I see myself as an artist and designer foremost – I love the process of making and seeing a vision come together. The moment when I give the project or artwork over to the audience and they take over is magic. But I am also a researcher in that I like learning and finding out about the bigger thinking behind our culture – play theory for example. That’s why I did a PhD.
Read the interview. Published in We Know Melbourne, Australia, 30 Aug. 2017.
Tine Bech is a Danish artist who has a PhD in play and has made a career out of creating fun, physical, interactive art that encourages people of all ages to get playful.
She says it's more than just an amusing and enjoyable way to pass the time.
"I really love what I do. I'm a quite playful person," Bech tells SBS.
"We do know from science that there are certain things that play definitely does for us. One of the most important things is that, from a more academic point of view, it enables us to be emotionally intelligent.
"If we play we learn how to be with other people, how to socialise, we learn to connect, so it has that ability to create social bonds. They also talk a lot about how play enables you to adapt. We are the most playful species. We have adapted super well. And some other species, some animals, that are very good at adapting are very good players."
...Bech believes coming from a playful family has helped shape her approach to play, as has growing up in a country like Denmark.
Read the interview. Published in SBS (Special Broadcasting Service), Australia, 25 Aug. 2017.
Listen to the interview. Learning to play again.
Drawing Room, presented by Patricia Karvelas, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) 23 Aug. 2017.
QV Melbourne is thrilled to announce that QV has commissioned globally acclaimed Danish artist Tine Bech to complete her first Australian work, which will be the centrepiece of a new interactive program of events called Light / Play. The celebration of light and play will herald the end of winter from Friday 25 August – Sunday 10 September.
Tine’s new work, entitled Colour Me Beautiful, will create a playful new environment for social interaction, experienced for the very first time at QV Melbourne.
“I don’t define play as being only for children. Our own evolution and survival as a species shows the centrality of play. We learn how to deal with risk through play – through exploration, testing, and thereby learning and adapting. I believe that play is integral to culture; it is part of our social fabric and lies at the core of social bonds," says Tine.
Featuring five colourful runways leading to a vivid portrait landscape, Colour Me Beautiful invites cities to play. The interactive installation captures images of audience members on each runway; live posting them onto a large screen - colouring you beautiful. Jump into the limelight at the end of the runways and strike a pose!
The work invites Melburnians and visitors alike to walk the coloured grass runway, strike a pose and be captured in a bright maze of colour. Tine’s intention for Colour Me Beautiful is to exemplify and extend the play inherent in human connection through social sharing.
Transforming both the environment and human behaviour through the creative possibilities of play making, Colour Me Beautiful will transform the open air QV Square into an interactive digital art playground. Tine Bech’s artistic vision is to explore how culture, technology and play intersect to shape the future of our cities.
Press release download
Discover joyful and fascinating interactive art at 201 Bishopsgate as part of our Life Meets Tech season as Tine Bech’s Come Into Play lands at Broadgate.
Transforming both the environment and human behavior through the creative possibilities of play-making, Come Into Play forms an immersive and interactive environment.
Combining artistic design with innovative technology, the highly engaging artworks form a playable space in which human experiences are placed firmly at the centre, encouraging participation and communication. Continuing artist Tine Bech’s exploration of the role of play in creating social bonds and new forms of communication, the exhibition also asks the viewer to consider how technology increasing shapes the ways in which we interact with one another.
Fancy a break from the everyday routine? Call into the ground floor lobby of 201 Bishopsgate for a playful look at art installations combined with innovative technology. HOW TO VISIT the exhibition
To find out more about Tine Bech follow her on social media @t_bech using #TineBech and #ComeIntoPlay.
Come into play is part of Broadgate’s Life Meets Tech Season. Find out more and join the conversation. @BroadgateLondon #BroadgateArt #TechMeetsLife
Curated by British Land
We Believe an interactive and playable cities light project and explores how public spaces can invite participation and create connections between people. The project is presented as part of Aarhus European Capital of Culture 2017 by Association Hidden Places in partnership with the Royal Danish Embassy in London, Aarhus City Hall and Karolinegaarden.
Audience will illuminate Aarhus City Hall Tower and the Danish Embassy in London from a control room. Using the aesthetics and theatre of the control room we will create an interactive ‘playable’ room on the rooftop of Aarhus's Karolinegaarden. From there, participants will control individual light sections directed on to both buildings, using a series of interactive devices (turn dials, press buttons and more), thereby creating a 3D playable structure whereby the two buildings are involved in a symbolic conversation as the audiences interact.
The more people that play, the more alive the buildings become. A webcam will be placed at Aarhus City Hall and at the Danish Embassy thereby enabling participants and audiences to follow the interaction on screens in the control room and online. Aarhus City Tower is also visible from the terrace where the control room is located.
