Sussex Humanities Lab

SHL at the Brighton Digital Festival 2018

Sussex Humanities Lab are delighted to be supporting several events at this year's Brighton Digital Festival

conference

The Messy Edge Conference

28 September 2018,  Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, University of Sussex

The Messy Edge is the festival’s in house conference, its heart and its voice. It’s where the festival unpacks some of the social, cultural and political implications of technology, and challenges dominant perspectives. This is a conference for all, a day of thought-provoking talks by artists, activists and thinkers about the stuff, good, bad and ugly that underpins our daily lives and is shaping the world we live in.

SHL is pleased to be partnering with Brighton Digital Festival for this year's conference. SHL's Dr Sharon Webb will be speaking at the conference on the work she is doing with BDF to reanimate the Queer in Brighton oral archive, and Irene Fubara-Manuel, Research Student at the University of Sussex, is also speaking on her work Dreams of Disguise (see below).

Irene Fubara

Dreams of Disguise

17-23 September 2018,  ONCA gallery, Brighton

Dreams of Disguise  is a traversal of the virtual border and the racialized biometric technologies in which this space exists. It blurs documentary truth and science fiction to reveal the ubiquitous surveillance of migrants, the violence inherent in this practice and the desire for opacity.

The exhibition is part of ONCA’s summer programme ‘Visonary Fictions’ and includes:

  • 19 September, 6 – 9pm // Launch event including artist talk with Sorry You Feel Uncomfortable (Imani Robinson) – ‘Melanin So High... Opacity’: On Blackness, Surveillance and Resistance. Poetry performance by Akila Richards.
  • 22 September, 1-4pm // Dreams of Disguise Critical Play 3D workshop. Engaging with user-friendly 3D softwares, the aim of this workshop is a radical imagination of virtual spaces that symbolise the participant’s dreams and memories of disguise. Following the theme of the exhibition, people of colour, QTIPOC and migrant participants are invited for this playful workshop. FREE but booking advised (via Eventbrite) as spaces are limited.3 October:
  • Irene Fubara Manuel (b. 1991 Port-Harcourt, Nigeria) is a Brighton-based artist working in animation, games media, and installation art. She is currently concluding her doctorate at the University of Sussex in Creative and Critical Practice on the colonial project of biometric surveillance and its contemporary application in migration. Her most recent works are I’m New Here (2015), an animated documentary series following three queer African migrants in the Canadian prairie city, Winnipeg; Border Ritual (2016) an installation piece in which the artist first experiments with the Niger Deltan Kalabari masquerade as a symbol of biometric intervention at the border, and Border Ritual 2.0 (2017), a video game expansion of this intervention at the UK border created as part of a six-week workshop with Code Liberation at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Irene also writes on race and sexuality in pop culture as in her co-authored book, Killing Off the Lesbians : A Symbolic Annihilation on Film and Television.

Poster

Scored in Silence

14-15 September 2018,  ONCA Gallery, Brighton

Prepare to be mesmerised by deaf artist Chisato Minamimura's compelling signed performance meshed with animation, sound and vibration. Scored in Silence blends Woojer© strap wearables and Holo-guaze© projection in this intimate and beautiful new digital live artwork for small audiences.

Chisato relays the history of the Atomic bombs dropped in Japan in 1945 and their devastating impact, with footage collected in Hiroshima and Nagasaki this year, from conversations with the few remaining deaf ‘hibakusha’, survivors, who witnessed the attack first hand. Unaware of what was happening in those fateful days, for the first time, their perspectives and their lives thereafter, are now shared, Scored in Silence.

Ticket holders are invited to a D/deaf-friendly Q&A session with the artist and her digital collaborators gaining even more of an insight into history and experiences of deaf people in nuclear fallout and its relevance for all of us today.

Performance: Chisato Minamimura
Animation: Dave Packer
Lighting Design: Jon Armstrong
Sound Composition: Danny Bright
Vibrotactile specialists : David Bobier, Jim Ruxton
Producer: Sarah Pickthall
A collaboration with VibraFusionLab.com Canada and Sussex Humanities LAB, University of Sussex. Funded by Arts Council England, Canada Council of the Arts and the Japan Society.

