Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Designing OurSpace

Creative City is entering an exciting partnership with youth-led charity Art Against Knives (AAK) in presenting a programme for young people in East London called 'Designing OurSpace'.

The programme of workshops comprises of four segment projects, one of which is ours BROWSE Video Specs. It is both stimulating and quite a task as our project will be paving the way for a two year programme with AAK, and we want it to be GOOD!

For 'Designing OurSpace' we have decided to look at highlighting urban factors that influence public safety and/or crime. Our aim is to work with young people who have found themselves in sensitive situations and ask them to contribute their opinions and suggestions on the topic. We want the outcome to be informative and dynamic to be credible when presented to decision makers, so that future development sees the involvement of the people who will be using the development in questions, and the streets tomorrow.

BROWSE Video Specs is Creative City's current project, and it is a method of engagement using the discreet POV Video Specs technology.

How will we do this? We will facilitate 5 days of workshops and training sessions, with a group of young people, aged 12 - 24 years-old, over the course of half-term in October.
- For the first two days, we are introducing the Video Specs to spark creative thinking, and give a comment on the streets as they are.
- For 3 days, practical editing workshops will guide young poeple in using software and present the content gathered in days 1 & 2 into quality videos that will highlight issues, bring out opinions, and suggest solutions.

On this blog, we will keep on posting updates on developments to give you an idea of how BROWSE Video Specs has achieved its target, and how it can work with other groups and organisations.

TO contribute or to find out more, drop us an email karen[at]creative-city.co.uk

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Video Specs: the perspective of an intern

I am at Creative City for one day a week as part of my internship with the nearby St Hilda's East Community Centre. My role there will be primarily focussed on social media, marketing, and fundraising. The Women's Project at St Hilda's has taken part in Creative City's BROWSEast. The link with Creative City provides me with support on the more technical sides; meanwhile, I'll support CC's marketing -- so keep your eye on our Facebook pages for Creative City and Video Specs and our Twitter. We're about to get a whole lot louder.

Today is my first day at in the gorgeous Creative City office. I spent most of the morning reading about the company & its projects, watching videos, as well as adding a few updates to Twitter and Facebook. Karen then suggested I try wearing the Video Specs and she'd make a video of it. Here it is!
What are Video Specs?
Video Specs are glasses which record video and audio discreetly. They look just like normal glasses!

Wearing Specs (on top of my glasses)
Comfort & Wearability
I wear glasses, and wore the Video Specs on top. I have next to no nose bridge and my normal glasses slide down all the time, so I had to support or readjust them from time to time. If I wasn't already wearing my own glasses, the Video Specs would be quite comfortable.
Self-Consciousness & Self-Awareness
I definitely felt a bit self-conscious wearing the Video Specs on top of my glasses as I looked a bit silly! If I were to wear contacts and the Vision Specs, I think I'd feel much less conspicuous (especially since I'm used to wearing glasses). To cover the fact that I was talking away to myself, I pretended to be on the phone...
Wearing the glasses gave me a bit of a thrill, particularly knowing everything I was looking at was being recorded - and that no one knew! In that sense, maybe it's best to think of them like reverse sunglasses: when you wear sunglasses, people can't see what you're looking at.
The experience also made me much more aware of what I was looking at, which was interesting in itself -- like wandering around a city you know with a camera and noticing new things.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Six Summer Saturdays rocked Birmingham!

This summer marked the second edition of Six Summer Saturdays, Birmingham Hippodrome's fantastic outdoor performing arts festival.

Browse Video Specs took part in the festival by having the Hippodrome Bloggers documenting the events with a pair of Video Specs. Browse Video Specs attended Snow in the City on 6th August, asking members of the public to wear our Video Specs while having fun in the snow, and commenting on their experience.

Sarah Allen, Creative Programme Manager said :
"BROWSE is appealing to Six Summer Saturdays as a new innovative way to empower audiences, putting them right at the heart of the performance and enabling us to gain valuable feedback, commentary and content for our social media channels.

Watch the event video

There are plenty more on Creative City's Youtube channel

For more information on SpecAudience and Browse Video Specs, download the pdf here

Of course, it is all on our new website www.creative-city.co.uk

The next two Browse events are going to be announced soon... It looks like we'll be doing an Urban Planning workshop and feedback for a photographic exhibition at Amnesty International. Fingers' crossed and more news soon!

Friday, 5 August 2011

SpecAudience launches at Arnold Circus 'Swap & Share Picnic'

A team of Creative City goers took the Arnold Circus 'Swap & Share Picnic' over with Video Specs!

We asked Picnic participants and visitors to wear the Specs and comment on their involvement, the event itself and its the importance in community building and cohesion.