We Believe connects two cities through interactive art, light and participation, and perfectly encapsulates European collaboration and cultural exchange. The buildings are power structures, namely Aarhus City Council and Denmark's diplomatic mission in England. The conceptual creation and aesthetics of the control room are essential to the project, exemplifying its theme of democracy and citizen creative participation, and the audience’s interactions are, therefore, at the heart of the project.
The title European Capital of Culture (ECOC) represents one of the most prestigious and prominent cultural events in Europe. Every year two EU countries are appointed as host countries for the European Capital of Culture. Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017 is supported by Central Denmark Region and all the municipalities in the region. It is deeply rooted in strong regional cooperation across the entire region.
Read about interactive and networked set of swing and other artworks showed at SIGGRAPH Art Gallery 2016
Read the online Interactions Magazine here
Interactions, Volume 24 Issue 2, March + April 2017. ACM New York, NY, USA. Pages 10-13
GLOW video created by Blatella Films
Rainbow Makers was commissioned by Museums at Night, Culture24 and The Whitworth. Rainbow Makers is touring game that invite new audience to engage with museums and galleries. It is an inventive, intuitive and collaborative experience for audiences to reimagine the venues’ collections.
Watch participants at the Whitworth playing and engaging with the gallery in an inspiring new way to create a digital rainbow simultaneously both in-venue and online.
Video by The Hatch
Play of Light – A day of five sessions exploring creativity, games, innovation, play – and light!
Monday the 13th February 2017 at 3.00pm Tine will talk about how she play with light subversively!
E-Luminate Cambridge and co-curator Pat Kane have brought together an amazing collection of writers, performers, artists, academics, gamers and scientists for this special one-off event. Tickets are available to attend all or individual sessions.
We are delighted that Catch Me Now is coming to eLuminateFest Cambridge 2017
Catch Me Now is an intriguing interactive light installation, which entices audiences into a merry dance of catch.
Find our playful light at Quayside Courtyard CB5 8AB
From 10th to the 15 February after dark.
See the full programme
UNBOSI is one of the lesser-known departments of the United Nations. Since 1947 we have been globally studying sites associated with human genius. UNBOSI was created with the knowledge that even after a war to end all wars, world leaders had failed to keep the peace and tend to be conservative uninspired negative thinkers and the acronym created has been used to describe them ever since. With most of the world on board, we have joined forces and use the power of the planet to create ‘light bulb’ moments inspiring co-operation and friendship between all nations.
Garden of Curious A-MUSE-ments - A truly unique after dark adventure
Catch Me Now has been shown at the V&A, the Science Museum, Edinburg Science festival, Kinetica, at light festivals. Catch it Now the 25th and 26th November between 5 and 10pm at the Eastbury Manor House with Creative Barking and Dagenham.
Tickets 5£ & under 16’s free.
Interactive art, light and fire, arts and crafts workshops, face painting, stalls with delicious food and drinks, a DJ and activities for all the family. DOWNLOAD the full programme and map
...Interactive and installation art is still at the cutting edge of the art world, and its relative youth means that it actively engages with making positive changes for the future; they are, in a word, optimistic. Holler's slides, apart from being exploratory sculptures that offer the possibility of unique inner experiences that can be used for the exploration of the self", are actually changing architects attitudes to different ways of moving between spaces.
Perhaps this is what makes playgrounds not just art, but great art. While, on the surface, it all seems like mindless fun, in reality the art is making us think. It challenges us to envisage and play out the kind of world we want to live in, how to solve the problems we can see as obstacles to that future, and how to confront reality and make a difference. Bech says it best: "Being optimistic about the future doesn't mean we shouldn't be sceptical or critical - we should be able to be independent thinkers. ...means believing that we all have an interesting future ahead of us, what-ever it may be. I hope that it’s one full of play and great art,” Bech concludes.
Read article here
As part of a research project for the King’s College London Arts and Humanities Festival, Matheson Marcault been interviewing different curators, designers, artists and architects about playful work for public space. This interview is with Tine Bech, a multidisciplinary artist and researcher. Her work explores the potential for transforming environments and human behaviour through the creative possibilities of play and game-making.
It is a subtle invitation to step in, and then there’s this sort of flow of commitment that leads to bigger things. Bigger moments!
The growth of motion sensing and proximity sensing in doors and taps and so on is expanding the range of interactions that people understand instinctively
We have a hierarchy of play where children are at the top; perhaps rightly so, and perhaps not. And that is our culture. It’s linked to bigger cultural assumptions.
Read the interview online
Read the interview in a PDF
Interview by Matheson Marcault
For one night only Manchester will radiate in the glow of Danish born, London-based artist Tine Bech’s Rainbow Makers - the art treasure hunt for grown-ups. Teams of up to 8 people, wearing the artist’s own specially designed multi-coloured light vests, will generate a gigantic rainbow projection on the walls of the gallery by finding seven of the Whitworth’s most iconic objects.