  • Chisato Minamimura is a dance artist and an art presenter born in Japan and now based in London. Her main interest is in choreographing what she calls a ‘visual score’, as she cannot hear audio music. She enjoys exploring music by interviewing hearing people and reading books about it. Through this process, she has created her own numerical / notational scores. Her choreography can be anything from sharply contemporary and profound to ‘crowd pleasing’ and sometimes humorous. The work is often highly visually appealing, influenced by Chisato’s visual arts background.
  • Danny Bright is a lecturer in Music and Music Technology at the University of Sussex and an SHL Associate. Danny is a composer, sound designer, recordist, and sonic manipulator working across the fields of music, performance, installation, theatre and media. His practice explores the boundaries between sound/music/noise and space/place/memory; he is currently developing multi-modal compositional, performance, critical and installation work investigating sonic temporalities and auditory ‘ghostings’. Danny performs on guitar, samplescapes, tape, text/voice, and electronics as an ensemble member/leader, solo artist and improviser. Danny’s work has appeared on Channel 4, at the Hatton Gallery, Brighton Digital Festival, V&A, Prague Quadrennial, Semaine des Arts at Paris 8, ICLI (International Conference on Live Interfaces), NYCEMF (New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival), World Soundscape Conference, British Science Festival. Commissions and supporting organisations include: Catalyst Arts, Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, Dept. for Culture, Media and Sport, Brighton Digital Festival, Octopus Collective, MAGNA Trust, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Abira 2

Nomad

3 October 2018, 1-3pm, Sussex Humanities Lab, Silverstone Building, University of Sussex

Join us for a demonstration of Nomad a Mixed Reality project by Abira Hussein and Sophie Dixon (Mnemoscene) inviting you to explore Somali cultural heritage and tradition in a uniquely immersive way. Wearing the Microsoft HoloLens, you will experience sound recordings from the British Library, digitised objects from the British Museum, and people presented as 3D holograms. From a herdsman sleeping under the night’s sky to a woman winnowing grain to the rhythm of a traditional song, you will be able to encounter heritage objects in the context from which they came. We'll also have a photogrammetry station set up to show how the objects which appear in the experience were made. 

  • Abira Hussein is an independent researcher and curator specialising in Somali heritage, digital archives, migration, and health. In recent years she has worked with the British Museum, British Library, London Metropolitan Archives, Refugee Council Archive and Somali Week Festival, to deliver a number of projects and workshops engaging with the Somali Community. In 2017 she created the VR experience ‘Coming Home’ - in partnership with the British Museum and funded by Brighton Digital Festival and shown at Sussex Humanities Lab. 
  • Sophie Dixon, Co-founder of Mnemoscene, is a visual artist and educator working with film and immersive media. Over recent years she has worked internationally to reframe existing historical narratives and uncover new ways to look at, and experience, the past. Over recent months she has presented her work with Virtual and Mixed Reality at iDocs Bi-annual symposium, UK and The Beyond Forgetting symposium, Germany. 

 

Sharon Webb

Queer Archiving

5 October 2018,  Sussex Humanities Lab, Silverstone Building, University of Sussex

In 2012-14 the Queer in Brighton project set out to record the histories of Brighton’s LGBTQ+ communities. Over the course of a year project members and volunteers conducted 50+ oral history interviews. These recordings capture a unique moment in history, and as a collection provide extraordinary insight into the lived lives of Brighton’s LGBTQ+ residents, both past and present. Testimonials in this collection describe pivotal moments in LGBTQ+ history - of the agony and ecstasy of fighting for civil rights, of the joy and sadness of coming out, of the laughter and tears of love found and love lost, of the mundane and surreal of everyday life and experiences of Brighton’s LGBTQ+ communities, across generations. Currently, however, this rich tapestry of material is unavailable but with your help we would like to re-commission these queer oral histories and bring these stories back to the communities they represent and, in effect, create.

Queer Archiving is a hands on, practical workshop and the second event in Dr. Sharon Webb’s British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award. It will guide participants through some general archiving methods and principles, including metadata (or data about data). Participants will get a chance to review selected elements from the Queer in Brighton oral history collection and to write descriptive metadata that could feature in the final Queer in Brighton digital archive. Through this process participants and members of LGBTQ+ communities will gain insight into some archival processes and through their contributions directly impact the way in which these oral stories are presented to the wider public.

The programme also features a live audio-visual improv performed by Ioann Maria from the Sussex Humanities Lab. Ioann will use content from the Queer in Brighton collection to create a unique audio-visual experience.

