Press Release: Culture Hack Scotland | Geeks-in-Residence 2012


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Press Release: Culture Hack Scotland | Geeks-in-Residence 2012

  1. 1. PRESS RELEASEFor Immediate ReleaseMonday 16 April 2012Innovative event that challengesparticipants to make amazing new digitalproject in just 24 hoursCulture Hack Scotland 2012 & Geeks-In-Residence launchFriday April 27 / Saturday 28 at SocietyM, GlasgowAfter its hugely successful inaugural event in Edinburgh last year, Culture HackScotland is back, bigger and better than ever. It has moved west this year toGlasgow, and takes place on Friday April 27 & Saturday 28th at SocietyM, thebeautiful new workspace in Central Glasgow.Culture Hack Scotland is a fast-paced and highly creative event that challengesdesigners, technologists and artists to make innovative culture-related projectsin just 24 hours. Usually without much sleep.Co-producer of Culture Hack Scotland Rohan Gunatillake said: "One of CultureHack Scotland’s goals is to foster collaboration and practical partnershipsbetween cultural organisations and digital and design talent. Scotland hasworld-class cultural and digital sectors but currently they don’t do enoughamazing work together…that is what Culture Hack Scotland enables"The theme of this years Culture Hack Scotland is Data, Sound + Vision. Aswell as data, the event will provide lots of visual, audio and literary informationas inspiration for participants to build on and remix. It is expected that 100developers and designers will make really creative use of the rich mediaprovided by the cultural partners they are working with. There is music fromArikas archive, field recordings from National Museums Scotland. TheDemarco Digital Archive have contributed some stunning images, as havePerth Museum & Art Gallery and the University of Glasgow Library.Other data providers include Glasgow Museums, University of Edinburgh,The Scottish Poetry Library and Glasgow International.For the first time this year there is a newly styled coding workshop for artsprofessionals, plus some inspiring guest speakers and performers./cont...
  2. 2. After 24 hours of non-stop creating, building and making using the datasupplied by our cultural partners, everyone will come together for a Show andTell. This is followed by an awards ceremony. Judges include Kath Mainland,Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.One of the most successful stories to emerge from last year is an app createdat Culture Hack Scotland for the Edinburgh International Book Festival byEdinburgh-based developer James Newbery (see Appendix 2 for case studies).James Newbery said: "Culture Hack Scotland was a fantastic event. The rangeof data available was impressive, and the quality of the work produced wasphenomenal, I am very much looking forward to 2012"Culture Hack Scotland 2012 is part of Sync, an innovation programme for thecultural sector funded by Creative Scotland (see Appendix 3 for moreinformation). The event is sponsored by Soundcloud, KILTR, Dog Digital,Storm ID, and the Amazon Developer Centre in Edinburgh.Geeks-in-ResidenceAt this year’s Culture Hack Scotland, the Sync team will formally launchScotland’s first ever Geeks-in-Residence programme. Geeks-in-Residence pairsup creative technologists with forward-looking organisations to make new,valuable and stretching projects. It’s all about collaboration &experimentation, with senior staff working with their dedicated teams toexplore and make. By creating low-risk environments, Sync are enabling anopportunity for creative digital thinking to be embedded within the culturalfabric of each organisation.This year, Sync are working with a stellar team of cultural organisations,ranging from a national organisation through to a new creative workspace inthe Hebrides. Participating organisations are: Scottish Opera, macrobert,Eigg Box, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Stills.There is an open call to find this year’s creative technologists, applications arebeing accepted until 8 May. This is an incredible chance for creative people tojoin creative organisations in order to make a real difference to the way wethink about and work with with digital tools.Sync, Culture Hack Scotland and Geeks-in-Residence are produced by anexperienced team of producers based in Edinburgh and Glasgow: Erin Maguire(Beyongolia), Suzy Glass (Trigger), Rohan Gunatillake and Devon Walshe (seeAppendix 1 for biogs and links).For more inspiring stories, biographies and background on Sync and CultureHack Scotland 2012, please see the appendices attached and more information, interviews and images, contact: Catherine Murtagh,Director, The DollsHouse (Marketing & PR)T 0141 271 4788 M 07818 or
  3. 3. Appendices for this Press ReleaseAppendix 1. Team behind Sync & Culture Hack Scotland- ProducerBiographies, Funders & SponsorsAppendix 2. Case Studies, Culture Hack Scotland 2011Appendix 3. Sync & Creative Scotland Cultural Economy Overview