Sign-up for one of the 45 minute slots in advance and book your chance to demolish darkness and discover the sparkling gems of the collection. No experience, equipment or expertise needed just enthusiasm and the desire to be part of the magic. Rainbow Makers at the Whitworth is part of Museums at Night, the UK's twice-yearly festival of Lates.
Tine Bech Studio and Rainbow Makers is part of the lineup for the Museums at Night at The Whitworth in Manchester the 27th Oct
Rainbow Makers is a simple, intuitive, collaborative game which encourages visitors to the museum or gallery to explore and engage with specific art works and the venue itself in an inspiring new way in order to achieve a collective vision: the creation of a digital rainbow which takes form simultaneously both in-venue and online.
Wearing artist made interactive light wearables, players set out in groups to seek out seven spaces. The aim of the game is to find seven artworks or objects and create a rainbow. Each artwork is ‘guarded’ by a ‘Gatekeeper’ with a remote control which switches the colour of the player’s artist-created illuminated vests. Images taken by the gatekeepers of the teams illuminating the artworks are uploaded to a website. The images combined, form a rainbow that is projected in the museum.
Read about Museums at Night here
How can arts and heritage organisations get better at recognising, articulating and generating value from online cultural retail?
It’s a hot topic as public funding is squeezed and we look for new income streams and business models that align with our cultural offer. But online cultural retail is about more than just generating financial value. What we sell and package influences how our audiences engage with us. The way we approach new product development challenges the way we think about our overall offer, our brand and our purpose. People want experiences with soul and products with a story - for the cultural sector this is part of our DNA.
BikeTAG is a pervasive game system created from LED lights, proximity sensors and a Smartphone application. Originally created in 2012 by artists Tine Bech, Julian Sykes and Bang & Lee, during the Playable City Sprint, hosted by Watershed and the British Council.
In a unique commission for Bristol Temple Quarter, the BikeTAG light system was used within an innovative street game that lit up Bristol’s Enterprise Zone. The commission ‘Colour Keepers’ was designed to help re-invent perceptions of the Enterprise Zone – the area surrounding Bristol’s Temple Meads Station.
Part exploration, part battle, part collaboration, part art experience, Colour Keepers was a chance to play on bikes in the city, set colours free and co-create light trails using the BikeTAG light system.
Journal of the International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology
LEONARDO SPECIAL ISSUE SIGGRAPH 2016 Art Papers and Data Materialities Art Gallery, August 2016, Vol. 49, No. 4
Social engagement in public space can be an awkward, challenging, and often difficult experience for people unfamiliar with each other or their surroundings. The need for an impartial mediator to connect people is something that artists have been tackling with their work for many years and is still being readdressed daily.
Read: The Kinetic Storyteller 2016: Tine Bech
The theme of the SIGGRAPH 2016 Art Gallery is “data materialities,” which centers on the premise that we are surrounded daily by networks, information, and data. Data sources range from public to private profiles, wired to wireless networks, and social and mediated realities.
Whether the signals consist of radio frequencies or physical, wired connections, networks are always around us, permeating and consuming our offices, homes, schools, and public indoor and outdoor spaces. The SIGGRAPH 2016 Art Gallery begins from this premise and goes further to expose the plethora of data we encounter daily by transforming it into tangible incarnations that not only showcase its complexity, but also allow us to relate to it on a human scale.
Read: Data Materialities Art Gallery: Introduction and Gallery
The work was selected and shown at SIGGRAPH Art Gallery, Data Materialities (LA, US) 2016.
SIGGRAPH Art Gallery: Data Materialities
Art Gallery Chair Jonah Brucker-Cohen
Networks, information, and data constantly surround us. Data Materialities exhibition exposed this plethora of data and transformed it to incarnations of tangibility that not only showcase their complexity, but also allow us to relate to them on a human scale. By injecting humor and kinetic energy to their exposition, the gallery makes light of these data platforms and presents them on a grand scale to reveal their ubiquity.
Artwork and artists for the SIGGRAPH 2016 Art Gallery were selected by the Art Gallery Chair and not by a jury. Supported by Leonardo and The MIT Pres. SIGGRAPH is the world’s largest, most influential annual event in computer graphics and interactive techniques.
Sat 16 July – Sat 3 September. Monday to Saturday 10 – 5pm. Bank Holidays 10.30 – 4.30
The exhibition continues Tine Bech exploration of the role of play in creating social bonds and new forms of communication and how technology increasingly shapes the way we interact with one another. Her work is a playful comment on our ability (and inability) to communicate in an age of seemingly infinite communication possibilities.
Light Fantastic: Light-Art workshop with Tine Bech 6 August
Express yourself through light! Make your very own light-art in a playful fun workshop. Artist Tine Bech, who created the Play of Light exhibition, will be on-hand to help you create your own stunning light drawings to share online.
