I arrived at Digital Media Labs with an open mind, which it turns out, was probably a wise approach. Only 2 days in to the lab and it is refreshing to have stepped both physically and mentally away from my day to day practice. This feels like the intermediate grey area between escaping my practice whilst rediscovering it.
After a warm and friendly welcome to the Lab on Thursday afternoon, with some hints of overlaps with over people’s work , Friday was all about getting know each other and our individual practices with a full day of talks and activities.
As expected there is a diverse range of work amongst us all of which is inspiring and thought provoking. I was instantly drawn to the textile work of Toni, unsurprisingly, due to our similar interests in flow and pattern and I hope we can explore a few things together this week.
I was inspired by James who kicked off the day and discussed keeping things simple and making ideas happen quickly, which is something I would like to embrace whilst on the residency as I have a tendency to over think things or procrastinate.
Today was the perfect opportunity to take on this approach with a Charity shop challenge. Put into pairs and given a £10 budget we were invited to purchase materials and encouraged to leave our normal methods behind. Paired with Radames, we raided the charity shops of Barrow, picking up items that excited us without any prior conception as to possible outcomes. Armed with a space hopper, a baby’s activity matt, and some kind of contraption that measures you body fat percentage, we returned to the house ready to create the unknown. We soon found ourselves with the gaffa tape and scissors, de-constructing and reconstructing to create a quirky new toy/object/invention/thing…..the Joy-a-ball. It was liberating, especially as it was my first real taste of hacking and taking a part electronics to examine their insides (I’m still fairly new to the electronics side of digital art).
I’m not sure what will become of our creation but this enlightening initiation into the Lab has left me ready to throw myself into the rest of the week. As James said during his talk “it doesn’t have to be any more complicated”.