As someone with a huge passion for exploring my local environment and digging into the history and architecture of an area, and ways of presenting this creatively I am rather taken by a project which I found on Twitter called “Walk My World”, the invention of William O’Byrne who is based in Newhaven, USA. The idea is that you carry out a journey, once a week, and then record and share that using various digital media tools (he suggests Twitter, Vine and Instagram and produces a handy guide for newcomers to these on his site). There’s still an opportunity to take part if you wish… join in!
I personally have not used Instagram much as until fairly recently I didn’t have a phone with a very good camera (it was quite a low resolution), preferring to play with my SLR, but since I got a new phone in November I have been playing with the many free and low cost apps which allow you to snap, shoot and share your view of the world. The Walk My World project seemed a good time to try out Instagram.. so I took a wander around Govanhill in Glasgow.
A wonderful multi-lingual community cafe, in an Evangelical church hall, which asks for only donations for breakfast:
Said free/ donation breakfast (which was lovely, as were all the people in the pop up cafe):
Library exhibition on wartime experiences:
The library history exhibition, including a little alcove devoted to R D Laing, an influential psychiatrist born in the area:
The many languages of Govanhill:
International peace garden:
Community baths (I had visited these at Doors Open Day before):
Wonderful tenements, a Glasgow architectural icon:
I discovered a lot about the area, even from this short walk! I had not created a video in Instagram before, and also played with the tagging and mapping functions. I know Instagram is not exactly “new news” but it is funny how sometimes we need a reason to play with new stuff. I also learnt that embedding Instagram posts in WordPress only needs the URL, not the embed code. I like to learn through play, and this sort of project is “right up my street”, thanks William!
I completely agree with the comment in William’s blog post that educators should create an online brand for themselves (thinking before they share), I am quite aware of my “digital footprint” and in some ways my background may appear somewhat diverse (town planning, conservation, education, creative media) but I am lucky enough to be able to combine all of these through the various strands of my professional work (on reflection, I am needing to revisit my own website to better represent this; although I was very happy with it when I created it at the time and I have gradually added content such as my “Are You Here” project exploring family history links and the environment of Bristol and Brighton, my professional practice has evolved to represent a variety of skills).
As well as undertaking freelance illustration and digital interpretation projects in arts and heritage, and volunteering my time for Planning Aid Scotland, in my other professional persona I am currently working as Educational Co-ordinator at the University of the West of Scotland, on the Digital Commonwealth project. This is a project which is designed to help marginalised communities (such as those who live in areas of socio-economic deprivation) develop digital media literacy skills using readily available technology and tools. The project is framed around the digital reporting of Queen’s Baton Relay for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, with projects based around the topics of people, place, culture and exchange. I have been really impressed with the creative results of the #walkmyworld project beginning to be shared on Twitter and it made me even more excited about the possible results of planned creative digital media projects which will take place as part of the Digital Commonwealth project!
Here are some of my favourite #Walkmyworld posts so far:
Happy Twitter dogs!
— Caitlyn Keller (@CatierayeK) January 13, 2014
More dogs (but Vine):
The wonders of Islay:
— Emma Revie (@EmmaReviex) January 16, 2014
The fabulous benefits of creating enthusiastic online communities!
— Molly Shields (@ShieldsMolly) January 18, 2014
Happy exploring, creating, learning and sharing!
I previously blogged about the Glasgow image I found, but there are literally millions to see, from all over the world! You can also add tags to any of the images yourself, and use the usual “favourite” tool in Flickr which will make it easier for you to re-find what you’re after again.
For previous unconventional advent calendar entries see this link.
Today’s unconventional advent calendar is very unconventional indeed as it is long weekend of cumulative entries. I may well devise some bonus content later for those of you who might have missed the last two days of usually daily pics and musings.
I was taken by the art featured in the calendar as someone who endeavours to unite art and planning issues; often we find ourselves working with various people who have ideas for new uses for buildings where the previous use has for some reason ceased, and unfortunately there are a lot of examples of buildings which are at risk due to continual neglect and decay. From a cultural planning point of view these can also present themselves as opportunities as well as problems, there are many innovative examples of property re-use and reimagination. Our towns and cities are constantly changing, instability can mean an area reinvents itself in various ways. The Liverpool biennial is the largest contemporary arts festival in the UK (see website), and when I first visited in 2008 the city was the European capital of culture. Interestingly, Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores Universities devised a methodology for assessing the impact of cultural festivals (download here), covering cultural access, economy and tourism, cultural vibrance and sustainability, image and perceptions and governance and delivery.
