Attention Please! has been mentioned on the fabulous EuroMac Podcast! Don McAllister from EuroMac Podcast came to FACT in Liverpool to meet and record an interview with Katie Lips about the Attention Please! project and the software linking the video works with the RFID kit; all made on a Mac of course! EuroMac Podcast is a weekly mix of Mac related news from Europe. Find it here: http://www.euromacpodcast.com/
What a week! From software install and test on Monday, installing the kit in the space on Tuesday, with Wednesday and Thursday spent watching, helping, coercing and reacting to an attention paying audience; we've had quite a week. Now the actual research days are completed, there's a lot to think about.
We learned how people feel when offered a chance to react to art in a gallery space; we learned how simple technology can be an empowering force for an audience. We learned a lot from our participants; and much of it is here on this blog – the call for feedback post currently has 24 comments! Over the next few weeks we will be digesting and displaying this as the final phase of the project.
There is more to come!
To say thanks to all those who've helped with the Attention Please experiment (for those who are in Liverpool) we're having a few beers from 6pm in the Box at FACT today!
Hope to see you there.
Attention Please has been a relatively short project, completed within three months. Although it has been short, it has been a diverse project, and drawn together a diverse group of artists, programmers, technicians – and of course, participants. With many thanks to………
Kisky Netmedia (Katie Lips and Paul Stringer)
ITEM (Supported by Arts Council England)
The Box, FACT (The Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Liverpool, UK
MITES (Moving Image Touring Exhibition Service)
Sara Smith and Nick Lawrenson
Additional Exhibition assistance and sofa removals
Simon Bradshaw, Lian Harter, Alex Gibson
The Marketing Team at FACT and Printing.com
ITEM Project Management
Technical Project Management
Katie Lips, Kisky Netmedia
Dennis Dewer from RFID Components Ltd, (UK) and BuyRFID (US)
Mark Coniglio, Troika Ranch
Cocoa & WebObjects Development & hacking
Paul Stringer, with collaboration and support from Axel Roest, Dirk van Oosterbosch, Johan Kool, Abizer Nasir, Breyten Ernsting, Dirk Stoop, Daniel Salber, Andy Smith at CocoaDevHouseAmsterdam
Dawn Stoppiello and Mark Coniglio from Troika Ranch are in town! are responsible for the fantastic Isadora software which Sara has used to programme her video work. Dawn and Mark stopped by yesterday to 'Pay Attention' and then came with us for dinner and drinks. Troika Ranch are in Liverpool as part of their 9 week tour of their latest performance, which will also tour to other european cities including Berlin.
The screens that Sara will be using for the video are double sided 2 meter square rear projection screens hand made using Screen Goo at FACT. Sara and Nick are hanging them right now. Sara's riding around on a MEWP – a Mobile Elevated Work Platform (a TM 12 to be precise). After the screens are up and aligned, there's just the projectors to align, & speakers to hang. Then there's the computers to hook up, and then to make it all look pretty.
Setup Day 2 started with some rather physical sofa removal work. We are preparing the space at the Box, in FACT. FACT has many special design features some are obvious to the visiting public, some not so. The Box is a small and cosy cinema which comfortably seats 50 on 25 sofas. When it's not being used as a cinema, or space for a talk, the sofas neatly pack under the floor via a rather special hydraulic lift and sofa storage system. It's pretty nice! It does require a lot of help though, the seasoned FACT experts seemed to know what they were doing, I was a bit rubbish so hid behind the camera!
It's a quiet Bank Holiday Monday at FACT and we were hooking up all the computers, RFID readers, projectors, and several apps. Paul worked on finalising the applications made at CocoaDevHouse and Sara got everything installed on all the machines we are using. Katie helped with cutting stickers to the right size! did some testing, helped with semantics, oh and bought tshirts and plenty of coffee for everyone.
By 8pm we were all done – everything going to plan. As a special Bank Holiday treat (Sara's) Simon cooked us an amazing dinner of scallops in Champagne sauce – and that was just for starters!
CocoaDevHouse is an unconference, hackathon, geek meetup and make stuff event over 24 hours. We're half way through learning about Cocoa development, and starting to make some stuff that uses the varied and exceptional talents of the guys in the room. Paul is working on the application that turns the RFID events into usable data, records it and does nice stuff with it. The guys at CocoaDevHouse are pretty interested in making a simple Cocoa App, mixed in with a little WebObjects so it seemed like a great opportunity for them all (or 5 of them at least) to work together on it. We're making 2 apps; "Attention Seeker" and "Attention Grabber". The specifications are…..
Transparent window in kiosk mode that is above a video.
Gets RFID tag from an attached scannerProcesses this tag and brings up a message and maybe a picture (details collected by Attention Grabber). Trying to avoid using an SQL database to store pictures.
Sort of dash board effect with the application going from Transparent to translucent and then back again.
Log this somewhere.
Gets the detail for an RFID tag
User scans the tag, enters details and gets their picture taken
Log the details somewhere, which are called up by the Attention Seeker application.
The backend is going to be a simple WebObjects app which will take care of persisting the data.
Tags: rfid, attention, cocoadevhouse, cocoadevhouseamsterdam,
unconference, collaboration, hacking, geek, cocoa.
Your attention is personal right? To you. It's yours, not someone else's. So if we can make this not just about measuring and recording attention, but about YOUR attention, then we think we might be onto something. We don't want to confuse the audience participation; and specifically 'interaction' with attention, as they are different things, but…. using these tags, we have unique identifiers – we know your attention is; well, yours. So the revelation today is that instead of giving you an attention tag, we can link your attention to your picture. You give the art your attention, it gives you some back? Something like, that – and to be discussed further, but we're currently working to link you + your attention + your photo.
Whilst we are studying attention in the gallery, specifically with video art; we are also keenly following the work of the Attention Trust who are working with measuring, and rewarding attention online and in other spaces.
So we signed up as a member.