Well it's a couple of days since Culture Hack East finished, and the second day was so busy I didn't have time to write about it so here's my update.
Those that stayed over slept well (apart from the cleaner coming in at 5am!) and some developers worked well into the small hours to get their projects done. After showers and breakfast, by 9am everyone was back hard at work.
It was a race against time to get the projects uploaded prompted by regular messages via Twitter through the hash tag #che12.
However by 1pm everyone was ready for the presentation and ready to show and tell. I think there were 15 hacks of various sizes - Stef did three! Most people had to compromise on their original plan but had done enough work to get the gist of the project.
My favourite was Stef's hack called talesyouwin which enables people to make up their own story trails/games by creating steps guided by photos, audio files and video. It's something I will definitely use.
Other favourites was a sound track made from the Proms data - music that represented the records of all Proms concerts since 1700 and something, data which included concerts, composers, numbers of musicians that played - a bit mind-boggling really.
Two teams had worked with Harlow sculpture data coming up with quite different ways of visiting the large number of public art works in Harlow - an interactive map by Billy and a very clever sort of digital stamp book to collect images as you visited each place. The first site team made a digital version of a paper-based I-spy game that they use at the gallery already, using snippets of photographs as clues to find places in the gallery.
There was lots more which you can find on the Culture Hack website. Our own app Festival Pick List, worked on by Sam Sutton and Chris Heath was partially made and workedon a phone. It didn't look totally pretty due to a last minute hitch in blending Sam's and Chris' work together but the initial idea was very ambitious and we were very pleased with the result in the available time. We're hoping to work further on the project and develop it fully. Fingers crossed.
After the presentations, it was prizes and then off down the pub. All in all it was a fab weekend - if you like that sort of thing - and I felt as though I made some real friends as well as useful contacts. There are plans to keep the momentum going and the Arts Council are keen to encourage digital work in the arts, so there are opportunities to develop good ideas. Now, back to work...
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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