Collusion’s first lab explored the internet of things
RealTimeLab brought together eight European artists from a range of disciplines to engage in an intensive week of activity focused on the emerging worlds of locative media and the internet of things. Hosted at Anglia Ruskin University within the CoDE Research Institute.
A key point for the lab was to combine peer interaction with practical development of pilot projects. Attending artists gained insight into each other’s work including data visualisation, graphics for television, performance art, political engagement and site-specific responses.
A fundamental component of the lab was to combine considerations of locality along with previous projects undertaken by guest artists. Umbrellium (Usman Haque and Andrew Chetty) presented their site-specific work, and Vaiva Kalnikaite from Dovetailed talked about her company’s recent projects. This gave artists insights into large-scale work, as well as into novel interests such as 3D-printed fruit.
The artists were based in one of the main studios at Anglia Ruskin for the week, with access to excellent equipment and an open layout space. Collusion worked with Arm and Dr Rob Toulson to develop a structure that opened up the mBed and Nordic SDK systems to artists.
- Day one focused on introductions and the presentation from/discussion with Umbrellium
- Day two involved an overview workshop in sensing devices, mBed architecture and coding. Participants also took a guided walk along Mill Road led by Cambridge City Council’s Mill Road Coordinator, Ceri Anne Littlechild, followed by the presentation from Dovetailed.
- Days three and four, led by Jonny Austin from Arm, involved more in-depth development with C++, Nordic SDK nRF51822 kits and prototyping. Rohit Grover from Arm worked with Jonny and Rob to develop artists’ projects towards concepts.
- On day five, the resulting projects included: a potential use of BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) in disused ordnance survey beacons dotted around the UK; several projects that considered the potential of localised beacon information along Mill Road (in Cambridge); and an artificial intelligence adaptation of the Buddha Machine. The final work was presented to representatives from Cambridge’s art, museums and tech sector.
The participating artists for this lab were:
Kristen Bjaastad // Jesc Bunyard // Jon Clair // Briony Clarke // Stefanos Kourtis // Tom Little // Stefanie Posevic // Markus Soukup