Preview of Undercurrent by (l-r) Natalie Kane and Coralie Gourguechon, with consultation from Seb Lee-Delisle.
Preview of Undercurrent by (l-r) Natalie Kane and Coralie Gourguechon, with consultation from Seb Lee-Delisle.

LIGHTHOUSE STUDIO: Goodbyes and Updates, by Natalie Kane

17 June 2015

It’s come to the end of the first official phase of Lighthouse Studio, and unfortunately it’s come to the time where we have to wave goodbye to some of our residents. But, as a celebration of their remarkable achievements, here’s what they got up to during their time with us, from events, to new art works, to magazines.

Hack Circus, Leila Johnston
Hack Circus, Leila Johnston

Leila Johnston spent her time with us developing the third instalment of her magazine, Hack Circus, which looks at the slightly odd, the slightly mad, and the always amazing world of technology. She blogged about the process on her website, which we recommend you take a look at, especially if you’re attempting the same thing.

We also co-produced Leila’s event, Hack Circus: Access All Areas in July, an event that explored some of the issues and topics in the latest magazine. We were shown how to break into an airport (but were advised not to), told about the colourful history of the tank, and shown what your brain looks like when you look at a cat. Although the event sold out, we all learnt some new lessons about promoting and talking about an event, which was an experience for both Leila and the collective brains of the Lighthouse team. We’re looking forward to reading this month’s issue, First Contact, which features ghosts, space travel and the immersive world of Punchdrunk.

Coralie Gourguechon’s time with Lighthouse involved exploring the opportunities to teach her unique paper electronics to a wide range of people, and we were glad to host a few of her workshops at Lighthouse, making speakers and switch circuits with only copper tape and a sheet of A3 paper. You can read about General Manager Emma’s experience here.

Working with me, Coralie created Undercurrent for Brighton Digital Festival as one of their Arts and Technology commissions during her time in the studio. Exploring the nature of the black box of technology, Undercurrent seeks to surface the technological sounds we often ignore or pass by, and open up the devices that play them. In an interactive wall of sound that opens the innards of a speaker system, the installation invites visitors to hear the electromagnetic fields of airports, the workings of machines and the steady hum of the server stack. We were assisted by the technical expertise of fellow studio resident Seb Lee-Delisle, who apart from helping with the technology side of the project, also provided valuable support throughout the process.

Coralie’s currently finishing up her workshops in Slovenia, and will be showing her anatomical speakers in Qatar. Her next steps include moving to London, having a holiday, and developing her work looking at the future potential for paper electronics to educate people about technology.

Seb Lee-Delisle joined Lighthouse Studio in the middle of a few ongoing projects, and brought his infamous Lunar Trails along with him, temporarily setting it up in the Lighthouse lobby for a few days, where visitors were invited to plot their own trails playing a retro eighties arcade game.

In the studio, Seb worked on a new model of 3D printer with engineer Paul Strotten, and collaborated on the creation of an open-source Servo motor, which they will develop over the next few months. You can see Paul’s 3D printer at this year’s Elephant and Castle Mini Maker Faire.

On the 6th September, Seb opened Brighton Digital Festival with Laser Light Synths, a stunning interactive work that lets anyone become a musician. The four touch-responsive LED keyboards were prototyped and created at Lighthouse, and went through vigorous ‘user testing’ (also known as lots of enthusiastic playing) at our Show and Tell sessions. For the launch of Brighton Digital Festival, Laser Light Synths gave audience members the chance to ‘play’ to a crowd, their movements shooting up onto the columns of the Unitarian Church on New Road. You can see a video of Laser Light Synths at BDF14 here, featuring my teammates Phil Richards and Jenny Lindop.

Meanwhile, Georgina Voss has finished her book about stigma in the sex industry. Georgina will be staying at Lighthouse Studio for the next phase, continuing to carry out her Nesta-funded research project on the future of sexual health, running a series of workshops in the weeks to come. Together with Deb Chachra, this summer Georgina ran a workshop at this year’s EMF Camp about the future of sexual healthcare and manufacturing, looking at materials and production as an important factor in deciding the future of our most intimate health. We’re looking forward to attending her workshops and sharing our findings with you.

So, we say goodbye to three residents, but welcome in a whole new set of fantastic minds in the coming month. We’ll keep you posted on who we’ll be settling in, so for now, watch this space.

Lighthouse Studio is an interdisciplinary programme for creatives to develop their practice and prototype new work and ideas in collaboration with the Lighthouse team and networks. The programme nurtures research, development, learning and production at the intersection of digital art, design, technology, science, film and the creative industries.



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