Happy New Year & Happy New Projects

Well, it’s been quite an adventure over the Festive Pause – we’ve been away in Europe and, alas, our car conked out while there…This precipitated various transport escapades to get us – and our small dog – back to Blighty by Monday this week…Still: such things are stories in the making. And so it might well become one on here once I’ve taken some time to sit and jot it all down.

IN OTHER (EXCITING) NEWS: Having managed to write a proposal for it while on the move, I’m delighted to announce that the excellent Paul Hurley and I will be (collectively) one of two lead artists on an exciting project in Bristol, with the excellent Knowle West Media Centre.

The Bristol Approach to Citizen Sensing will aim to develop a “new framework for running inclusive, community-driven digital projects that involve sensor technologies”. Paul and I will be working as artists in multi-disciplinary teams, to engage creatively in this process.

What kinds of sensing tools and data are useful to the community, rather than centralised organisations, corporations, or government? And how can we make the data they produce visible, beautiful, relevant, inspiring? Can it be performed, or made into poetry – and how can this spur people into taking action for their communities…?

These are very big, very exciting questions – and ones I’m looking forward to working on through dialogue, exploration and creation.

Things get going next week, so I’ll post up more information once we’re further into the process…

Postmodern Spiritual Pie-Chart

Last week, I attended the BioVision World Life Sciences Forum, in Lyon (France (obviously)), as a journalist – or something a little bit like one.

Alongside carrying out interviews – which I now sadly have the lengthy task of transcribing – with some very interesting and pleasant people, I also met various other excellent people in a more ‘casual’ or (I shudder at the word) ‘networking’ capacity. At the Monday evening ‘Networking Soiree’ (I placed more emphasis on the latter part), I ended up cavorting with a selection of young scientists on the event’s ‘young researcher’ scheme and talking some people in the business (not that I am, necessarily) of science communication. One such person, with whom I have remained in most convivial email contact, I had conversations about feminism Vs gender equality, Vermin (as in my Vermin poetry) and postmodern religiosity. (I later had a lengthy conversation with a very interesting (and distractingly-handsome) German science reporter on whether we could, or should, ever ‘cure’ gayness. I think we’re alright, personally – aren’t there enough of us already, without ‘curing’ anyone into making more of us to ‘cure’? Back to ‘Vermin’ ideas there…)

Through the former conversation, I was reminded of the Postmodern Spiritual Pie-Chart. Up to this point, this has merely been a metaphysical graph (yes, you can have one) – but she suggested that it should become real. Perhaps more things that are spoken of should become so. In that spirit, here is my Postmodern Spiritual Pie-Chart…It’s as a download, as no Excel-to-blog solution was immediately obvious and I must now go out! (All transcription and no fresh air, make Caleb somethingsomething).

Spiritual Pie Chart

Science seems to find the visualising of data a most useful exercise, so why not this? I’ve no doubt, if you’re reading this, you have your own Spiritual Pie-chart waiting to take form. Perhaps it is just one big slice of something, 360 degrees of one system, or one big slice of ‘nothing’ – but either way, it’s worth thinking about, eh?