Posts Tagged ‘Nesta’

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Nerds and geeks and dorks, oh my! – The New Ridicules

In Uncategorized on April 13, 2012 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Martyn Eggleton of Access Space, Sheffield, UK wears it with pride.

According to Wikipedia Nerd is a derogatory slang term for a person typically described as intellectual, socially-impaired, and obsessive … A synonym is geek, though some believe it is less derogatory. Another synonym is “dork,” but it doesn’t suggest any intellectual aspects.”

In a world awash with technology, it’s hard not to get involved, but I have always been interested in computers, which I guess makes me a nerd. My introduction to programming was on a borrowed BBC Micro back in 1982, and I taught myself to program in BBC BASIC with an incomplete user manual.
http://www.proudnerd.com/

Later on I had a ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, various Apple Macintoshes, Windows PCs and now Linux PCs. So I suppose I’m also a geek.

More recently, these colloquial insults have been adopted by their targets and are now treated as badges of honour. GeekUp is a “grassroots knowledge sharing and networking social for folks involved or interested in the web and technology industry.” and we have a branch here in Sheffield, UK.
http://geekup.org/

Even the word dork, which was traditionally more insulting, has been reclaimed by people “doing strange things with electricity”. So I guess I’m a dork now too.
http://www.dorkbot.org/

Recently, I have been spending a lot of time at Access Space, Sheffield, UK, researching and developing software tools for streamlining my post-production timelapse workflow. This overlaps significantly with the collaborative documentary project, Flying Monkey TV, that I started with artist Matt Lewis in 2010.
http://flyingmonkey.tv
http://access-space.org

We’ve had a few false starts to the project, but in partnership with Access Space (one of NESTA’s “New Radicals”), I am making progress.
http://www.nesta.org.uk/news_and_features/britains_new_radicals

One line of investigation is using UNIX / Linux libraries on legacy Mac computers. I have a handful at home, doing nothing, and am interested to see if they can be used as workhorse machines for post-processing timelapse image captures. What interests me in Linux is not for the sake of it but the idea that I can leverage a lot of computer power cheaply, efficiently and legally.

The geek in me wants to see if it’s practical, the dork in me is stubborn enough to do it even if it’s not, and the nerd in me wants to tell everyone about it.
http://macports.org
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ports/releases/hardy/release/
http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ports/releases/lucid/release/

Other derogatory monikers that may be appropriate are noob, dweeb and spod “one who wastes time on nonproductive activities online.”

I suppose I’m also a bit of a spod, although I am less proud of that, but dweeb sounds almost lovable, and as far as Linux is concerned, I’m definitely a noob.

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Access Space, Sheffield, UK – One of NESTA’s New Radicals 2012

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2012 by Admin Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Volunteer Access Spacers and staff in full swing, recycling, re-using and re-purposing.

It’s a terrible irony that Access Space, Sheffield, UK, has finally been recognised for its contribution but has had its funding cut by Arts Council England.

Access Space has just been named one of 50 “New Radicals” by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Nesta) in partnership with the Observer newspaper, identified as organisations who are making Britain a better place to live an work.
Nesta’s 50  New Radicals 2012

I first went into Access Space in 2001 to collect some obsolete BBC Micros for artist Paul Granjon to use in an installation for Lovebytes. Since that day, I have had a continued relationship with Access Space, scrounging hardware, visiting their shows, attending workshops and showing my own artwork there too.
It’s very easy to walk past their building and not know that they are there at all, and their low profile belies the enormous impact the organisation has had. They provide open internet access to anyone, and run a programme of free events, exhibitions and workshops.

Here are just two examples of how Access Space has supported me.

In 2004 they provided me with a group of compact Apple Mac computers that allowed me to create my series of HyperScape generative works. These would simply not have happened otherwise, and this led me to be invited to exhibit and visit the Electrohype Biennial in Malmö, Sweden in 2004, and again in Göteborg in 2005.

HyperScape 1 being installed in the Malmo Konsthall, Sweden in 2004 (left). HyperScape V (top right) and HyperScape IV (bottom right) in Access Space, Sheffield, UK.

In 2011 I was awarded a Small Research & Development Bursary to progress electronics and software development towards external camera triggers for capturing timelapse video. I spent 8 days working at Access Space and progressed my project significantly.
fmtvmissinglink.wordpress.com

A number of my own projects would not have happened at all without Access Space, and after many years of receiving support from them, I am trying to bring something back into the space. Here is a promo video I made using timelapse shot during one of their computer recycling marathons. Most of the people you see are volunteers, paid only with pizza, and give their time freely.

Their website is here:
Access Space, Sheffield, UK.