Digital arts can seem an unknown and rather forbidding territory full of modern whizzy types doing clever things with laptops and electronics. SPAN Arts have a new project- SPAN Digidol – which aims to get individuals and communities in Pembrokeshire to use these technologies in new and innovative ways. To this end they had a launch day on 18th October at Canolfan Hermon -Hermon Community Centre.
This was an interesting day of show and tell about works already made and opportunities to have a go with some different technologies and be creative with them.
First of all we had a play with sound technologies. Recording and listening to sounds from outside as well as the sounds produced by vegetables ( you’d be surprised ) and then using software to process the recordings was all done under the gentle guidance of Stefhan Caddick. We were then shown how these technologies had been used to produce work in the form of the Digital Quilt. This was the work of Penny Jones and Gemma Green Hope. They had recorded conversations with women across Wales and then used snippets from these recordings which would be played audibly upon pressing a pressure switch under any single square of the quilt they had made. Another example was the Cor Pellenig – Remote choir project. This wove together filmed and recorded conversations with Pembrokeshire residents for whom getting “out and about “ was difficult for various reasons. Fragments of their conversations were fitted together into a song, “ I will sing you a song about my life “, which the participants learnt and and performed while being filmed.The song and conversations formed the soundtrack to film of Pembrokeshire in addition to film of the performances. Altogether this skillfully edited mixture of voices and film created a package that was both moving and uplifting.
SPAN Arts wants to promote more use of and engagement with these ( and other ) digital technologies by rural communities and residents. Dr Emma Posey gave a wide ranging presentation of examples from elsewhere as well as ideas of how to promote and encourage the use of these technologies in new, creative and innovative ways. Most especially with the intention of enabling creativity to flourish and for local talent or resources to be used. It follows that part of SPAN Arts project is to seek out and encourage such ideas and possibilities from individuals and communities across Pembrokeshire. To that end they want ideas about projects to be suggested to them. They are also looking for interested parties to act as mentors to those less experienced or skilled with these digital technologies.
The afternoon session was more hands on. We were invited to form groups and come up with ideas of ways to use these new technologies. This was good fun and intellectually exercising. As we were working to time limits it was a good way of discovering the skills of fellow participants as well as one’s own abilities to be quick and to the point as well as innovative. Following on from this we were challenged to come up with ways of re-imagining the existing S shape of SPAN Arts logo. This got us playing with card/paper/scissors/glue , all quite old school but also with digital tech in the form of I pads and rostrum cameras.
This was an enjoyable and instructive day. SPAN Art is looking for digital champions, people who have ideas for projects they wish to explore. SPAN Art wants to encourage individuals and communities to come up with new ways to use their creativity through digital means and thus enable new and innovative ideas for Pembrokeshire’s benefit.
Get in touch via www.span-arts.org.uk, phone 01834 869323 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org