Previous entries for the unconventional advent calendar can all be seen on the UWS Cultural Planning blog where a community of cultural planning practitioners doing the 2013 short course are recording and sharing their reflections and thoughts.
Today’s unconventional advent calendar is a visit to Poland, where I recently had the fortunate opportunity to take a study tour based around the shipyard area. How would you show people around your own area on a cultural planning tour?
I have been thinking about the similarities and differences between Gdansk and Govan, reflecting on this in a photographic manner. I used photographs taken whilst on the study tour, but also older images which I had from 2009 (taken from the Glasgow science tower) and I gave a presentation on this today at the University of the West of Scotland Ayr campus, copied below.
Girvan is a pretty seaside town in the west coast of Scotland where I spent a happy summer holiday once when I was wee. I revisited it this summer, and was surprised how much of it I could remember (and was delighted to see that the little aviary and gardens called Knockcushan park were still there).
I did not know of the history of the gardens, this must have passed me by last time as I was looking at the animals and birds when I was ten! That said, I do attribute my career choices to the fact that I was always taken to historic places and used to enjoy spending time looking at castles and drawing things related to my holidays… if blogs had been about then no doubt the very tattered scrapbook I made would have been digital with scanned copies of tickets.
Summer seems so long ago now, with Christmas almost here, so this is a very unconventional advent calendar entry indeed for December 10th although you can consider the character of a place at any time of year!
Girvan has a wonderful view of Ailsa Craig, which is famous for its special seabird colony and also for being used to create curling stones (see gallery above, and for photos of these see my Partick curling club photos) The Glasgow 2014 baton also features a special Ailsa Craig “gemstones” in the puzzle mechanism, an exciting Commonwealth Games link for the area.
To me, Girvan has fantastic seaside memories; parrots in the park, boating pond outings, beach sandcastle building, chips munching, 2p fruit machines (although I think they may have been 1p then?!?), big high street with shops selling buckets and spades and postcards, lovely colourful harbour, seagulls and other birds along the pier wall.. Girvan rocks!
What do you think makes up the character of your favourite place?
Previous unconventional advent calendar entries can be found here.
I’ve been creating an unconventional advent calendar related to cultural planning
I have been playing with devising an alternative advent calendar with a daily cultural planning thought, comment or notable bit of news, as I enjoy making web projects and also wanted to continue reflecting on some of the points which were raised in the course. My project presentation as part of the course was about considering how to use online tools to make cultural planning accessible and understandable to a wide range of people, I felt that using a thought a day type approach was perhaps one way of doing this so I’m experimenting to see what results. The cards are designed using the Firefox web maker programme, a free online tool which allows you to create various creative and interactive items for the web (templates are provided for you to remix, where you create half of the page in code then watch the result on the other half…
View original post 193 more words
Today I have been playing with You Tube capture, an app I only recently downloaded (most of my video editing has been done in iMovie or Premier Pro, with the odd session of Final Cut Pro thrown in for good measure).
I find that although you can only do a minimum of editing with the app, it is good for stabilising the video and also trimming the clips. It is also quick to upload via wifi, and you can add the main details such as titles, keywords and privacy levels. It also lets you share directly from the app, which could be handy for quick sharing. I used my iPad mini to record an unlikely Edinburgh Tourist attraction, the great glass elevator in Waverley Station. This gives you a handy panoramic shortcut to get to street level from the station concourse. Not the most conventional of tourist attractions, but worth a look!
This weekend I spent quite a lot to time glued to my screen, but I was interacting with people from all over the world through the marvel that is Mozilla Fest. This is a conference and event, celebrating all the things which Mozilla do (the festival ran in London, but I was able to interact via Twitter and also through watching the Keynotes online (live stream video), and audio on SourceFabric).
I deliberately sought out ways to get involved from afar, as I wanted to learn some new things and find out about all the great things which people were doing around the web. I love projects which integrate analogue and digital elements, I recently did a project which retraced the steps of my family history using illustration, photography, writing and a book on iBooks (look under the tag “are you here” on this blog for more info). With this in mind, when I found out that there was a Mozilla scavenger hunt at the event, which allowed for remote participation, my first challenge was to draw the Mozilla Fest logo:
— AlisonMcCandlish (@CrenellatedArts) October 26, 2013
This was an easy one for me… and a few points! I also started following others who were taking part and browsed some of the great online info. The evening keynotes had some really interesting points about the concept of digital natives, yes, many people who have grown up with the internet (and never done homework without it) are comfortable with using all sorts of online platforms and sharing posts with friends, but do people look underneath “the box” and see what is going on? (Mozilla makes it easy to do this with various online tools such as Webmaker, Thimble and Xray Goggles). You can view this (and other evening keynotes, including the launch of a new tool called Lightbeam for checking where your data is being shared) here.