It was a wonderful day and a great way for us to get to work with Video Specs on a large scale. As a result, we're launching a programme called AudienceSpec, which helps organisations gather video content for evaluation and invaluable audience feedback, while helping the audience have fun.
More on the new Creative-City website!!!

Monday, 11 July 2011

We Did This!! Get something back for supporting Browse!

Browse has set-up a crowd-sourcing campaign with a new platform called We Did This, where we aim to raise £600 to purchase a few pairs of Video Specs and be able to develop Browse as a pilot in Shoreditch.

It is an interesting way of gathering support as each pledger can decide to receive something in return. For example, for £10, you get invited to the WRAP party, and for £50 you enjoy a pair of Video Specs for a day...

Catch the Browse video and make a small donation by following this link

We Did This

Also, to follow all updates on Browse, follow us on Facebook

Monday, 21 March 2011


These two short videos are templates for Browse; a project involving eye-wear that discretely records what you see, say and hear.

We will be asking 100 community workers, residents and local people of Shoreditch to walk around their environment wearing the glasses; narrating their likes and dislikes of their area. We are interested in what makes this area special, and what the threats are.

The You-vision glasses opened up a huge opportunity for Creative City Ltd to capture observations of local people on their community and surroundings.

We hope this will present an insight into the attitude and perceptions of people who spend or have spent substantial amount of time here, and how new developments could affect what, in their eyes, makes this area what it is.

There is no skill in using these glasses, no middle man, no getting shy in front of the camera. We hope for these reasons, it will attract people whose opinion would not otherwise be heard.

Follow the project on www.browseast.co.uk

Monday, 14 March 2011

Liverpool Discovers

Liverpool Discovers is 11 artworks by a superb selection of UK's artists. Produced by Wild in Art and Jo Pocock (Liverpool Lantern Company) as Artistic Director, this art trail is the sort of public cultural project that unites a city and its people. It brings people closer to their history, understood and interpreted by artists who add their little wow factor. It is meaningful and interesting.

Liverpool Discovers documents some of the city’s most significant historical and cultural achievements. From pioneering medical breakthroughs to leading the way in social reform, few cities can compare with its rich and fascinating history.

Copy writing © Chantal Barton
Photography © Stephen King

1 - Transport

'Stephenson's Destinator' by Aragorn Horner

This beautifully hand-crafted solid oak work is inspired by George Stephenson, his Rocket and the famous 'Rainhill Trials' of 1829. This fantastical machine pokes gentle fun at Victorians' fears of the newly invented railway and what fate might befall them on their first journey.

Stepping inside for your ‘dispensation of destiny and truth’ reveals the incredible workmanship of this interactive piece of art.

Aragorn Horner uses a variety of materials to constructs works that are interactive, and through the use of movement, sound and light, transport the audience into fantastical situations. Aragorn took part in Europe’s first Art Car Parade, constructed public installations at the Wales-based' Centre for Alternative Technology' and taken sculptures to various festivals and events across the UK.

2 - Social Justice & Radicals

'Mary Bamber - A Revolutionary Woman' by Carrie Reichardt & Nick Reynolds
St George's Plateau

An intricately mosaiced tribute to one of the country’s most influential social reformers and women’s rights campaigners. Bearing the names most if not all the suffragettes from the city, this life-size replica incorporates a working loud speaker. Closer inspection is the only way to truly appreciate the level of detail on this historically-inspired artwork with a contemporary twist.

Carrie Reichardt is a renowned craftivist. Her work has featured in publications, including Raw Vision, The Guardian, The Evening Standard, Nude, Tile and Stone, Grout, Westside, The Londonist, Abort, Mozake and That’s Life. Carrie collaborated with Nick Reynolds on a mutated mosaic elephant for the London Elephant Parade.

Nick Reynolds is the son of Great Train Robber Bruce Reynolds and now harmonica player with band Alabama 3 (responsible for the Sopranos theme tune). Nick specialises in death masks and recent commissions include the late great situationist Malcolm McLaren and legendary helmsman of the Colony Room, Michael Wojas.


3 - Architecture & Open Spaces : 'Secret Gardens'

'The Mythophones' by Dan Fox & Dave Young

Locations Our Lady & St Nicholas' Church Garden; St James' Mount; St Luke's Churchyard; Art & Academy Garden and the Bluecoat Arts Centre Garden.

Having stood in some of Liverpool’s most secret spaces, the mysterious Mythophones evoke the unique atmosphere of their surroundings. The recordable sound unit can incorporate stories, music and sound effects to fit any location as their curious shapes transform the space.