Admission £1.50 per person
6th Aug tickets are £4 and includes ‘Light Fantastic’ a light-art workshop with Tine Bech.
Artists whose works are presented in the Data Merialities Art Gallery discuss their creative and technical processes. Tine will talk about her work Wednesday, 27 July, 10:45 am - Noon
Social and Connected Media
Moderator: Katherine Moriwaki, Parsons School of Design
Tine Bech, The Kinetic Story Teller
Mogens Jacobsen, Crime Scene
Highly interactive art exhibits from around the world will be a special feature during SIGGRAPH 2016, the world's leading annual interdisciplinary educational experience showcasing the latest in computer graphics and interactive techniques. With the tagline "Render the Possibilities," SIGGRAPH 2016 will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center, 24-28 July 2016.
This year's Art Gallery, assembled under the banner "Data Materialities," represents a unique collection of 10 highly interactive installations created from 2003-2016.
SIGGRAPH 2016 Art Gallery Chair Jonah Brucker-Cohen said, "We have made a special effort to bring back large-scale, highly immersive displays for the Art Gallery. Our title, 'Data Materialities,' illustrates the fact that in 2016, we are all constantly surrounded by networks, information, and data. Whether these stimuli consist of electromagnetic frequencies or physical wired connections, networks are everywhere, consuming and permeating our offices, homes, schools, and public indoor and outdoor spaces. 'Data Materialities' exposes this plethora of data and transforms it to incarnations of tangibility that not only showcase their complexity, but also allow us to relate to them on a human scale. By injecting humor and kinetic energy to this year's exposition, the Art Gallery will make light of these data platforms and present them on a grand scale to reveal their ubiquity."
Main Stage, Friday April 15th at 13.50.
To Play or not to Play - Interactive Artworks
Using examples from her practice, Tine will share ideas on the relationship between play, public spaces and interactivity via new technologies, including the importance of the invitation to play, encouraging audiences to move from looking to doing, and the kinds of play that can be initiated through interactive artwork. Playful interactive art enables the creation of spaces and events that affords playful interactions and encounters - it invites people to be curious and seeks to engage audiences into dialogue and thereby opening up the possibility for play.
Tine will present research into 1] why we play 2] the kinds of play that can be initiated through interactive artwork in public spaces (and cultural institutions), including adult playful behavior, not only child-play 3] Introduce new prototypes for public digital art.
See the full program for the day here.
DOKK1, is the new library in Aarhus, Denmark. Designed by Danish firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects the building is super playful in itself. Located beside the harbour in Aarhus, this urban mediaspace is the largest space of information in Scandinavia.
The conference tackles concerns that people today do not have enough opportunities to be playful, and that this will negatively impact everything from quality of life and work to society as a whole. CounterPlay ’16 investigate four central questions through keynotes and interactive sessions. What is play? Why is play important? When is play difficult? And will cover talks about: Playful Art & Culture / Playful Leadership / Transforming Smart & Playful Cities and many more. To book tickets go to: http://www.counterplay.org/activities/
Video by Louis Christodoulou of Chromatic Play coming alive at the Finnish Institute for the The Games Europe Plays exhibition.
The exhibition looks at independent European digital games for young people (4+) and their families. It brings together some of the most visionary artists and engineers of digital games and learning, working in the field. The Games Europe Plays is hosted by The Finnish Institute in London and EUNIC London as part of the London Games Festival Fringe Programme.
The exhibition is the first in a series of three shows initiated by EUNIC London and curated by body technologist and digital expert Ghislaine Boddington. They will bring to the UK the best independent and innovative games made in Europe with a strong emphasis on design, visuality, virtual interactivity and physical engagement. Suitable for everyone from 4 years old.
Join a panel debate on Thursday 7 April at 6pm which will explore the state of gaming in Europe today. Panellists include journalist and TV presenter Kate Russell (UK), play designer and artist Tine Bech (Denmark/UK) and the Director of the Finnish game industry hub neogames KooPee Hiltunen, moderated by curator Ghislaine Boddington.
Come and play at:
Finnish Institute in London
Unit 1, 3 York Way, London N1C 4AE
The exhibition is open to the public from 2 - 10 April 2016:
Mon, Wed-Fri 12am-6pm, Tues 12am-8pm, Sat-Sun 11am-5pm,
The Games Europe Plays is initiated by EUNIC London with the Czech Centre and coordinated by the Finnish Institute. Supported by the British Council, it is presented as part of the London Games Festival Fringe Programme, at the University of Greenwich and Nesta’s FutureFest 2016. With additional support from the Czech Centre, the Danish Embassy, the Goethe-Institut London and the Swedish Embassy.
