Sunday, 25 April 2010

From Library worker to VJ in 72 hours



The Austrian town of Tulln, situated on the bank of the Danube was the venue for a four day event organised by OMA International to bring together the 'Tagtool community'. Artists, programmers and new media people were represented from many different countries including Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Germany, Russia & Scotland. The event featured three full days of workshops, discussions, work sessions, jams and performances. I attended with Alistair Wilson from the Science and Business department at Dundee Central Library.

Each evening featured respected Tagtool artists performance-drawing with musicians followed by open sessions giving participants the opportunity to draw in tandem with other artists to create 20ft wide projections accompanied by live musicians and DJ's. The event was opened to the public on the Saturday night followed by a party which pushed the overall attendance up to about 200.

Daytimes were taken up participating in various meetings and workshops. Much of Alistair's time in the first two days was dedicated to building the library's own Tagtool, he constructed the wooden box, fitted sliders, soldered wires up to the Arduino circuit board. All this with no previous experience of electronics.

Later Alistair was given a basic introduction to the open source software Nodekit. The more advanced Nodekit users shared knowledge and skills, I learnt how to alter patches on Nodekit to customise special effects to create different styles of presentations.


Meetings also took place where people came together to improve aspects of the software and to identify how to develop and strengthen the community.

On the final day Alistair was experimenting with both the Tagtool and video mixing software blending Super8 film and photography with his own live drawings.
I gave a presentation at the open mic session about the Nine Trades project working with Dundee central library and my recent arts practice working with the illustrator Chris Graham using the Tagtool.

Tagtool has already been in use at the library Alistair runs LIFE group on Mondays for ex substance abusers, members and workers have been drawing together, two group members plan to bring in their sons to try out the tool. Other library workers Sandra and Verity have begun to use it in their work with teenagers.


Friday, 23 April 2010

Building a Tagtool

Alistair spent the whole day stressing over a hot soldering iron building the library's own kit.
The question is will it work when its finished?
To be continued .....

We are in Tagtool Heaven

After 14 hours traveling we finally made it, along with 26 others to the Tagtool annual gathering in Tulln Austria.... and at 1.30am we joined in the group drawing session.
The set up included 3 Tagtools and 4 projectors and a sound system.
Alistair draws

video

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Work-in-progress at McManus





Monday, 19 April 2010

Volcanos, ketamine, tea and biscuits

Confidentiality is vital in this job ...... this horse says neigh.
The LIFE group (ex substance abuse) met today, we were going to visit the Garbologist headquarters but the forecast for Perth was bad. Instead we stayed at the library, drank copious amounts of tea & biscuits, watched videos and got down to some serious drawing.

Phil, support worker from AXIS project is convinced that SKY TV would be interested in his animated graphics of planes flying over the Icelandic volcano.

video


Chris

9

Science and Business staff have loaded a trolley of books that are out of date, materials to build a few sculptures perhaps?

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Saturdaisy

Daisy, a call centre worker in the city and daughter of one of the library workers dropped into Science and Business on Saturday afternoon. She had a session on the Tagtool and loved it, now she plans to go talk to local bands about it, she thinks it would be great to project live drawings when they're playing.

Later we took over a table and started Posca-ing our own designs taking inspiration from the work of artist Jon Burgerman.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Thursday night at Hannah Maclure






This was a one-off event, to be followed by a set of six presentations running Thursday evenings in May and June called The Spacemakers designed to build and support community and creative interventions in the city for more info on this click here.

The events are organised by D-AiR... (pronounced Dare) which stands for Dundee Artists in Residence a new initiative in the city that profiles the work of Dundee-based artists, celebrates Dundee as a city of culture and creativity, and fosters links between artists and the wider community.

Link to D-AiR's website here




Thursday, 15 April 2010

Thursday

Bobby from the library's The Wall group poses for his portrait at McManus.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Paul Davie

video
Paul Davie, a local freelance digital/designer dropped by the Science and Business department. Alistair, Verity and Sandra and myself took turns to squeeze into the tiny office in the dark so Paul could demonstrate to us VJ software he has adapted, we loved the effects was able to make using a webcam and the lights on his mobile phone. I just recorded this tiny video from his laptop screen, we could tell it would look amazing if it was projected life size.

