD
  • SMARTlab Digital Media Institute

> Budget / Funding

  • £60,000 through BBC R&D PhD Sponsorship

> Outcomes / Impact

Several publications, notably:

Chapter 6 – Baker, C. C. (Aug 16, 2018) New Directions in Mobile Media and Performance – Monograph on mobile phones in performance as tool, content, guide and collaborator in immersive theatre, live art, dance, music and more. Oxford, New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis. https://www.routledge.com/New-Directions-in-Mobile-Media-and-Performance/Baker/p/book/9781472467188

Baker, C. C. (December 2010) “MINDtouch – Ephemeral Transference: Liveness’ in Networked Performance with Mobile Devices”, PhD Thesis, published in University of East London Library in print with DVD support materials and the British Library in digital form. Ethos repository, British Library: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?did=3&uin=uk.bl.ethos.550414 Ethos ID uk.bl.ethos.550414 

Baker, C. (April 2011) “methodologies for mobile media performance”, IN Acoustic Space # 9: Art As Research, Rasa Šmite (ed), (MPLab) Art Research Lab Liepaja University (Liepaja, Latvia) in collaboration with RIXC, The Centre for New Media Culture, RIXC, Riga, Latvia, Volume 9, pgs 131-144. Available online at: http://mplab.lv/index.php?lapa=mediateka&apakslapa=1

Baker, C. C. (March 2011) ‘“MINDtouch” – embodied ephemeral transference: Mobile media performance research’: IN International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, Volume 7 (1), Bristol, UK: Intellect Press, pgs 99–118. Now with Taylor & Francis. Available online at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1386/padm.7.1.97_1

Baker, C., Schleser, M and Molga, K. (July 2009) “Aesthetics of Mobile Media Art”, IN International Journal of Media Practice, Volume 10 (2), Bristol, UK: Intellect Press., pgs 101–122. Now with Taylor &Francis. Available online at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1386/jmpr.10.2-3.101_1

Baker, C (Dec 2008) “Liveness’ and ‘Presence’ in Bio-Networked Mobile Performance Practices: Emerging Perspectives”: IN The International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, Volume 4 (2), Bristol, UK: Intellect Press, pgs 117-136. Now with Taylor & Francis. Available online at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1386/padm.4.2_3.117_1

Baker, C. (Sept 2007) “Biosensors, Liveness and Networked Performance with Mobile Devices: Emerging Perspectives”, Conference Proceedings, International Digital Arts and Culture Conference: perthDAC 2007, Perth Australia.

Several exhibitions and presentations

Sept 14-22, 2011 ‘MINDtouch: Mobile Video Creativity’, workshop, Conference Proceedings, International Symposium of Electronic Arts (ISEA), Sabanci Universitesi, Istanbul, Turkey. http://isea2011.sabanciuniv.edu/

April 29, 2011 Low Lives 3 online performance event Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Online event info here http://lowlives.net/home/artists-low-lives-3/ and video here https://youtu.be/9Vw9Y4b4PcI and catalogue http://issuu.com/lowlives/docs/ll3_web/25?e=0

April 22-26, 2011 Digital Stages Performance Festival 2011, London, workshop on MINDtouch with mobile video collections activities.

Sept 5-8th, 2010 Digital Resources for the Humanities and the Arts 2010 Conference, Brunel University, London, Performance of and presentation paper on completion of my PhD research, MINDtouch: embodied ephemeral transference.

June 15-20, 2010 TEXTURES, SLSAe 6th Annual Conference, Riga, Latvia, Presentation paper on Art as Research, and on a panel on Material Interfaces (wearable technologies).

August 25-31, 2009 ISEA, International Symposium of Electronic Arts 2009, University of Ulster, Belfast, UK. Speaker and Panelist: on my PhD research and Wearable Technology.

November 16, 2008 MobileFest, MINDtouch BBC Project: Ephemeral Transference Performance, MIS (Museum of Image and Sound), Sao Paulo, Brazil.

> Further Information