Mr Kirk Woolford
|Post:||Senior Lecturer (Media and Film, Centre for Material Digital Culture)|
|Location:||Silverstone Sb 334|
|International:||+44 1273 876589|
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Kirk Woolford is a researcher/practitioner who works closely with digital and creative industries. Kirk initially studied Computer Science before discovering digital photography experiments in the mid 80s, and moved to Chicago to study at IIT’s Institute of Design. He has spent more than 20 years working with digital and interactive media while balancing academia, industry, and cultural institutions.
Kirk has taught in Design, Media Arts, Fine Art, and Choreography programs in Germany, Holland, the US and UK. Kirk's research is practice-led. In addition to working on industry projects, he creates personal, creative, interactive experiences and performances as a method of exploring ideas and testing technologies. These explorations have been shown internationally at galleries, festivals and performance venues including Shanghai eArts, ARCO Madrid, Art Cologne, P.S.1. (MoMA), Venice Biennale, Ars Electronica, ISEA, and SIGGRAPH. In his explorations, Kirk has collaborated with Diller+Scofidio, Charleroi Danses, igloo, Carlos Guedes, Susan Kozel, Frederique Flamand, Fabrizio Plessi, Stelarc, and others.
Sr Lecturer, Interactive Media Practice
School of Media, Film and Music
Community and Business
Kirk is working directly with the Sussex Innovation Centre to further develop his research into motion analysis. His start-up "Motion Base" is currently developing a prototype stroke rehabilitation video game and exploring the use of video games and motion capture for physiotherapy and sports training.
Prior to working in UK academia, Kirk set up and directed production companies in New York, London, and Amsterdam -- with partners including the Economist Group, BBC, Channel 4, FilmFour, Illuminations, Babel Media, and THQ. From 1990-91, he worked with Eastman Kodak, Adobe, and Quark to incorporate their new technologies, including the first version of Photoshop, into early desktop publishing studios. Between 1992 and 2005, Kirk held several research positions in Germany and the Netherlands as he moved between academy and industry. He has produced online entertainment, education, publishing, and streaming systems, as well as video games for set-top-boxes, PCs and consoles. He has served as a board member for several foundations and continues to work with industry partners.
Kirk is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College and has served in various capacities on international conferences including ACM SIGGRAPH, SIGCHI, SIGMM, ISEA, and smaller conferences in the US, Germany, Holland, Portugal, and the UK.
At its core, my research attempts to understand human movement and focuses not only on how, but why people move. Since 2005, much of this work has focused on the relationship between environments and human movement. More recent work focuses on how to keep people moving later in their lives. In order to conduct this research, I have built and/or adapted existing systems for tracking and analysing movement: starting with magnetic capture systems in 1996, and continuing through arrays of ultrasonic, optical, and inertial systems. In 2010, I began a fruitful collaboration with Brighton-based motion capture pioneers, Animazoo, on methods of taking their systems out of the studio and “into the wild” and have been working with colleagues in Digital Humanities at Kings College London, University of Reading, University of Southampton, and elsewhere to develop methods of analysing this “wild” data. I am currently working on methods of combining low-cost motion capture and natural interface technologies with video game development tools to create a prototype of a simple, inexpensive home-based stroke- and physio-therapy system called Motion Base with support from the Sussex Innovation Centre.
A second thread through my research focuses on the role of the creative practitioner within the larger context of the creative industries, as how practitioners can act as equal partners in the development and application of digital technologies. This work focuses not only on the ability of creative practitioners to develop prototypes with limited resources. It also focuses on the manners in which the continual innovation and dissemination of work required to function within arts contexts can provide unexpected insights and unconventional working methods for other disciplines. It also explores how these “creative approaches” are often viewed as disruptive within disciplines heavily reliant on peer review. I have conducted this research through projects such as the EPSRC Digital Economies funded network CREATOR: New Research Processes and Business Models for the Creative Industries (£210,363), acting as a founding board member of Lancaster’s Storey Creative Industries Centre, for which we raised over £4.5M, as well as my own creative practice where I continue to exhibit and perform work, having most recently been commissioned to create live imagery for performance at the European Capital of Culture in Guimarães , Portugal in October, 2012.