In the past play was rarely thought of as an activity for adults, however this is changing as science reveals how important it is for our minds. Pervasive Media Studio Producer Verity McIntosh will discuss the annual Playable City Award and will be joined by Dr Amanda Seed, lecturer in psychology and neuroscience and Dr Tine Bech, play researcher and artist, in an event hosted by Francesca Perry, social and community editor for Guardian Cities.
Edinburgh International Science Festival 2016 explores how science, technology, engineering and design have the potential to improve the world we live in and the way we live within it. Explore the UK’s largest science festival with over 270 events for families and adults. Our vibrant and varied programme includes everything from fun family days out to talks and discussions from pioneering thinkers.
From 26 March – 10 April 2016.
How did your partnership with Cass come about?
Through Creativeworks London and its Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded Creative Entrepreneur in Residence scheme. It was a great opportunity to work with people outside the creative industries and outside creative arts and design education. I was also keen to grow my own business learning curve.
What have you been doing in your time here?
Engaging with and being inspired by the people I met across the university to develop something specifically for Cass and City University.
How can play influence business?
I believe that play is important to society as a whole, including business, it is part of our social fabric, of how we bond. In the context of my work, I don’t define play as about children. I view play culturally and as part of adaptation. Our own evolution and survival as a species shows the centrality of play. Play and risk are closely related, we learn how to deal with risk through play – through exploration, testing and learning. Play is also a method for thinking which can lead to innovation.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am very inspired by site and place, the city, and how we move through places and connect including serendipity. Also I am inspired by materials, by things of beauty.
Creative Entrepreneur in Residence at Cass Business School, City University London. Funded by Creativeworks London, an AHRC funded Knowledge Hub
Tine has spent time in the business school both physically, and in engagement with faculty and students. As a result, she has decided to build the theme of her event around space and knowledge, a crucial issue for the school in the light of its strategy looking for significant improvements in its physical estate.
SPACES 2050: Seeing and Seers
by Tine Bech Studio
Creative Entrepreneur in Residence at Cass Business School
Funded by Creativeworks London
A panel of artists, designers, composers and coders share the digital and technological developments that will affect arts and culture this year
Artful Spark is a quarterly event series all about the gap between creative ideas and technical execution. In the words of its founders – Sam Howey Nunn, director of Stellar Network, and Ben Templeton, founder of Thought Den and associate creative director at Preloaded – the project aims to support more informed, creative, cross-discipline conversations around the vast wealth of possibilities presented by emerging technology. Here, speakers past and present share what they think will be the key trends in arts, culture, creativity and technology in 2016.
Dr Tine Bech, artist and designer
Cities take centre stage
We live in a world of megacities, where urbanisation is a fast-growing fact of
life. In 2016 we will see trends such as urban farming, local food growing initiatives, green architecture, intelligent buildings and even smart cities. In today’s automated world, digital and playful art projects contribute to debates about the design and implementation of interactive, smart environments, including cities. What will the cities of the future look like? Will they allow playful interaction (quirky, imaginative behaviour and flexibility) or are we developing smart cities with visions of efficiency and safety above all else? These are the questions we’ll be answering this year.
As new technologies emerge, different ways to creatively interact and collaborate arise with them. In this context, play is a persuasive and powerful tool. The invitation to play can bridge the gap from observation to participating and, as such, playable spaces have the potential to provide a deeply social dimension. Key, however, will be how we ensure these playful interactions are not about our relation to technology, but about creating new ways of experiencing culture.
The Guardian, Culture professionals network
Short article by Dr Seth Giddings, Associate Professor of Digital Culture & Design at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton
Lightbug is a magical swing that brings light, colour and sound to playgrounds. It invites children to play, through digital interactivity, in both imaginative and physical ways. Swinging triggers light and sound reactions, and the whole swing is programmed to respond to play, and to suggest different kinds of play activity and experience. This ambition project brings together Tine Bech’s interactive and design experience, Seth Giddings’ research into digital and postdigital play, and Danish play-technological expertise.
Swings are symbolic of freedom, excitement, and thrills - children (and adults) are drawn to them. The swing is an invitation to play. Lightbug takes this invitation and offers a new perspective on the playground, another dimension to imaginative and physical play. It updates the ancient machinery of the swing with contemporary technology to create new activities that are interesting, interactive and playful. It anticipates, and takes big steps towards, the magical digital and physical playground of the future.
Central to the process was a team of 7-12 year olds, the Young Coaches. They were partners in the design process from the very start, and worked alongside the teams as demanding playtesters and consultants, always coming up with new ideas. Their enthusiasm for the idea of interactive and colourful playground equipment reassured them that the project was viable...
Lightbug Magical Garden explores the playground of the future with a digitally enhanced swing that brings responsive light, colour and sound to festivals and events and future playgrounds.
It invites people of all ages to play through digital interactivity. Working with light, rhythm and sound to create an interactive welcoming environment. As people swing, they start to take over and control lights in the area - lighting up trees with colour and creating a magical garden.