Dan Fox is an artist working mostly with sound in all its forms. Composing, recording in studios and on location, sound design for theatre and film, RSL radio stations, multi-channel installations, making acoustic instruments, digital interfaces, Dan performs, teaches, does consultations and works to commission with the likes of Welfare State International, Dogtroep, More Music, Walk The Plank, Northumberland Lights and many others.

Dave Young trans-mutes found, used, discarded and recycled materials into strange and unexpected new forms. Amongst other things, he has created giant blue spotted concrete dragons, solar powered Edwardian Spaceships, wind-powered giants, firesculptures, air powered bugs on rickshaws, and Leviathan Horns.

4 - Science & Technology

'Heaven & Earth' by Andy Plant
Pier Head

This is a telescope is dedicated to Liverpool’s very own astrophysics genius, Jeremiah Horrocks, featured in the ornate orary at the top of the telescope. This expertly constructed sculpture also features working telescopes for viewing the surroundings and a short animation inside.

Andy Plant specialises in animated and interactive artworks. He is well-known for his large-scale mechanical clocks. He has just finished an animated glass pool with a mechanical fish for a courtyard at Manchester University Hospital. Other projects include an animated garden at the new Children’s Hospital wing at Chesterfield Royal Hospital.

5 - Trade & Commerce

'Sugar & Chain'by Andy Hazell

Mann Island / Gorée Plaza

This bittersweet artwork references Liverpool’s relationship with the sugar industry – from the abominations of the slave trade to the halcyon days of the Tate & Lyle refinery and Henry Tate’s patronage of the arts. This impressive sculpture with its giant shackle really comes into its own at night when lit from within.

Andy Hazell has a wide range of skills and his material choice is primarily metal. He works in a variety of scales from very small automatons to large-scale sculptures. He has a huge portfolio of work which have been
created for exhibitions and sites all over the world.

6 - Music

'Echoes & Whispers' by Andy McKeown
Thomas Steer Way, Liverpool ONE

7 - Sport

'The Runner' by Faith Bebbington
King Park, King Dock St

This sequence of the human form is a fitting celebration of the awesome achievements of Liverpool’s past and present Olympians. Featured on websites around the world including USA Today, China Today and the India Times, this striking artwork now looks forward to London 2012.

Faith Bebbington creates permanent works in fibreglass resin mainly inspired by the process of people’s movement by referencing the early photographic studies of Edward Muybridge. Her public art commissions include works in Belfast, Derby, Manchester, Sheffield and Knowsley.

8 - Maritime

'Fish & Ships' by David Kemp

Coburg Wharf, Liverpool Marina

This hypnotic eco-friendly sculpture echoes the essence of the river and its story; those who travel on it, work on it, fish along it, and the plentiful wildlife within it. Its kinetic parts are animated by the wind itself as they glint in the rays of the sun and it has been produced with environmentally friendly methods.

David Kemp’s life-long connection with the sea and ships is reflected in many of his sculptures including the ‘Navigators’, on the Thames near London Bridge, the ‘Tropics Trader’ at Cornwall’s Eden Project and the ‘Wooden Whaler’ at the Scottish Museum of Fisheries. His work is in many public art galleries and museums throughout Britain, including the Arts Council Collection.

9 - Arts & Entertainment

'Sounding Out Liverpool' by Matthew Sansom
St James' Mount

These giant parabolic ‘sound mirrors’ tempt visitors to listen to the landscape by amplifying the flow of sound around them. The artwork invites you to bounce your own stories, jokes or poems off the mirrors with its almost magical amplification of sound.

Matthew Sansom works exclusively with field recordings and found sounds, his site-specific installations and performances explore the qualities of experienced sound and its metaphysical connotations. His work has been exhibited and performed internationally, including the USA, South Korea, Germany and Spain.

10 - Health

'X Ray Ted Gulf Bag' by Joe Rush

11 - Arts & Entertainment

Artwork 'Where Stars Are Made'

Artist Mike Pattison & Arts Desire

Celebrating St Helens’ little known, but significant links with Hollywood, this installation consists of three individual kaleidoscopes featuring ever-changing images of local people with connections to the silver screen.The artwork is colourfully decorated and re-awakens the child-like fascination of the kaleidoscope for adults and children alike. The images within can be interchangeable.

Mike Pattison has been making large scale mechanised art for over 18 years. He has been involved with several of the UK’s leading proponents of this genre including Emergency Exit Arts, Kinetica and Black Powder Monkeys.

Arts Desire specialise in temporary and permanent public art projects. They have produced breathtaking installations to mark many major events over the past 15 years including London’s Millennium Celebrations and the Queens Golden Jubilee.