Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Preparing to go on board the van

The first day was a research day, preparing for the schools workshops.

I am going to the school that we worked with on the Dark Forest project on Thursday and meeting the young people that Matt and I worked with remotely and through the exchange with Djanogly School in Nottingham. It will be wonderful to finally meet them and the teachers and follow on from the beautitful work that Silvia and Alissa did with the group (see the School’s section)

We have planned to run some sessions that introduces them to the next phase of the project - ‘A Conversation Between Trees’, present the work that Matt and I did with Djanogly in Sherwood Forest and then run an activity from the van in the school playground.

Using eco felt (a sustainable felt material) we will create a visualisation based on the human sensor activity we did at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. The young people will collect the data from standing under a tree in their playground (that is surrounded by the forest) and use the data to build an evolving data map made of felt objects. This data map will reflect how they perceive the forest in their playground on that day. It will be like a large fuzzy felt that can be remade and reformed by the group on different days, a way to visualise their perception of the environmental data we are collecting from the forest - based on the data groups they worked with earlier in the year (temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, decibels and light). It is attempt to introduce to the young people the creative process of building a visualisation of scientific data based on their own perceptions of the world. The final artwork they generate together will then work in contrast to the visualisation we have generated digitally using the scientific data. The process will be filmed and recorded as a time lapse animation - as a performance of nature by the children - to investigate the forest environment around their playground.

We are using felt as it is a thermal material, it reminds me of the fuzzy felt toy from when I was a child where you created landscapes by placing different people, trees etc… on a felt board. It comes in bright colours and will be movable using velcro, creating a physical manifestation of the digital visualisation we have created. This morning we are off to buy the felt and later we will create the symbols for each dataset (based on the drawings the group did earlier in the year) for the group to use to build the visualisation.

The visualisation will then travel with us along our journey inside the van - so that we can present the work of the young people to the people we meet along the way and will be presented back to the school on our return.

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