Here's one for children... it's the school holidays

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Back projecting on glass

The Tagtool was set up to test out back projecting on the frosted glass in the children's area.
Our grand plan was to try projecting Tagtool animations today to accompany Shona delivering a story session to a group of children from Daisy Chain Nursery School. But the sun came out making it way too bright for projecting.
Meanwhile up in Science and Business Alistair was putting together a diagram for staff explaining how to operate the handset to animate their drawings.
Alistair's diagram came in useful as Duncan, Anna and Louise from the children's department came to try projecting their drawings on the glass in the music department.
Lorna (MA student) dropped in to try out the equipment, she is on work placement in the Dundee library service for one month. Lorna is studying Information and Library Studies at Aberdeen's Robert Gordon University.

Elvis of Dundee



Elvis, a regular in Science & Business came in sporting his Nine Trades badge look.






Friday, 9 April 2010

Arduino's, Austria, Hackspace and the T-List


I first met Magnus Lawrie at the cycling event in February, it turns out as well as being a throughly nice bloke he is also a regular in the Science & Business department. Magnus recently organised a meeting in Dundee discuss getting together a Hackspace in the city. As Tagtool is open source hardware and runs on Nodekit freely avaliable open source software I went along.... I met an impressive array of local tech wizards whose knowledge of computing went way above my head. Despite this and me being the only woman they were really friendly and welcomed me like a local. I am now signed up to the T-List forum and have tapped into local talk relating to Arduinos*, internet, creativity digital issues and other open source chatter.


Alistair started thinking it might be an idea to showcase the open source software books at the library. Maybe this could happen alongside a Tagtool session?

The good news is that Nine Trades project has agreed to support the provision of the entire Tagtool kit, and for it to be based in the library. We now have a Wacom A4 Intuos3 graphics tablet. At the end of April Alistair is going to attend the International Tagtool workshop in Austria, where he will build the library its own Tagtool.

* Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. Its also the key component in the Tagtool

My Dads Strip Club night

7.30 Thursday 15 April 2010

Hannah Maclure Centre

Top Floor Abertay Student Centre

1-3 Bell St

Dundee


As well as working on the Nine Trades project at the library, Im going to be putting on an entertaining evening featuring the work of My Dads Strip Club at The Hannah Maclure Centre at 7.30 - 9.00pm Thursday 15 April. its free and open to the general public. I'm hoping some of the great people I have met so far will come because it will be my pleasure to entertain them.


This is a one-off event, which is going to be followed by a set of six presentations running on Thursday evenings in May and June called The Spacemakers designed to build and support community and creative interventions in the city for more info on this click here.

The events are organised by D-AiR... (pronounced Dare) which stands for Dundee Artists in Residence a new initiative in the city that profiles the work of Dundee-based artists, celebrates Dundee as a city of culture and creativity, and fosters links between artists and the wider community.

Link to D-AiR's website here



Tagtool at McManus

A few weeks ago I met with Kerri Mcgowan the Creative Learning Officer at McManus, (who incidentally was involved with the development of the Nine Trades project over the past few years). I briefly told Kerri about my priorities at the library and introduced her to the Tagtool concept. In true Dundee style she made me very welcome at McManus.

I explained that I'm working with Sandra and Verity from the library with six teenagers on the Grey Lodge AAAA project. We want to experiment with the Tagtool and projecting their drawings to music. The original idea was to work in the Steps Theatre but it wasn't a suitable space. The plan is to produce some work to present in June at an event at Tanadice. Kerri was hugely supportive and is kindly making available the study room for us to work for two days in April and May.

Quick thanks to Colin and Derek from Inclusive Solutions who've kindly have lent me their projector to experiment with next week. I plan to try out overlapping images and drawings with the Tagtool.