Chris Pinchen speaks to participants of Brighton Cryptofestival, an event from Lighthouse Studio
Chris Pinchen speaks to participants of Brighton Cryptofestival, an event from Lighthouse Studio

LIGHTHOUSE STUDIO - THE SECOND PHASE


06 February 2014

Lighthouse Studio is heading into its second phase of prototyping in February. We've just said goodbye to our inaugural residents, so we've asked Creative Producer Andrew Sleigh to say a few words about the last three months, the next steps, and introduce our new residents.

Aral Balkan gives our November Monthly Talk as part of his residency.
Aral Balkan gives our November Monthly Talk as part of his residency.

After a very fond farewell (or au revoir) to our first residents, we welcome in three new practitioners who will be developing work, collaborating with us in our programme, and helping us understand how to make the studio work.

The prototyping experience has been hugely valuable so far, and we’ve found that a quasi-agile methodology maps surprisingly well from the world of bits to that of humans, workspaces, process and social relationships. We’ve said yes to almost everything, even if it meant doing it on a small scale, and we’ve iterated, setting plans, implementing and then adjusting course as we learn what works.

Diverse practice
We’ve only scratched the surface of digital practice, and it’s already clear that the studio programme will have to support a huge variety of working styles, outputs, and needs. Some people rarely step out from behind a laptop, some could fill every day of the week with public events. Some want to make a mess, some want natural light, some need edit suites, or just elbow room. Some people can make visible progress in one month, others may have little to show after 3. We need to draw a circle around the kinds of practice we can support now, and then seek to enlarge this circle over time, as we find more resources.

The value of the network
It’s becoming apparent that the deepest value that Lighthouse offers is our global network of collaborators from across digital culture, from film-makers to sound artists, funding bodies to universities, scientists to designers. People want to come to the studio in part to access this network, and we need to find ways to make it visible. How do you know who we know? For any given project, opportunity or problem, who in our network could help?

Our lunchtime show-and-tells have been a useful format for residents to talk about what they’re doing, and sparking ideas with potential collaborators.

Getting to know each other
At the risk of stating the obvious, everything goes more smoothly the better we know each other. By its nature a studio programme means lots of new people coming into the office, getting used to the environment, and figuring out who does what, and how they might be able to help. We’re putting some new structures in place to help residents get to know the Lighthouse team – and vice versa – quickly.

Some are pretty simple. I love this board of names and faces at the Watershed studio, which gives everyone an opportunity to share what they’re working on, and what you can ask them about. An idea we may well borrow.

Our new residents
In February, we welcome three exciting new practitioners to the studio. All very different from our first group, and all of whom will bring new energy and learning with them.

They are:

Georgina Voss – a researcher and writer, whose projects span the politics of technology and engineering; grassroots communities and practices; and hidden and deviant labour.

Philo van Kemenade – a technologist and storyteller who’s exploring the space where interactive and narrative technologies collide.

Joe Tunmer – a film director, and writer, and ex-Guiding Lights participant, who works across drama, commercial film and shorts and music videos

I’m looking forward to working with them all.

For more information on Lighthouse Studio, click click here


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