This workshop is a collaboration between the Sussex Humanities Lab, Queer in Brighton, Brighton LGBTQ+ History Club, and the Brighton Digital Festival, and funded by the British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award held by Dr Sharon Webb

  • Sharon Webb is a Digital Humanities Lecturer in the Sussex Humanities Lab and the School of History, Art History and Philosophy. Sharon is a historian of Irish associational culture and nationalism (eighteenth and nineteenth century) and a digital humanities practitioner, with a background in requirements/user analysis, digital preservation, digital archiving, text encoding and data modelling. Sharon also has programming and coding experience and has contributed to the successful development of major national digital infrastructures. Sharon’s current research interests include community archives and identity, with a special interest in LGBTQ+ archives, social network analysis (method and theory), and research data management. She holds a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award 2018 on the topic of community archives and digital preservation, working with a number of community projects, including Queer in Brighton. Sharon is currently running a 12-month project funded by the British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award (2018), Identity, Representation and Preservation in Community Digital Archives and Collections. This project is an intervention in three important areas; community archives, digital preservation and content representation. 

Ioanns image

Beyond Numbers: A Celebration of Ada Lovelace

9 October 2018,  Sussex Humanities Lab, Silverstone Building, University of Sussex

Ada Lovelace Day, held on the second Tuesday of October every year, is an international celebration of the achievements of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths which aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and create new role models for both girls and women studying or working in STEM.

Beyond Numbers is specifically interested in exploring the potential identified by Ada Lovelace of machines to ‘act upon other things besides numbers’ to ‘compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity’.

The aim of this particular event is to celebrate women, non-binary and transgender scientists, artists, musicians, researchers and thinkers whose works are based on scientific, technological and/or mathematical methods. A combination of all is most welcome! Following our theme, it’s a day where the fusion of science and creative arts has no limits, outreaches beyond the “numerical”, and provides a friendly space for local community to find out about one another. To share, to engage and to collaborate, in other words to bring us closer together.

  • Sharon Webb is a Digital Humanities Lecturer in the Sussex Humanities Lab and the School of History, Art History and Philosophy. Sharon is a historian of Irish associational culture and nationalism (eighteenth and nineteenth century) and a digital humanities practitioner, with a background in requirements/user analysis, digital preservation, digital archiving, text encoding and data modelling. Sharon also has programming and coding experience and has contributed to the successful development of major national digital infrastructures. Sharon’s current research interests include community archives and identity, with a special interest in LGBTQ+ archives, social network analysis (method and theory), and research data management. She holds a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award 2018 on the topic of community archives and digital preservation, working with a number of community projects, including Queer in Brighton.
  • Ioann Maria is a new media artist, filmmaker, and computer scientist. Ioann’s work is focused on hacktivism, electronic surveillance, computer security, human-machine interaction, and interactive physical systems. In her solo and collaborative projects she explores new methods in real-time audio-visual performance. Ioann is a Research Technician in Digital Humanities at the Sussex Humanities Lab, University of Sussex, which is dedicated to developing and expanding research into how digital technologies are shaping our culture and society, and a co-founder of the Edinburgh Hacklab, Scotland's first hackerspace. She was formerly an Artistic Director of LPM Live Performers Meeting, the world’s largest annual meeting dedicated to live video performance and new creative technologies.

Alice and Chris playing cellos

Feedback Cell++

22 September 2018, Fort Process Festival, Newhaven Fort

Feedback Cell ++ is the experimental luthiary and performance project of Chris Kiefer and Alice Eldridge. Performance experiments in different contexts inspire the ongoing evolution of hybrid, hacked feedback cellos that are fitted with sensors and transducers, turning them into interactive, self-resonating feedback systems. The feedback cello is thoroughly lively; playing is a process of negotiating dynamic resonant forces rather than actuating and controlling more or less passive strings.

In this durational performance, a further degree of uncontrol is introduced by mixing live audio feeds from around the site into the feedback pathway. The expanded time and space gives a chance to sink into deeply intuitive, meditative states that playing with this assemblage of space-place-human-digital-electronic-instrument inspires and enjoins. Spectral drones both sweet and brutal are emitted.

The experience of Fort Process takes festival-goers wandering through underground tunnels, caverns and old armaments rooms, coming across new immersive installations as they go, before emerging into the sunshine. Musicians perform on old gun emplacements high up on the fort’s ramparts while the audience looks out to sea, and the many rooms in the fort grounds are host to talks and workshops.