  4. 4. Appendix 1. Team behind Sync & Culture Hack ScotlandProducer BiographiesRohan Gunatillake looks after strategy and design. Wired magazine named himin 2012 as one of 50 people who will change the world. He has produced ahighly successful wellbeing-related mobile app and led the Edinburgh FestivalsInnovation Lab – whose ground-breaking work has provided much of theinspiration for Sync.Suzy Glass looks after liaison with the cultural sector. She is a cross-artformproducer, and has worked with organisations including Central Station, C4, theBBC, the London Transport Museum & the Museum of London. She is one ofthe directors of Trigger, a producer-led company that makes creativehappenings where artforms, sectors and interests collide.Erin Maguire looks after events and logistics. She runs Beyongolia, combiningleading edge tech savvy with top quality technical production skills.Devon Walshe is leading on the tech side of things, looking at things from theperspective of the developer. He’s an entrepreneur, publisher and geek, whoamong other things is the founder and director of The Journal, an expandinglocal publishing platform for students and young people.Funders and SponsorsCulture Hack Scotland and Geeks-In-Residence are part of Sync. Sync isfunded by Creative Scotland.Additional Culture Hack Scotland sponsors are:Amazon Developer Centre: http://amazondc.comKILTR: http://kiltr.comSoundcloud:http://soundcloud.comDog Digital: http://www.dogdigital.comStorm ID: http://www.stormid.comPusher:
  5. 5. Appendix 2. Case Studiesa) James Newbery & Edinburgh International Book FestivalBookfest AppAt Culture Hack Scotland 2011, James decided to focus on the EdinburghInternational Book Festival. He thought this festival might be neglectedsomewhat given the richness of the Edinburgh Fringe data available and thefact that it didnt have its own dedicated data sets. He wanted to produce aresource for people such as himself who seem to be afflicted by a gnawinginsecurity of their own cultural viability.James greatly enjoys books, but would not describe himself as literary. Jamessaid "I read plenty, but I don’t take a huge interest in the authors themselves.When attending a book event, the author becomes the centre of focus, and soI wanted to produce a tool that would help attendees discover more about thecreators of the books that they have been enjoying."The end result of this is BookFest, a mobile application for discovering moreabout the authors of EIBF. It is amazing how few people know what an authorlooks like, so the app pulls Guardian articles about and photos of the chosenauthor. There is also a signature facility: if you have forgotten to bring a bookby the author and do not wish to buy another copy at the Festival book store,you can simply ask them to scribble on your touch enabled device.James Newbery Biography:The Company called Tinned Fruit is inhabited by Jim Newbery, an independentweb and mobile developer based in Edinburgh.James has been a web interface developer since 1996, he has been involved ina large number of projects for media corporations, government and thevoluntary sector.He provides hands-on and strategic consultancy work in all areas of front-enddevelopment, with a particular focus on complex, high-traffic web applicationinterfaces, progressive enhancement and multiple device support.b) Yann Seznec, Lucky Frame & Edinburgh FestivalsFestipodsFestipods is a fun and quirky visualisation of Edinburgh Festivals Data. In anutshell, Festipods lets you create a petri dish full of little musical creaturesthat represent the events you have attended (or will attend) at the EdinburghFestivals. It went on to full production through a commission from EdinburghFestivals Innovation Lab after Culture Hack Scotland 2011.Yann Seznec & Lucky Frame Biography:Lucky Frame is an Edinburgh-based company specialising in innovativeinteractive musical systems. Founded in 2008 by Yann Seznec, Lucky Framehas received awards and support from the University of Edinburgh, NESTA, TheBritish Council, Creative Scotland and Channel 4.The work includes iPhone apps, desktop computer software, games and
  6. 6. performance systems, all of which aim to find new ways to encouragecreativity through technology.Recent projects include: working closely with Love Music Festival to design,develop and deliver a set of accessible music creation software to schoolsacross Scotland; developing a music composition game for iPhone funded bychannel 4; building an interactive musical pig sty for Matthew Herberts worldtour.The company was born out of the success of the Wii LoopMachine, creativemusic software for Nintendo Wii remotes. The LoopMachine has grown into afamily of software focussing on fun and intuitive motion controlled music toolsfor the wii.c) Alex Waterston & National Museums ScotlandCollect ItThe Idea behind Collect it is to mash data together in a fun, cheeky way.Using collections data from National Museums Scotland, Alex collaborated withdesigner Jen Davies to create an app that maps some of their 1066 items ontoFestival venues throughout Edinburgh and encourages players to find (steal!)them. Each item has a value attached to it, so you can work out how muchyour heist is worth as you play.This is how Alex describes the game:Being the master criminal that you are, you’re slightly perturbed that thetarget of your next heist seems to have gotten wind of your crafty plans.Probably shouldn’t have tweeted about it, checked in on Foursquare