Friday, 10 July 2015

Bees In A Tin

In its own words, "Bees In A Tin is a celebration of interesting people who make interesting interfaces for the world around them", drawing me in with its promise of custard to punch and with the aim of learning about new projects using technology creatively. Taking place on a Friday afternoon at Millennium Point, 'twas a gathering of creatives, makers, scientists and researchers who for whatever reason weren't stuck in an office somewhere; myself slotted neatly into the lecture theatre - very prepared to take lots of notes and refuel with the free lunch.

Here are some of the ideas that inspired me:
  • Bill Aitchison spoke about his project The Tour of All Tours, reviewing guided tours across the world and recycling them to perform some of his own. I was very interested in his idea of "using cities as a canvas to project tours onto", and the art of waylosing (deliberately getting people lost). The project is uncovering how visitors can better understand a tourist location through a process of active experience curation, as well as aiding greater interaction between art and tourists.
  • Composer and director of Circumstance Duncan Speakman talked about cinematic music experiences in uncontrolled spaces, such as a composition divided into individual speakers and carried around a city by a crowd. This raised a few gems of enquiry: one of which was "the myth of interactivity" - here the experience used their music rather than the public able to use their own. It was defined that artists themselves usually have something that they want to say, creating work for people to play within but not often simply making a tool for others to utilise in a way detached from their practice completely.
  • Are we doing it for good or glory? - Great question by Rebecca Taylor of The Rooftop Project that feels particularly relevant when working within design-based practices, as the role of the designer can be considered in many different ways for different types of project; simply to sell or promote something, or to engage and enrich. Currently investigating the idea of designing with people rather than designing for them, of The Rooftop Project she says, "those involved... share a desire to take action, knowingly or unknowingly, through design... experimenting with [what] Fuad-Luke calls design-led activism.”

For a full rundown of the day visit Bees 15 Redux - and if this sort of thing interests you, organisers Many & Varied will be running 5 salons to continue the buzz* surrounding this experimental event throughout the year. *Sorry.

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