(funded by the Arts Council & CCE)
In 2010, Professor Lizbeth Goodman was selected as a Creative Agent to bring together teams of artists and technologists to work on site in UK schools, to increase the collaborative potential of learning for all students.
The first project has been underway at the Threeways Special School in Bath, with collaboration from Futurelab, Queen Mary University, and independent artists from many genres. The project includes three strands of work: visual/fashion work on the theme of camoflauge; storytelling, and music enabled by assistive technologies for all.
The first two project threads have been achieved, and are due for London installation soon:
In the current socio-political climate, inclusive values supposedly permeate every walk of our lives. The reality of this situation is that for many young people and adults with special needs it is the margins of society in which they seem more likely to find themselves. A number of our young people feel ignored by mainstream society and lack popular cultural representation. It seems to many that they become invisible elements in a society which purports to welcome them with open arms, whilst their eyes remain shut to who they really are and what they can contribute. Yasmeen Al Awadi, an artist whose work covers marginalised groups who are often ‘socially invisible’, worked alongside fashion designer Tara Baoth Mooney to document a project whereby students designed and made their own camouflage. Students were photographed by Gigapan artist Ben Thomson who produced interactive images of three settings (school, Bath city centre and a local woodland) with the ‘invisible’ students hidden in the images.
Digital Story Telling
Students engaged with storyteller Michael Loader and digital performance artist and SMARTlab intern Keir Williams (a graduate student from Queen Mary, University of London, working on an internship basis with our team) on a range of off-site visits to generate stories based on stimuli found in a number of man-made and natural spaces. Students were empowered to use their own voice to express preference in terms of story content and the materials used to support the retelling of their tales. Students gathered multi-sensory resources ranging from digital sound and visual recordings to natural and man made objects. Parents were then invited to a digital storytelling festival run by the students in the Sensory Theatre at Three Ways School. The third project thread of interactive music enabled by assistive technology and eye control is currently in development: watch this space.