Digital Artist Residency - Week 2 by Ashley James Brown

11 May 2016

This week I wanted to try to engage a different audience in the building so I turned my attention to Derby Film Festival. Movie goers are a big part of QUAD's audience and as such, with the screens being on Level 3 this gave me chance to find out what sort of response and barriers would ensue having myself in public, tinkering with electronics, making noises and testing methods of interaction with digital art pieces on display.

I decide to resurrect a very old bit of broken tech and to try some ideas with new ones around the theme of 'moving image' and more specifically, pixels. This tied in nicely with the film festival and also I thought, should give me an audience that are more receptive, especially displaying work on a screen. The first piece - 'Pixel Blip’ was a glitch art pixel manipulation device that created audio visual patterns across an old CRT monitor. Participants could morph and change the data being fed into the screen and alter the outcomes. The second piece was starting to look at directly influencing the state of the pixels on a mini screen and via direct bytes down an RGB cable to attempt to produce colours and patterns. As part of the day was in a public place conversing with cinema goers and interested staff and other visitors and volunteers this wasn’t quite finished in time. I left Pixel Blip on show for the week to see how well it would be received.

So far I have used my usual methods of creating playful devices, installations and interventions to engage people interactively. Whilst not directly participatory these have been experiments on how do the diverse audiences at QUAD accept Digital Art in a public space and the perceptions around what it actually is. As I move forward through the residency I’m keen to have a more cyclical approach from the work where audience become participant and then audience again.

Ashley James Brown is an internationally respected artist & developer based in Coventry. Find out more about his work at http://ashleyjamesbrown.com/

Ashley is running some digital workshops for 12-18 year olds each Friday in May. To find out more click here.