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.