I’ve got a fun job I’m working on for an exhibit about work by University of St Andrews researchers studying the songs of humpback whales in the South Pacific. There are several displays and interactives which will feature in an area we are calling Sea Symphonies at the Dundee Science Centre.
One of my design tasks was to develop some symbols to represent fragments of humpback whale sounds…
I made a test piece with some of the symbols I developed. You can try it out at here – tap the symbols to hear the sounds (warning – these may surprise your pets!)
It’s been a while since I’ve got around to posting here – I’ve been a busy design bee. For the project which is the subject of this post, I wasn’t sure if I should put the details here, or on my other blog where I mostly write about poetry – here goes…
Doctors regularly share the most personal, vulnerable, and crucial moments of other people’s lives. SPL were interested in finding a way to make a related online project. Using poetry this would hopefully create opportunities for discussion as doctors recognised some of their own experiences in those of others. The Dean of Medicine at the University of St Andrews expressed an interest in hosting a project, and a little later I became involved.
Working with SPL we came up with the idea of building on the book by making short seasons of videos of medics (qualified or in training) reading chosen poems from the collection. Readers also explain very briefly why they chose the poem they are going to read. We’d make the readings publicly available on a blog, and also host a closed Facebook group, where we hoped each reading could provide a seed for informal discussion. The group would be managed by a team of highly experienced medics.
Having helped define the form of the project, I made the blog site, and set up the Facebook group. Colleagues at the School of Medicine and Scottish Poetry Library brought together a team of experienced doctors to guide/moderate the discussion group. Meanwhile I set about creating a collection of new videos. Of course, all this turned out to be the just for starters. I’ve recently also been making a projection kiosk/listening point/exhibit which will allow students and others to sample a few readings, and get a taste of the project. Cue scrounging of a once loved exhibition plinth, old gear, etc, etc. Seems like a lot to pull together for a small exhibit, but it’s surprising what a lick of paint can do, and before you know it, there it is…
The project doesn’t have a launch day as such, instead it is easing into being live over the next few weeks.
I enjoyed taking some photographs at Kit Martin’s ‘Skyward’ sessions at the Gateway in St Andrews today. Visitors tried out both making cyanotypes and experiencing VR and 360 degree images (mostly for the first time). I was very impressed by the helpfulness of everyone involved. I think all had a very interesting, informative and entertaining experience!
I ran another one day ‘Introduction to Video Production’ workshop at work today. This was similar to the initial training I’ve given to undergraduate students on the ‘Recording the Past‘ module. Today however the class was mostly made up of budding filmmakers from the ranks of staff and postgraduate students. The session was organised with Mhairi Stewart, the University’s Public Engagement Officer as part of her initiative to offer a variety of engagement related skills training to staff and postgraduates.
Thanks especially to Daryl Haynes from Media Services for his invaluable assistance in class, and to Mike Mulreany for his cameo as ‘the man from Auntie’, but most of all to Mhairi, Iain, Vincent, Jess, Alina, Ona, and Will for taking part – it was lovely to see you all for what was a very enjoyable workshop.
Looking like a strange spikey Telstar, here are a few shots from the video studio showing sculptor Cavan Convery’s hard-won (all hands to the Marvin’s Medium!) rendering of a complex multi faceted sphere designed by renaissance genius Daniele Barbaro over four hundred and fifty years ago. As far as I know, this is the first time in all those centuries that this specific form has been realised as a three dimensional object.
The model has been produced for use in a short video I’m making for Laura Moretti about her success in developing an exciting book exhibition following her work on Barbaro.
Cool stuff from the desktop of my friend and colleague, sculptor Cavan Convery today.
Cavan has been building this fascinating paper model from the designs of Venetian Renaissance genius Daniele Barbaro. It’s being made as part of a short video I’m making for Laura Moretti about her success in developing an exciting book exhibition following her work on this pioneering figure.
OK, it’s not a ‘death star’ but one of Barbaro’s many explorations of how to realise three dimensional forms. And the finished model will be about 23cm (9″) in diameter, rather than something south of 150km. But still, it is real, and it is a physical realisation of a design made about four-hundred-and-fifty years ago – as far as I know it may be the first – and, to my eyes at least, a thing of beauty!