at ahardware shop and then tagged yourself as shopping for Heist Materials onGetGlue. Damn Social Media.Anyway, National Museums of Scotland have sent their top collections protectorout to hide all their exhibits around the city of Edinburgh. You’ve been keepingan eye on his GoWalla checkins and they all seem to be at Fringe and Festivalvenues around the city.Lucky you made this iPhone app earlier to help you steal that stuff and trackyour swag. Wait, what? You accidentally uploaded it to the app store?EVERYONE ELSE IS STEALING THAT STUFF TOO? Better get going!Steal It was developed by Alex Waterston (@moggy) and Jen Davies(@jendavies) and uses Edinburgh Fringe venue data as well as NationalMuseums Scotland collections data.Alex is in discussion with the National Museums of Scotland to develop this appfurther.Alex Waterston Biography:My name is Alex. I have ideas and I make things. I like to solve problems ininteresting ways using creativity and technology together. I work as a mobilestrategist for a mobile development and consultancy agency called Kotikanbased in Edinburgh. I like to apply mobiley, creativey thinking to find solutionsto all sorts of issues from marketing to connected television to games to
  7. 7. enterprise problems. You name it and Ill help to fix it.I think stories are very, very important and Im a huge fan of narrative drivendesign. I especially like narrative driven two screen experiences for televisionand narrative driven games that do something different or tackle complicatedand difficult subjects.In the past Ive developed big, complicated games and small, snappy gamesand intricate applications and simple applications and 24 hour applications andnow Im doing all of those things whilst also trying to reinvent the waynarrative is delivered for television with Channel 4.
  8. 8. Appendix 3. Sync & Creative Scotland Cultural Economy OverviewSyncSync is a new two-year programme for the cultural sector in Scotland – allabout prototyping and innovation in the space where culture, technology anddesign meet. It is part of the Creative Scotlands Cultural Economyprogramme.Between now and the end of 2013, Sync will implement three main strands ofactivity:Culture Hack Scotland - an incredibly playful yet productive experiment tosee what happens what developers and designers and cultural professionalscan make together in just 24 hours. Full details: - a programme that pairs up creative technologists withforward-looking organisations to make new, valuable and stretching projects.Now open to applicants! See website for information pack and application. Keydates: Close May 8th; Shortlist by May 11th; Interview and assess by May 31;Final choices by June 7th/15th.Bi-monthly online magazine called SYNC Tank – a showcase of thefreshest thinking around how digital is enabling, inspiring and changing ourcultural practice and experiences. It’s important to practice what you preach:so Sync itself is constantly prototyping and learning from what works and whatdoesn’t.You can find out more by heading over to and byfollowing @syncHQ on Twitter.Creative Scotland - Cultural Economy ProgrammeA new programme to support digital development of Scotland’s cultural sectorwas unveiled at the Digital 2012 conference in Glasgow on Friday 30 March.Developed in partnership with NESTA, AmbITion Scotland and Sync, this integratedprogramme will support digital experimentation and new business models, aswell as raising the threshold of knowledge and skills within creativeorganisations to harness the opportunities offered by rapid advances intechnology.The programme will:•Support capacity building around skills, infrastructure, and knowledge inadopting digital technologies in cultural and creative businesses•Respond to digital technology development needs of organisations that arealready ‘digital natives’•Significantly enhance organisational sustainability through further integrationof sophisticated digital technology•Invest in organisations that are exploring progressive business models, or at amore advanced stage of developing creative content to enhance their
  9. 9. sustainabilityBacked with an overall investment of £1.5m from Creative Scotland, theprogramme has already attracted additional investment from partners.NESTA and the Arts and Humanities Research Council will contribute £285,000and £150,000 respectively for a programme that will support prototype ideas,test markets or learn from others.In addition, Culture Sparks will manage programmes delivered by AmbITionScotland and SYNC that will support creative companies to:•Develop their in-house expertise to exploit a digital landscape.•Experiment with their digital developments.Iain Munro, Director of Creative Development at Creative Scotland said: “Manycreative organisations across Scotland already work successfully across digitalplatforms but, as the pace of technology accelerates, our cultural sector needsto source new opportunities to increase their audiences and improve theirrevenues. This new strategy – a major commitment from our CulturalEconomy programme – is a dynamic new route to boosting Scotland’s digitalpresence and we welcome the co-investment from our other partners.”More information on the programme is available