February 2012

Month 9 for Caper. We celebrated by moving into our new studio, a light and airy space in Rockwell House. After lots of travelling during the last few months, we’ve been based mostly in London recently – working on our future plans and delivering some projects for clients, including:

Helping BBC Radio 3 to spread the word about Albumblatt, a rediscovered work by Brahms – seen here in an exclusive performance by András Schiff.

Recruiting the technologists-in-residence for Happenstance, our R&D project funded by NESTA, Arts Council England and the AHRC. There were 72 applications for the six residencies (two each at Spike Island, Site Gallery and Lighthouse), and we met 18 candidates last week for a busy day of interviews and workshops. Tables were (literally) turned, tiny robots were conjured and Penguin-o-meters imagined. We’ll be announcing the successful residents soon, and sharing the first stage of our learning.

Developing the next stage of our digital communications work for Homerton University Hospital NHS Trust. Katy has been leading a piece of research assessing the potential of the hospital in being more open with its data and better communicating with its community.

Working with The Royal Pavilion and Museums in Brighton and Hove on how to take their objects out of the museum and into the wider world (more on this soon).

Advising the BBC/Arts Council England initiative The Space – thinking about how arts organisations can make better digital content and helping to shape the service, which will launch this Summer.

We’ve also been giving some talks and running some events.

Women in a Room – our meet-up for women in technology – is going from strength to strength. This week we’re hosting the sold-out Women in a Room 5 at Special Moves, as part of Social Media Week. Kate Bussmann and Julie Howell will be leading a discussion about how women manage their reputations online, picking up from Laurie Penny’s article Woman’s Opinion is the Mini-Skirt of the Internet. Women in a Room 6 is a start-up speed mentoring event, co-produced with the British Library and Web Heroines. Vote for it now to get it included in Digital Shoreditch.

Maker’s Guild has started its residency at the V&A and is hosting weekly guest blog posts from makers, showcasing projects and processes. Get in touch with Rachel if you’d like to have your work featured there. The next event, on 3 March, will be a forum for discussing the Social and Economic Impact of Making, featuring Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director of the Crafts Council, and Ben Hammersley, the Prime Minister’s Ambassador to Tech City. Reserve your free place here.

Katy is also lecturing at the Birkbeck MA in Arts Management this week; Rachel is visiting Highwire DTC at Lancaster University as part of their Digital Futures programme, talking about collaboration and co-creation and creating new systems and cultures.

And we’re very pleased that Katy’s book Museums at Play has been voted one of the Top 10 Museum Education Books of 2011 by Museum Education Monitor.

And finally, here are some things that have caught our eye:

Ship Adrift, imagining the dislocation of ArtAngel’s A Room For London

Richard Sennett’s new book Together: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Co-Operation (see also this article by Sennett in The Guardian)

Lots of general awesome over at GOV.UK, including this, on Writing Simply by Russell Davies

On Twitter, Jenny Holzer, Mom and Amham Arts Centre

This trailer for Fascinating Mummies at the National Museum of Scotland:

Fascinating Mummies from National Museums Scotland on Vimeo.

Out and About

We’ve got two free events coming up in February.

Makers’ Guild : Making Textiles, 3 February, 18:15pm 

This is the first of five events at the V&A Sackler Centre, organised with Natasha Carolan from Highwire and Fiddian Warman from Soda.

We’ll explore the relationship between technology and textiles with talks from:

  • Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino and Alexandra Jarup on Curious Scarves,
  • Elena Corchero discussing ethical design and  Lost Values
  • Jennifer Ballie, talking about making and co-design in textiles and relationships with digital culture

There’ll also be a chance for people to share work-in-progress and recent projects, and drinks in a pub nearby afterwards.

The next event is on Friday 2 March, looking at the economic and social value of making. Speakers include Rosy Greenlees, Executive Director of the Crafts Council, and Ben Hammersley. Future themes include maker spaces, making and food, and making and sound.

Rachel is also recruiting bloggers for the Makers’ Guild site, so if you’d like to contribute, please drop her a line at rachel@wearecaper.com.

We have our fourth Women in a Room event, organised by Katy and hosted by our friends at Special Moves. Tickets are going very quickly for this, so get yours here.

Women in a Room is a meet-up for women working in and with technology, and February’s event is part of Social Media Week. Inspired by Laurie Penny’s article âœA woman’s opinion is the mini-skirt of the internetâ, we’re looking at how women handle themselves online – and how other people react to them.

The evening will kick off with short talks from our invited speakers, giving their angle on the topic. Then we’ll gather in smaller groups to chat in more detail. There’ll be lots of time for drinking and mingling too. Our speakers this month are:

Kate Bussmann: writer, editor and compiler of the world’s first social media almanac, A Twitter Year: 365 Days in 140 Characters(Bloomsbury), which was published worldwide in December and captures a dramatic year in news, sport and culture through tweets. She has discussed how Twitter has changed the world on Radio 4’s Women’s Hour, Sky News and NPR, and has written for the Sunday Times, the Mail on Sunday, the Sunday Telegraph, Stylist, Red and Grazia, and many more.

Julie Howell stakes her claim as one of social media’s founding mothers, having created one of the world’s first online communities in 1995. She has worked RNIB, Cabinet Office, BBC, Tesco and the British Bankers’ Association, developing digital policies that truly take into account the needs of disabled people. She is also author of the first British Standards specification on accessible web design. Today, Julie is a social media trainer and a mentor to women in technology. She is Brighton University’s â˜Alumnus of the Year’ 2012.