Networked Identity

During the half term holiday in London Matt and I worked for the BBC running the Networked Identity project in association with the Science Museum and the Serpentine Gallery. This event was for young people to spend time finding ways of expressing their emotions about the environment that they are in.

NID_biomap.jpgWorking with us for the week was Christian Nold who has developed a scientific art form called ‘Biomapping’. In brief, this is a lie detector mechanism which you wear as you walk around an environment. The detector measures changes in your state of arousal, or your emotional response to your current situation. Combine this with a GPS device and you have the ability to plot your emotional response on a map of your area… Google maps come in very handy here!

Additionally, throughout the week we encouraged the participants to blog their experiences, photograph and video where they went and keep a project diary of all of it. The Science Museum hosted a number of events for the participants, including free entry into the Science of Spying exhibition – a wonderful interactive event whcih really captivated the young (and old) alike! Rob Skitmore from the Science Museum also ran a morning’s workshop getting the young people to make a telegraph – in one week we travelled from the early part of the last century into the here and now! Rob was excellent, and the activity a great success.NID_spying.jpg
All of this data was important to keep as they were also working towards an Arts Council Bronze award. The Serpentine Gallery had an exhibition of Karen Kilimnic’s work. This formed the focus for the second part of the week. Sophie Higgs from the Serpentine Gallery worked with us for the last couple of days and really helped bring out some very interesting ideas from the group.

There were some problems throughout the week with the technology, which was a bit of a shame. Just about everything electronic which we plugged in at one time or another managed to fail at some level. This introduced an edginess and challenge to the week which we were not so accustomed to, and meant that I spent a lot of time on the telephone talking to Matt about ways around the issues! It wasn’t that each piece of kit died, so much as different pieces were not working together as well as they might have done!

Despite this, by the end of the week there had been an astonishing amount of creativity exhibited by the participants and a display of the work was mounted at the Serpentine Gallery on the Friday. Parents and friends were able to visit, view and share in the work that was done, much of which was at a very high level of achievement.

So, well done to all who took part, thanks to all who supported (including the tireless Katie Holbird from BBC Blast) and special mention to John and Mike from Reflecmedia who went out of their way to ensure we had kit in time for the event to use with the young people.

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