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.

January 2012

January is Month 8 for Caper.

The period before Christmas was filled with Culture Hack development, including the launch of Culture Hack East, Culture Hack North in Leeds and a Culture Hack taster at the Museum Computer Network conference in Atlanta. We’re now devising the next stage of Culture Hack, which will be back with a new format in 2012.

We’re very pleased to have launched Happenstance, our ACE/NESTA/AHRC funded R&D project, which puts technology at the heart of arts organisations. We’re looking for six bright, creative technologists and producers to fill spaces in three of the UK’s most vibrant arts organisations: Lighthouse, Site Gallery and Spike Island. It’s an amazing opportunity, and we’re thrilled to be working with the Centre for Cultural Policy at the University of Warwick, who will be mapping the impact of the residencies. Applications are open until 30 January, so spread the word.

Katy is developing a digital communications strategy for an inner-London NHS foundation trust, including a key piece of research around reputation management; and managing content distribution of a UK premiere for a major radio broadcaster.

Rachel is acting as an external acting as an external advisor for the BBC/Arts Council England initiative The Space, along with Matt Locke (Storythings), Anthony Lilley (Magic Lantern) and Paul Gerhardt (Archives for Creativity); developing a map-based open-data prototype for Brighton Museum and Art Gallery; and helping our friends at Coney develop a digital strategy.

We have a number of other projects in process:

Forthcoming Women in a Room events, including plotting something that just might change the world of conferences with She Says, Web Heroines and Girls’ Club.

Programming the next round of Makers’ Guild events at the V&A (to be announced soon), with Natasha Carolan and Fiddian Warman.

Developing the next phase of Coding for Kids with Rewired State.

Advising other UK digital programmes, such as Culture Code (delivered by CodeWorks in the North East of England), and developing the international development of our own projects.

We have also, finally, created and launched our website. Finding the time, and the words, to describe what we do has been a challenge, especially as we’ve growing and developing every month since we started Caper at the end of May 2011 – for which thanks to Dean Vipond, who created the Caper logo and brand identity, for design inspiration, and to Rebekah Ford, Emily Webber and Alex Sexton for technical expertise.