Partner Opportunity: Arts Open Data Wiki

We’re looking for a partner to help us make a public database of UK arts and cultural open data.

What’s the Project?

The project has two parts:

1)   Creating a comprehensive list of UK arts and cultural open data sources

2)   Creating an editable website or wiki and publishing the list of open data sources

We’d like the site to be easy to read, easy to edit, and attractive to look at. It should also categorise content through a tagging system. We expect each entry will have a title, a short description of the content, a link to the API and detail data fields, formats, standards and data-set access interfaces.

The project is being funded by an Open Data Innovation Voucher from the Technology Strategy Board. The voucher is for £5,000 and it must be spent with someone (either a company or a sole trader) that we have not previously worked with.

You will need experience of creating lovely, simple websites, an understanding of open data and a good knowledge of the UK arts and cultural sector.

If this sounds like you, please email a short document (no more than one A4 side) telling us about your work and how you intend to approach the project to before 5pm Wednesday 11 September.

March 2012

We worked with Fuel Theatre for their Phenomenal People project, as part of the Southbank Centre’s Women of the World Festival. Designed and built by Caper, the Tumblr site shares the incredible stories and achievements from political activists to religious figures, astronauts to opera singers, war reporters to nurses.

The Happenstance residencies have been announced. These are:

James Bridle and Nat Buckley at Lighthouse
Kevin Walker and Linda Sandvik at Spike Island in Bristol
Leila Johnston and James Jefferies at Site Gallery in Sheffield

Funded by the NESTA, Arts Council England and the AHRC Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture, Happenstance is a pilot programme created by Caper which puts creative technologists in deep immersion residencies in arts organisations. Residents will be onsite in the three organisations from mid-April for two five-week â˜sprints’, experimenting, prototyping and making projects, and each pair will present their work at the end of each period in informal Open House events.

From our friends…

Produced by Sync, Culture Hack Scotland 2012 is on April 27-28th in Glasgow. There’s a few tickets still available for both digital designers / developers and also arts and cultural organisations, plus some travel bursaries (for those within Scotland) are still up for grabs.

The Hack Track is a 24 hour hack event is for developers and designers to come and work with the data to make innovative new culture-related projects. The newly formed Culture Track is for cultural professionals and includes a Learn How To Code workshop, talks and performances.

And finally, here’s a few things that have caught our eye:

With over 46 million Tumblr blogs globally – which one do you choose to follow? Try 10 art Tumblrs to follow, as recommended by Flavorwire.

Watch Melvyn Bragg exploring culture as a social change maker in his short series for the BBC.

Y Combinator opening up their application process to people with ‘no idea’, challenging the need for a start-up to be focused around singular product – more that smart ideas can be generated by groups of clever people who are really good at what they do.

A pocket sized drawing CNC machine called Piccolo (via


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.

Talks, Workshops, Blogs

Since starting Caper in May 2011, these are some of the talks and workshops we’ve given, and guest blogs and articles we’ve written.

Lecture, BA/MA Culture, Policy & Management, City University, 2011
A Call to Arms” at Special Moves, Internet Week Europe 2011
Panel chair, “Museums and Games”, at Games for Brands, 2011
Post-Digital Experimentation and Creativity” at Alphaville, 2011
Culture (Paper) Hack” with Mia Ridge at V&A Web Weekend, 2011
Talk and Panel Discussion on “Social Media and Museums” at The Courtauld MA Curating the Art Museum, 2011
Panel Chair, Hacking CultureFuture Everything, Manchester, May 2011
Curator, No Furniture So Charming, London Word Festival, 2011

“Culture Hack Day”, Cultural Open Data Day for Open Knowledge Foundation, 2011
“Making Stories from Reality TV”, Controlling the Production of Meaning at One Thoresby Street, 2011
“Don’t Make a Drama Out of a Crisis: Twitter Crisis Management”, Arts Marketing Association Tweet Meet, 2011
Video and Connected TV in the Cultural Sector, Arts Marketing Association Digital Day, 2011
“I Can Has Extensions: The Grammar of Cats”, McLuhan’s Message, Watershed, 2011
Provocation – Let’s Make Technology the Way We Make Art, Edgelands, August 2011
Hacking Arts and Culture, Open Culture, 2011
Making Future Narrative, part of Making Future Work, LPAC, 2011
Panellist, Hacking CultureFuture Everything, Manchester,  2011
The Joys of Having Nothing to Read at No Furniture So Charming, London Word Festival, 2011
Guest blog posts and articles
On “Bubble Bath” by Nora Fok for 40:40 – Forty Objects for Forty Years, Crafts Council
Digital Arts and the Imagination“: Guidance notes for the Arts Council England and BBC initiative The Space (reposted on Get Ambition)
Everyone Wants to be On TV” for the Arts Marketing Association blog (republished on Guardian Culture Pros)
How Smart Labels Could Change the Museum” on the Creative Industries Knowledge Transfer Network Internet of Things Blog