RECENT FUNDED RESEARCH
Motion Base: (Sussex Enterprise Development Fund) Building on tools developed for the MiPP and Strictly Motion Trials, I am developing series of video games for stroke and muscular-skeletal rehabilitation. Current work focuses on developing a prototype game fo physio therapy after a transient ischemic attack, also known as a mini-stroke. In addition to the technical and design aspects of the project, I am working with clinicians and developers to identify barriers to engagement with video games and interactive media for older populations, and exploring whether tools and approaches developed through interactive arts, performance, and creative coding communities, can transform the methods with which the Microsoft Kinect is used to more successfully engage stroke survivors by avoiding the barriers identified through video game interfaces and aesthetics. This work is based at the Sussex Innovation Centre.
Strictly Motion Trials: (BBC Cross Platform) A pilot project using tools developed through the MiPP project to analyse and visualise the development of celebrities’ movement skills, and have created a prototype augmented reality viewing system for mobile phones (iOS and Android).
Motion in Place Platform (2010-13), £434,345
Motion in Place Platform (MiPP): The MiPP project has been funded through a grant from the AHRC’s Digital Equipment and Database Enhancement for Impact (DEDEFI) research program an is part of the RCUK Digital Economies program. MiPP draws on a highly cross-disciplinary team of researchers in Archaeology, Theatre Studies, Music Technology, and Dance, Engineering and Informatics, with workshops and case studies including Geographers, Anthropologists, Architects, Forensic Psychologists, and others. The first year of the project focused on tools for capturing situated movement. We explored methods of using mobile phones to obtain and collate GPS positional data together with accelerometer information to measure how active people were in particular locations. We worked together with Brighton-based motion capture company, Animazoo, to take their inertial capture systems out of the studio and generate more refined data connecting full-body movement to particular locations.
CREATOR: New Research Models and Processes for the Creative Industries (2008/09) £210,363
Creator is a cross-research council research cluster within the Digital Economies research programme. The network is headed by Steve Benford (PI), Jonathen Foster (CI) and Kirk Woolford. Its aims include:
- Defining a long-term resarch agenda for the creative industries to underpin future collaborations between the ICT research base and creative practitioners
- Initiate new inter-disciplinary collaborations among researchers across ICT, Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Business Studies
- Propose and demonstrate new ways of engaging creative end-users, leading to new models of research which can successfully combine focused, practice-led, creative activity with the need to address long-term research goals
- Explore new forms of knowledge transfer and innovative business models reflecting the highly dynamic and distributed nature of the creative industries within the UK
Convenor: MA in Creative Media Practice
Tutor on 2nd and 3rd yr Media Practice and MA courses including:
- Interactive Media Practice: Digital Media
- Interactive Media Practice: Photography
- Project Research and Development
- Advanced Media Practice
- Expanded Media, Forms and Practices
- Research and Development for Creative Practice
Open Office Hour: Wednesday 12:00 – 13:00
By Appointment: Friday 13:00 – 14:00
Woolford, Kirk and Dunn, Stuart (2013) Capturing motions in place. In: The theory, practice and art of movement capture. Intellect, Bristol, pp. 1-21. (Submitted)
Dunn, Stuart and Woolford, Kirk (2012) Reconfiguring experimental archaeology using 3D reconstruction. EVA London 2012 Electronic Visualisation and the Arts. pp. 172-178.
Dunn, Stuart, Woolford, Kirk, Norman, Sally-Jane, White, Martin and Barker, Leon (2012) Motion in place: a case study of archaeological reconstruction using motion capture. Revive the past: proceedings of the 39th conference in computer applications and quantitative methods in archaeology. pp. 98-106.
Dunn, Stuart, Woolford, Kirk, Barker, Leon, Taylor, Milo, Norman, Sally-Jane, White, Martin, Hedges, Mark, Bailey, Helen, Fulford, Michael and Clarke, Amanda (2012) Motion in place: a case study of archaeological reconstruction using motion capture. In: Revive the past: proceeding of the 39th Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology. Pallas Publications, pp. 98-106. ISBN 978085550662
Woolford, Kirk and Dunn, Stuart (2011) Motion in place platform: virtual (re)presentations of Iron Age movement. Leonardo Electronic Almanac.
