We’re back! (OK, we’ve actually been back for a while, but life got in the way of an update). Saxnäs was an amazing experience, aside from being the farthest north we’ve ever been, we got to meet some truly inspiring practitioners, working throughout Europe – you can read about our colleagues’ work here )
Unfortunately, the audioguide built on the Echoes app didn’t work – our best guess at why was the lack of mobile phone reception that far north. Instead we had to tweak our plan, describing rather than showing which is never ideal, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
So instead of walking while listening to stories, our audience stood and listened while looking out at the scenery.
We are delighted to be invited to the Winter Symposium in Saxnäs, Sápmi (Lapland) of the Practicing Communities: Transformative societal strategies of artistic research group from the Nordic Summer University. Here we are going to be presenting a digital locative narrative set in the landscape of Saxnäs in March 9-12 2017.
The Winter Symposium is focussed upon the theme of ‘Legacy in Artistic Practice’. As Vapid Media we are concerned with stories as the glue that binds society together. As through stories, we are able to redress biases, to affirm collective ideals and pass on legacies. So, over the next few months we will be collecting stories and mythologies from the local area in both Swedish and Sami. We’ll also collect stories local to our own roots in the North of England in English.
Once we have these stories we will be recording audio performances of them and placing them in a digital map. The map, when accessed through an app will trigger the stories to play when you step into certain locations. Through this we want people to be able to experience stories connected to the landscape, within the landscape.
If you have a story you’d like to contribute, let us know! You can get us via Twitter on @wearevapid or leave a comment below.
After ten sessions of hard work the ladies from St Ambrose Barlow, two Manchester School of Art student mentors, their Design Technology teacher and myself (Anna) finished our zine! If you’ve not been following along, this issue of Vapid Kitten has been taken over by an Ideas Foundation funded Digital Designer in Residence project. I have spent the last ten weeks in and out of St Ambrose Barlow working with a group of 14 year old girls to encourage them to consider taking Design Technology at GCSE level.
Along the way we have worked as a collective to up-skill in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign whilst also learning and writing about careers in Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math. It was important to me from a pedagogical perspective that the project was run as a collective. This meant that all of the people working on the zine contributed equally, and things like the title and cover art were all voted on.
As part of this we agreed on what publishing platform we would use for our zine In Another World. Working in teams the ladies explored Kindle, ISSUU and blogging as possible formats. After a vote, we settled on ISSUU as a platform offering us a free and accessible way for others to see our work. In fact, you can check out our finished product here.
This project formed part of a wider research project at St Ambrose Barlow about the low uptake of Design Technology at GCSE by girls. By running these sessions Nathalie and I sought to encourage the girls to try out some design technology skills and to find out more about technology related careers. The key finding we had been that the most important element to the project was giving the girls some time and attention. This helped to raise their confidence, and gave them a project to be proud of. The project has had a lasting legacy at the school as Nathalie now runs and annual zine project.
Today we took a trip to the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology where we met some scientists working in different fields. We had a tour around one of the labs where we saw equipment and different experiments. Afterwards we interviewed the scientists and found out about what they did in their jobs, their career path, motivation and favorite things about technology and science were.
We then spent the afternoon learning the basics in Illustrator by each making a cats face. Afterwards we created illustrations about what we heard about in the morning from the scientists.
After finding a title everyone then worked up a front cover that included it alongside an image we voted for as our favourite from last weeks lol cats. This is the winning cover:
These are the other covers we worked on:
Today we each came up with a few names each and then took a vote to find the title of the zine. With a tie breaker on ‘Banter’ and ‘ In Another World’ Miss Roughley cast a deciding vote on the issue being called ‘In Another World’.
These were the other names we voted on:
- Ze Fish
- It’s a Zine
- Blah Blah Blah
- I Want Another Slice of Pizza
- Old School
- Zappy Zine
- Cat Fish
- Random Book
- Chatter Box
- Cats Like Fish
- A Whole New World
- Go Hard, or Go Home
- Taking it Back to the Old School
- This is Us
- Strong Alone, Stronger Together
- We are Gary
- In Another World
- It’s Not Right but it’s Ok