Chris Kiefer and Alice Eldridge are SHL Associates and lecturers in the school of Media Film and Music

  • Alice Eldridge’s background in music, psychology, adaptive systems and computer science and AI underpins interdisciplinary interests in the analysis and composition of sonic environments in creative and biological systems. Her research focuses on innovative approaches to technologies for listening in ecological and musical settings. Current and recently funded projects include investigating the potential for computational analysis of the acoustic environments for biodiversity monitoring, developing networked notations to support ensemble music making and designing and building new feedback musical instruments.
  • Chris Kiefer is a computer-musician and musical instrument designer, specialising in musician-computer interaction, physical computing, and machine learning.  He performs with custom-made instruments including malleable foam interfaces, touch screen software, interactive sculptures and a modified self-resonating cello.  Chris’ research  often focuses on participatory design and development of interactive music systems in everyday settings, including digital instruments for children with disabilities, and development of the NETEM networked score system for musical ensembles.  His work also concentrates on machine learning and signal processing for audio and interaction, with a particular emphasis on nonlinear and dynamical systems. He has developed and published games and instruments for mobile devices.

Correct image for Cecile

Cecile Chevalier + Chris Kiefer – Listening Mirrors

22 September 2018, Fort Process Festival, Newhaven Fort

 Listening Mirrors is a sound art installation and instrument that promotes shared modes of musical expression for musicians and non-musicians alike. The instrument, in its construction and interaction design, investigates ways in which collective sonic expression can be made possible using Audio Augmented Reality technology (AAR) and acoustic mirrors, whilst exploring how such environments promote collaborative sonic expression.

Listening Mirrors is composed of a virtual acoustic mirror (an IOS app built with OpenFrameworks, LibPD with bone-conduction headphones) and a parabolic acoustic mirror (built from aluminum metal sheets, piano wires and 3D printed joints, and brought under tension with double bass strings, bending each piano wire and aluminum sheet to form its parabolic shape), all networked and excited by transducers that stream sound from the real and virtual sonic environments.

  • Cecile Chevalier is an artist and lecturer in Media Practice. She works with interactive art installation, to explore forms of digital cultural transformation in relation to embodiment-technologies, collective instruments, performativity and performance, and collective memory. Her background is in Fine Art, Crafts & Design and Media Studies, while her current artworks and investigations draw from an interdisciplinary practices between conceptual and computational art and participatory /play theory. Critically, Cécile investigates how collective and cultural expressions have been and are being transformed through computational technology altering not only the ways in which cultural expressions  are embodied and performed, but also they are thought about. 
  • Chris Kiefer is a computer-musician and musical instrument designer, specialising in musician-computer interaction, physical computing, and machine learning.  He performs with custom-made instruments including malleable foam interfaces, touch screen software, interactive sculptures and a modified self-resonating cello.  Chris’ research  often focuses on participatory design and development of interactive music systems in everyday settings, including digital instruments for children with disabilities, and development of the NETEM networked score system for musical ensembles.  His work also concentrates on machine learning and signal processing for audio and interaction, with a particular emphasis on nonlinear and dynamical systems. He has developed and published games and instruments for mobile devices.

Brighton Modular Meet

Brighton Modular Meet

22 September 2018, Fort Process Festival, Newhaven Fort

Brighton Modular meet is an annual modular synthesiser festival run by SHL Associate Andrew Duff.  The Meet will be curating the Nuclear Defence  Room at Fort Process, and will have various modular systems insltalled for a rolling performance and installation schedule throughout the day. 

Associated Events 

 SINC_HACK >17%

6 October 2018, Sussex Innovation Centre University of Sussex

To honour Ada Lovelace Day (9th October), Sussex Innovation Centre is hosting its first hackathon! The inaugural SINC_HACK is based around the theme of >17%.

Women make up just 17% of employees the UK tech sector, and only 17% of start-ups have female founders. The problem has many contributing factors, from the stigma around girls going into STEM subjects, to the gender pay gap, unconscious bias in the workplace and under-representation of women in management roles.

On Saturday 6 October, we'll welcome teams of developers, creatives, freelancers, students and researchers, who will work together over 12 hours to find and design innovative solutions to these challenges and more. You don't have to know how to code (great if you do).There'll be several bitesize learning and creative exercises throughout the day, delivered by the Sussex Innovation team and our partners. Finally, food, drink and SINC_HACK goodie bags will be provided, as well as prizes for the winning team.

 

Visit the Brighton Digital Festival website for more information on all events.