Team Festival works on an app/mobile site to help you choose and book Festival events
I've spent the first of two days, here at Anglia Ruskin University at the Culture Hack East event run by Creative Front, Caper and the Arts Council here in Cambridge.
The idea of the Hack is to bring together web developers and cultural organisations to make quick and dirty digital projects over an intensive weekend.
I'm about to settle down on a Fat Boy bean bag, a huge cushion that I hope will be a comfy bed for the night but before I do, I thought i'd tell you a bit about the day.
Starting out from Norwich along with Harry Harrold and Chris Heath at 7am we arrived bright eyed and bushy-tailed, and keen for the day to start. After introductions and quite a few bewildered people wandering around, the people that had brought data from a variety of cultural organisations spoke about what they had for the 20 or so developers present to work on. Data ranged from the entire history of the Proms, dating from 1780 something - concerts, musicians, dates, music played etc to Harlow Town's sculpture trail including map and images.
I came representing various organisations and in fact, Norwich as a whole. I brought a spreadsheet of the cultural organisations and infrastructure of Norwich along with location data hoping that someone might want to create a interactive info map showing the spread of facilities. I also brought a selection of other bits including the most recent Norfolk and Norwich Festival programme, a Google calendar of the year-round events that take place in Norwich and along with Charley Ramm, several data sets from the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, and some ideas of what we could do with them.
The process of team-building started as people chatted and looked at what people had to offer. Some groups got going quickly with Wysing Arts centre's data from their artists' retreats proving popular, along with Harlow and the Proms. Steadily ideas were explored and Harry Harrold also demonstrated his paper prototyping method - a way of visualising user experience by using moveable bits of paper instead of wire frames.
There were probably a total of about 80 people there for one reason or another, some people crossing more than one purpose, and we were well-fed and catered for by Clare and the other organisers. After a substantial lunch, we settled down to listen to a range of short talks by people showing us all sorts of techno toys such as Arduinos and mini computers, Raspberry Pi and MBed which are cheap programmable electronics that adults and children can play with.
There was also a music performance by Circumstance who specialise in 'cinematic happenings' in public places, or as they referred to them, unprotected spaces. And also are creators of the 'subtlemob' a bit like a flashmob but not so obvious. They are working in Cambridge this week have a look at www.productofcircumstance.com
Through the evening people gradually disappeared leaving a hard core of developers (and me) working on their various projects - a steady hum of brain work punctuated by the occasional swear word. I'll tell you how they've got on in the morning! Night nig
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Marion Catlin, principal creative consultant for The Shift with extensive experience in cultural development and design for the arts, heritage and culture sectors