The playground swing is one of life's simplest pleasures. Feeling your suspended body move through space, rising and falling in a fixed arc that flows first with then against, the pull of gravity, is both thrilling and reassuring. It remains a peerless, timeless invention and an open invitation to play, for children and adults alike.
That's why I created Lightbug. It's a magical, interactive reinvention of the swing that brings additional dimensions of light, colour and sound to the experience. By imbuing the intuitive, classic structure with facets of new digital and interactive technologies, the swing takes on a character and personality that can be developed by the 'swinger'. Using sensors embedded in the structure which respond to presence, modes of use and methods of play, and using game mechanics developed by the artist, Lightbug takes the art of the swing to the next level to show us a glimpse of the future of the creative playground and create a truly immersive and mesmerising experience that will thrill and delight children and adults of all ages.
To see a video about the development of Lightbug go to Lightbug here.
Danish news article by Hans Petersen, Aarhus Stiftstidende
Tine Bech in Aarhus with colorued lights as a backdrop. In her art, she plays with digital light. Photo: Kim Haugaard
Cloud computing becomes tangible with these dream-like Whispering Clouds
by Charlie Stephens
New social technologies help you link up with other people in your city, but what about connecting with the environment? Whispering Clouds is a set of digital clouds that light up and hang over a city, displaying messages and encouraging people to interact with each other and their physical surroundings. The clouds encourage people to play within the urban environment and create new ways of communicating in public spaces.
The sculptures will be suspended between buildings or set in open public spaces, where they can receive and display text messages from passersby. They are the physical manifestations of the digital ‘cloud,’ and they repurpose digital communications in a creative, interactive way.
Created by artist and researcher Tine Bech, the design concept is part of the Playable City Award shortlist, and is trying to reframe the way we think about our cities. Technology has become an integral part of the city experience, but Whispering Clouds uncovers the foundations of our online-oriented world. Bech explains to PSFK:
What happens in your phone is very hidden, but nevertheless we connect with a lot of people. Whispering Clouds makes you look up, it makes you connect in a different way to the place your in, the environment your in by having a very big, cartoon kind of invitation for play.
In addition to connecting people within communities, Bech envisions a network of clouds that crosses city lines. The clouds can communicate with each other using different “color hierarchies” and “color coding” that will share ideas and feelings between people of different areas. Interactive games and inter-cloud interviews will take place, and after a certain hour messages will go unfiltered.
The concept falls within an emerging and exciting art category. Whispering clouds utilizes modern technology to inspire traditional ways of interacting—that is, face to face. Bech comments on the project’s artistic qualities:
It’s a difference experience of art or interactivity than standing and gazing at a painting in a gallery—it’s at the other end of the spectrum. I think technology has allowed us to change that. It has allowed us to change the urban experience as well.
The way we live in our cities is rapidly changing, and a physical ‘cloud’ network may encourage urbanites to find a digital-physical balance in their everyday life.
An artificially starlit pathway wound towards the entrance of an abandoned courthouse in central Bristol, through an avenue lined with fake pink-blossom trees. At the end of the path stood a flashing, bleeping swing that called passersby towards it with blinking lights and a musical tune. To the right of the swing there was a set of stairs that led to the courthouse's basement.
by Cara Mcgogan
AHRC-funded festival flags up an astonishing variety of collaborative projects.
There were many strange things to be seen when “a three-day festival of arts, humanities and new ideas” took over the complex consisting of Bristol’s old fire station, magistrates’ court and police station earlier this month.
In a pop-up cemetery, people chalked up their preferred epitaphs: “She got shit done”, “A plot at last” or “Here be maggot food”. A specially created library featured initiatives exploring the future of the book, while a bedroom gave people an opportunity to design their own “intimate objects”.
Outside in a playground and enchanted garden one could find a rocket, a wonky Wendy house and a swing that put on a dramatic lighting display as soon as one sat down on it. Inside the buildings, one could visit a little theatre to listen to recorded memories of actors, audiences and staff at the Bristol Old Vic.
The Rooms festival showcased a total of about 50 projects. All were created by academics and creative businesses, usually working in digital technologies, and nurtured and supported by REACT (Research and Enterprise in Arts and Creative Technology).
“Technology, academics and creative businesses are an interesting mix and may not be doing the kind of things you expect them to be doing,” says REACT director Jon Dovey, professor of screen media at UWE.
“The whole point was to create a new network of relationships. There are a whole lot of academics across the five universities and a whole lot of people in creative businesses who now know how to talk to each other, have interesting ideas in common, and can create projects or bids to make an impact in the world.”
See Lightbug at the REACT festival THE ROOMS Join us in the magic garden where LightBug will light up and invite you into play.
From 5th to the 7th November 2015 at the Old Firestation, Magistrates Courts and Police Station in Bristol City Centre.