That evening I also tried out some code in a collaborative storytelling project. I am not a natural coder (I know the simple things like embedding codes, changing fonts and links etc, which I have learnt from years of tinkering with things like basic web design editing alongside WYSIWIG tools as early on as Netscape Composer up to Adobe Muse combined with Dreamweaver but I have never been “taught” it in a structured manner, I’ve just picked things up here and there and like to play with the results, which is why I like Mozilla Webmaker so much as it gives you challenges to remix or start from scratch). I have not yet made my Github project join up with others, I think I am a little stuck on the terminology at the moment, but one learns over time, so any hints how to make this work, add and collaborate welcome!
The Twitter feed #mozfest was really busy all day, and people were getting creative with the Firefox logo in their coffee:
One off the challenges was find a fox.. soon a new papercraft analogue-digital Firefox will be gracing my desk:
— AlisonMcCandlish (@CrenellatedArts) October 27, 2013
If you would like to make one, there are a few variations on a theme here
I also tried out the challenge on HTML poems, using mixtures of code I know, an HTML cheat sheet from web monkey and the visual interface which highlights things when you make errors (forgetting “/” to end things, or putting things in slightly the wrong place) but also changes as you edit on the right hand side of the screen so you instantly see the results of your input. It was fun to try and make things rhyme and add the real text to make code.
The next challenge was to open source your food. As I couldn’t give away a coffee and muffin to a fellow conference attendee, and wanted to do something digital, I used Webmaker postcard creator to make a recipe card. I uploaded a photo to Flickr, then worked out how to embed this with the instructions in the remixer… I rather like the results and reckon I might send a few more of these. You can remix it yourself too, it’s open source… go play!
Amazingly, I found myself with a little short lived mozbug glory at the top of the leaderboard at one point.. please don’t think I’m boasting, I just hope others will see more of the project and join in! There’s still time… go to #Mozbug on Twitter or check out the Mozbug adventures for more details on the challenges.
— MozBug Adventures (@MozBugging) October 27, 2013
I am hoping to have a play with some more of the challenges before the end of the day, it has been a lot of fun trying out creative ways to respond to the scavenger hunt, and explore more of the amazing things going on. Thank you Mozilla and all the volunteer Mozillians for a great interactive weekend of inspiration and web making, but most of all learning through play; I do like a challenge.
Oh what joy I had today when I found some “new” pages on Google Earth (I use new in inverted commas as I am not actually sure now new they are, they may have been around for some time but such was my excitement at finding these that I thought I would share them, incase others had not had the opportunity to see them yet!).
Google Art Project
I knew about the Google Art project before, it allows you to browse and zoom into the collections of over two hundred galleries around the world, from the comfort of your screen. You can search by artist by gallery, or alternatively browse some of the many collections available which you or other users have created. It is simple to create your own personal gallery, all you do is browse the works and then click the little pencil and cube icon at the side of the screen. You can choose to share your collection or make it private, which is an added bonus. These are some of the most interesting things I have found so far:
- Tate collections of J M W Turner
- search by keyword for a place (e.g. Brighton)
- Highlights from the National Gallery of Scotland
- a user collection of impressionist works
- it is not just paintings… here is a “Bristol sauceboat” in porcelain, held by the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston
Google Street view in Galleries
Would you like to see inside a gallery and virtually wander to the front of a famous piece of art, and put yourself nose to pixel with it? Here is a John Constable work, in Tate Britain.
There are several international galleries with this feature, view the current list here.
Google Plus slideshows
I can almost smell the espresso of Piazza San Marco through this feature…
We are no doubt all familiar with entering results in Google search bar and getting a list of relevant sites. If you type in the name of certain famous sites you can get a stream of text information, maps and reviews of the places in question, and if you click on any of the photographs it gives you a full screen slideshow all about this area. I am yet to explore Google+ and its social side, but as I understand it, if you are registered for this it allows you to post information and share it with friends in your circle (or publicly) so I think this might be a good tool for people planning a group holiday.
This site allows you to view UNESCO world heritage sites, and lots of informative background information about their importance and history. This interface allows you to view collections of sites, and search by country, continent or theme. You can even dive under the Great Barrier Reef!
Here is a rather lovely looking Stonehenge:
Here are the Trulli houses in Puglia, you can actually “walk” up and around the streets there. One day I will go and see these in real life, but in the mean time I have this site to entertain and delight me.
Happy browsing, I would love to hear of some of the places which you find out there.