Dunn, Stuart, Hedges, Mark, Woolford, Kirk, Barker, Leon, Norman, Sally-Jane, Taylar, Milo, White, Martin, Fulford, Michael, Clarke, Amanda and Bailey, Helen (2011) Motion in place: archaeological reconstruction and motion capture. In: CAA 2011: Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archeology, 12-16 April 2011, Beijing, China. (In Press)
Woolford, Kirk, Blackwell, Alan F., Norman, Sally-Jane and Chevalier, Cecile (2010) Crafting a Critical Technical Practice. Leonardo, 43 (2). pp. 202-203. ISSN 0024-094X
Norman, Sally Jane, Blackwell, Alan F, Warren, Lorraine and Woolford, Kirk (2010) Gesture and Embodied Interaction: Capturing Motion/Data/Value. Leonardo, 43 (2). pp. 198-199. ISSN 0024-094X
Woolford, Kirk (2009) Moving an audience: Will.0.w1sp and biological motion. In: TeDance, technologically expanded dance. Faculdade de Motricidade Humana. ISBN 9879727351602
Woolford, Kirk and Guedes, Carlos (2008) Echo Locations. [Show/Exhibition]
Woolford, Kirk and Guedes, Carlos (2008) Echo locations. [Show/Exhibition]
Woolford, Kirk and Guedes, Carlos (2008) Echo locations. In: SIGGRAPH '08 ACM SIGGRAPH 2008 talks. ACM , New York. ISBN 9781605583433
Guedes, C and Woolford, Kirk (2007) Controlling particle systems through human movement. In: Immersed Music: International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), Copenhagen, Denmark, 27 August - 1 September 2007.
Guedes, Carlos and Woolford, Kirk (2007) Controlling Aural and Visual Particle Systems through Human Movement. In: 4th Sound and Music Computing Conference, Lefkada, Greece, 11-13 July 2007.
Woolford, Kirk (2007) Moving an audience: biological motion and Will.0.w1sp. In: Moves07 International Conferences, 12-13 June 2007., Manchester Metropolitan University, .
Woolford, Kirk and Guedes, Carlos (2007) Particulate matters: generating particle flows from human movement. In: 15th ACM International Conference on Multimedia, Ausburg, Bavaria, Germany 23-28 September 2007.
Woolford, Kirk (2007) Will.0.w1sp - Installation Overview. In: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Multimedia, ACM MM07, Ausburg, Bavaria, Germany 23-28 September 2007.
Woolford, Kirk (2006) Installation to instrument: rebuilding Will.0.w1sp for "Listening Between the Lines" at Ars Electronica 05. In: (re)Actor: The First International Conference on Digital Live Arts, 11 September 2006, The Octagon, London.
Woolford, Kirk (2006) Will.0.w1sp. In: Digital Resources in the Humanities and Arts, 3-6 September 2006, Dartington College of the Arts, .
Woolford, Kirk (2006) Move me: application of biological motion in the Will.0.w1sp installation. In: Creative Dates II: Conference of the North West Art and Design Research Group, 21 & 22 September, 2006., LJMU School of Art and Design, Liverpool.
Woolford, Kirk (2006) Will.0.w1sp. [Show/Exhibition]
Woolford, Kirk (2006) Will.0.w1sp ('willo-wisp'). Performance Research, 11 (4). pp. 30-38. ISSN 1352-8165
Woolford, Kirk and Guedes, Carlos Echo Locations. [Show/Exhibition]
Woolford, Kirk and Dunn, Stuart Experimental archeology and serious games: challenges of inhabiting virtual heritage. Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage. ISSN 1556-4673 (In Press)
Dunn, Stuart and Woolford, Kirk Material motion: motion analysis for virtual heritage reconstruction. Proceedings of the 40th Conference in Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology. (In Press)
Woolford, Kirk New photography: a perverse confusion between the live and the real. Leonardo Electronic Almanac. ISSN 1071-4391 (In Press)