The Rooms Festival is a three day festival designed to showcase your REACT projects and inspire the public. From a playground filled with battling robots and fabulous beasts, to an interactive light garden, haunted study and enchanted library. Get lost in a bio-activated maze, dance with Elvis and reimagine our digital future. Alongside a series of interactive installations, we will be hosting an exciting programme of free talks, workshops, film screenings and house parties.
THE ROOMS is brought to you by REACT, the creative economy hub for the South West & Wales. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, REACT has invested in collaboration, cultural experimentation and creative innovation between University researchers and creative businesses, supporting them to make new kinds of digital products and experience. Now, with a portfolio of 53 projects, it's time to celebrate all of this brilliant work and look to the future.
Thanks to Tom Whitwell for summarising our work so well.
1. Play is simple.
You know how cats chase the red spot from a laser pointer? Humans are exactly the same. Tine Bech’s installation Catch Me now is a spotlight projected onto the floor, controlled by a webcam and a computer. If you step into the spot, it expands for a few moments, then moves. Simple code = complicated play and lots of laughing.
2. Adults don’t like to play when there are children around
When Tine set up her Catch me now at the Science Museum, during the day, it was dominated by children. But at night during a science museum late opening, the adults felt they had permission and played with it in exactly the same way as the kids. Children are the apex players, at the top of the hierarchy. Only when they’re absent will adults play.
3. Cameras encourage more exuberant, open behaviour.
Tine’s installation On the Bridge Reykjavik parliament building was a long, narrow bridge. She added motion sensors, red and blue lights and smoke machines, as you walk across, the red light and smoke follows you. People realised it was a great place to take selfies or group shots, and the presence of the camera made them do more, releasing their natural inhibition.
4. Humans are incredibly good at reading body language
For Surface Tension, Nicola Plant motion captured people explaining pain and discomfort, showing what it was like to have a headache. She isolated specific movements, then built a simple 3D robot arm (three arduino-controlled servos and wooden sticks) to replay those movements. Visitors were able to understand these very simple robot movements as painful or uncomfortable. Nicola is developing her work to help make robots appear more empathetic.
5. Humans can learn complicated interactions quickly through play.
In Tracking You, Tine Bech gave people coloured capes with RFID Tags on the shoulders. Movements are tracked by a system in the ceiling and used to trigger sounds. Each cape creates very different sounds (big and monstery, or tiny and tinkly) as they move, and nothing when they’re still. When players get close to each other a laser ‘shooting’ sound is triggered. Within seconds of putting on the capes, players got the game, adopting characters and body language based on the sounds, shaking their shoulders (that’s where the tags are, so you can create more sound that way) and devising zap zap fighting games.
See it all and more here
Join DORKBOT LONDON - people doing strange things with electricity
Artwork by Tine Bech Studio ‘I Play’ 2016
21st - 31st October show opens daily 10am-5pm
21st October launch 6pm-10pm
24th Gloop workshops 10.30am-12pm & 2pm-3.30pm
29th Open discussions Physics - Lazy Liquids 6pm-8pm
31st Gloop workshops 10.30am-12pm & 2pm-3.30pm
The Art Pavilion
Mile End Park
Clinton Rd, London E3 4QY
Supported by Tower Hamlets Council and Arts Council England
LightBug by Dr Tine Bech, Artist was created as part of a prototype research process with researcher Dr Seth Giddings, Associate Professor Digital Culture & Design at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton.
Working with Cass Business School, Tine will explore how play and art can be central to enhance understanding and expression in management of organisations. Tine will investigate how ludic participatory (playable and interactive) spaces can benefit organisations and help innovate and create change.
This Creative Entrepreneur initiative has been developed to support Cultural, Creative and Creative Digital sector entrepreneurs who are interested in undertaking a short-term residency with one of Creativeworks London’s research partners. The residencies will be focused on supporting entrepreneurs to work with the research community to assist in the development of new ideas, projects and products and/or to develop solutions to particular business needs.
To see more go here
Light Chasers - Rainbow Makers was an incredible success at Israel Museum, where it was shown as part of Contact Point.
Light Chasers - Rainbow Makers is a game where players fight to save the museum from impending darkness, bringing colour and light to it's fading artworks. It is a futuristic version of the treasure hunt where players wear interactive light wearables. Working together players must banish the blackness of the dark and shadows with their wearables creating dazzling colourful lights. Their mission is to find seven gatekeepers, who are guarding the seven colours of the Rainbow and seven important artworks. The artworks are fading into a dusted world of dullness and players must save them by making interesting poses, interacting and framing the artwork with their body and colourful lights. Changing colours seven times throughout the night players will create a digital photomontage rainbow together offline and online.
Funded by British Council and produced by Jerusalem Season of Culture.
Artful Spark talks help people in arts and media understand the practical applications of technology. Cutting edge tech is often wrapped in hyperbole. The talks explore the realities of working with, for example the tech that makes 'wearable' products/experiences a reality.
To book please go here:
I believe in You is an interactive light installation which brings light and colour to London Bridge City Pier. This playful installation combines new technology and RGB LED lighting, illuminating the pier against the backdrop of Tower Bridge and London Riverside. The colours will change when participants move throughout the space looking at the stunning views of London Bridge.
I Believe in You on London Live News 21st Aug 2015
I believe in You is an interactive light installation produced by leading Urban Play artist, Tine Bech, which brings light and colour to London Bridge City Pier. This playful installation combines new technology and RGB LED lighting, illuminating the pier against the backdrop of Tower Bridge and London Riverside. The colours will change when participants move throughout the space looking at the stunning views of London Bridge. Create your own view and post photos of all the colours using social media and #colourbelieve
Video by Mickey Lee, New Media Design and Production
I believe in You is open from 8pm to 8am throughout the 2015 London Bridge Live Arts programme from 17th to 30th Aug 2015.
London Bridge Live Arts Festival: EXCHANGE. is an annual arts festival that seeks to activate public spaces and engage audiences in playful and surprising ways, reflecting the historic and creative nature of the London Bridge area.
As part of the 2015 programme Team London Bridge is also running a fortnight of free interconnected workshops, talks, performances and trails themed around EXCHANGE, all taking inspiration from London Bridge and the process of exchanging stories, ideas and memories. Festival programme here
Light Chasers - Rainbow Makers invites the audience to wear a dazzling light garment. This is a group game and a futuristic version of the classic treasure hunt. Running through the Museum, players light up the museum. The mission is to find seven gatekeepers, who are guarding the seven colours of the Rainbow and save artworks from fading into dulness and dispassion. Players frame the seven artworks with their illuminated, colour-changing bodies. Changing colours seven times throughout the night players will create a digital photomontage rainbow together offline and online.
Contact Point is an annual event which attracts visitors from all over Israel to a unique night-time artistic encounter around the museum. From dusk until three in the morning, dozens of artists will present fascinating and thought-provoking interactions throughout the museum and the art garden.
Light Chasers - Rainbow Makers opens at The Museum of Israel 6th Aug 2015.
Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2015) 7 - 9 July 2015
The Electronic Visualisation and the Arts London 2015 conference (EVA London 2015) is co-sponsored by the Computer Arts Society (CAS) and British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute for IT, of which the CAS is a specialist group. Over the last two decades, the EVA conference has established itself as one of London’s most innovative and interdisciplinary conferences in the field of digital visualisation. The papers in this volume touch on music, performance, arts, visualisation, interdisciplinarity, animation, cultural heritage, 3D scanning, imaging, virtual tour, virtual heritage, museum, as well as other interdisciplinary areas. The latest research by established scholars, early career researchers, practitioners, and students can be found here.
For more information about EVA 2015, visit www.eva-london.org
In her PhD research Tine developed a model for making playful interactive artworks and the creation of a ‘vocabulary of play’ to demonstrate the different kinds of play initiated. It contributes to debates about the design and implementation of increasingly interactive and ‘smart’ environments. The model consists of a series of tangible making gambits (tactics) for eliciting playful interactions from the audience.
To view her PhD thesis: Playful interactions: A Critical Inquiry into Interactive Art and Play, please go to research.
The interaction of multiple clouds as a message system allows participants to play together. People can see messages from other people around the city and send messages back from below the clouds. Whispering Clouds is an open canvas that will be filled with people’s messages, stories and secrets. At specific days and times there will be the content will be curated in order to achieve the most impact, for example a family friendly word game, quotes, an ‘after the watershed’ hour where there are no moderation, or interviews via the cloud with cloud guests. The project will generate feelings of curiosity; asking questions that are answered by the cloud around the corner (or the cloud hanging over another community), as well as playfulness; sending love declarations, telling silly messages, lying, playing with the cloud system (gaming the game).
These visually stunning clouds are a permission to play - they are a physical invitation to digitally connect. Sharing is a deep human need, illustrated in many cultural traditions. This desire to share our lives is increasing played out digitally online, driven by new technologies. Whispering Clouds explores how the power of sharing can become physically visible and playable in the city. It investigates how we can create new ways of connecting in public places and explores new forms of information sharing in the city. Play is an essential pre-condition for the emergence of possibilities and, as such, it is the flexible structure by which meaningful interaction can arise.
The shortlist for the Playable City Award 2015 is announced, we take a look at some of the interactive projects hoping to inject a bit of fun into city life.
The Playable City Award, which encourages projects that make our cities more engaging and fun, has just announced its latest shortlist. From musical pedestrian crossings to interactive public benches, the projects have been dreamed up by designers around the world.
“The Playable City theme connects across cultures, geography and creative disciplines,” says Clare Reddington, the award’s executive producer.