Jason DuPonte name checking Tales of Things 38 minutes in.
Jason DuPonte name checking Tales of Things 38 minutes in.
New exhibition opening on the 20th of October at The Scottish Fisheries Museum, Anstruther, Fife. This exciting exhibition brings together fishing communities from Canada, India, Scotland and Portugal through the use of information technology to explore what unites and what defines unique fishing communities and cultures across the world.
The project has been spearheaded by the University of Dundee where a number of researchers are collaborating in the “tales of things” (TOTeM) project. The researchers have visited remote communities and investigated how they can incorporate technology to improve their lives without sacrificing their identities. Indeed, one of the findings of this project is that identities can be strengthened and valued through the use of technology to record and share their individual characteristics.
The exhibition contains examples of objects, stories and recordings from the communities visited. Visitors can access these via a smart phone as they tour the exhibition (for those who do not have their own, there will be some available at Reception to borrow in return for a deposit).
Sambaa K’e Project Partners:
Scott Hudson and Paul Harrison – Trout Lake, Canada
Sambaa K’e (Trout Lake) is considered to be one of the most traditional communities in the Canadian Northwest Territories. There are approximately 100 Got’ine (people) living in this Deh Cho community. A strong spirit of self-determination coupled with a leadership with vision helps maintain a cultural integrity, sense of identity and an intimate relationship with the land. Hunting, trapping and fishing are still mainstays of the economy and the people of Sambaa K’e are still committed to living life according to Dene principles.
In the late summer of 2010 artist printmakers Paul Harrison and Scott Hudson were invited by Sambaa K’e Dene Band to develop a small print facility in Trout Lake. The aim was to establish a creative tool for the community that would enable residents (and visitors) to visually explore aspects of their culture and relationship to the land. One purpose of this undertaking was to utilise printmaking as a tool that Gavin Renwick could apply within the initial communal design envisioning process of a new cultural facility for the community. A facility which will now also incorporate a new purpose built printmaking studio as a development of the initial concept.
Further invited visits by Paul, Scott and Gavin continue to fuel this collaborative development with Sambaa K’e and nurture further links with Dundee/Scotland – as well as with the Printmaking Faculty at the University of Alberta. The print studio has been embraced by the community and the series of workshops have been incredibly successful – engaging with a broad section of the community and with all age groups participating.
In 2012 the Sambaa K’e print studio has begun to emerge on to the International stage with members exhibiting original print works and supporting material in the FAB Gallery, University of Alberta as part of ‘Counterpoint: The Aesthetics of Post-Colonialism’. Members have also facilitated print workshops at the ‘Open Skies Art Festival’ in Fort Simpson, NWT, Canada and the Studio is now being considered widely as a significant Centre for Print Arts in the Western Arctic.
Scottish Fisheries MuseumThe Scottish Fisheries Museum is operated by an independent charitable trust and tells the story of the Scottish fishing industry and its people from the earliest times to the present.
Exhibition dates: 20 October 2012 – 3 February 2013
Open : Mon – Sat : 10 – 4.30, Sun : 12 – 4.30, last admissions 1 hour before closing
Entry : FREE with museum admission, accompanied children FREE
Location : St Ayles, Harbourhead, Anstruther, Fife KY10 3AB
The exhibition will be accompanied by a number of events from art workshops to illustrated talks.
Sadly our TOTeM research project is nearing the end, www.talesofthings.com will still exist but from December you won’t see many new projects on this site. To mark the culmination of the project we are holding a symposium on the 25th of October at the Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh with some fantastic speakers:
Mark Shepard- Artist, Architect and Researcher, New York
Prof. Mike Phillips- Director of i-DAT, Plymouth
Torsten Lauschmann- Artist, Glasgow
Geoff Mann- Artist/Designer, Edinburgh
Prof. Irene Ng- Marketing and Service Systems, Warwick
Prof. Mike Crang- Cultural Geography, Durham
The symposium is free but ticketed, click on the link for more information and to book a place. http://iamseeingthings.eventbrite.co.uk/
Alongside the symposium we will have an exhibtion featuring work by Dunne and Raby, Geoff Mann, Martin Boyce, Max Phillips, Superflux and Tommy Dykes. If you haven’t managed to get a ticket to the symposium you can visit the exhibtion on Friday the 26th of October from 10am to 5pm.
For more information on the symposium and exhibition visit the project website www.iamseeingthings.com
Talbot Rice Gallery
The University of Edinburgh, Old College
EH8 9YL Edinburgh
Ever wished an object could tell its story? That’s the idea behind Oxfam’s unique pilot scheme, Oxfam Shelflife, launching on 27 February in 10 Oxfam shops across Manchester. The Oxfam Shelflife app uses QR codes to enable the public to discover the stories behind Oxfam’s donated, ethical and Unwrapped products, and even share their own stories for the items they donate.
The project is the latest innovation from Oxfam which promotes sustainability by encouraging people to look beyond disposable consumerism. The stories behind vintage and second-hand items are all part of their desirability. At the moment these stories can be lost when an item is acquired by a new owner but Oxfam Shelflife enables the stories to stay with the items in a more long-lasting way.
Oxfam’s Sarah Farquhar, Head of Retail Brand said: “Every item has a story to tell and Oxfam Shelflife enables people to share these stories. We’ve found that items with an interesting story behind them are instantly more appealing to our customers so we hope Oxfam Shelflife will encourage people to love items for longer. This commitment to sustainability is an important part of what Oxfam shops bring to the high street.”
The scheme allows donors to ‘tag’ a QR code to their donated object, using the free Oxfam Shelflife app on their iPhone and share the story behind the item for the next owner to discover. Shoppers who visit the participating Oxfam stores can then scan the QR code on the item, via the app, which will take them to the unique story behind the object. Usually QR codes direct users to a website or URL but the Oxfam Shelflife app enables users to engage and interact with the technology, taking QR codes on to a new level.
The concept behind Oxfam Shelflife is based on an original idea developed by the Tales of Things initiative (TOTeM: Tales of Things and Electronic Memory), a collaboration between five British universities: University College London, The University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh College of Art, Brunel University, the University of Dundee and the University of Salford. The TOTeM initiative was funded by a £1.4m grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
Dr Chris Speed from the Edinburgh College of Art and part of the TOTeM team said: “Oxfam Shelflife has the potential to transform shops from places of consumption into places of stories and reflection. Shopping is no longer about buying things from unknown people in unknown places, instead the Oxfam Shelflife app will allow people to ‘write’ their stories on to products and help prevent them heading for the landfill.”
To find out more about the Oxfam Shelflife project and find a participating shop visit http://shelflife.oxfam.org.uk/how_it_works/
A brief reflection on our recent workshops with the National Museums Scotland and the Consultation And Advocacy Promotion Service during the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival…
Note: rather than show faces of people that we haven’t got permission from we’ve used coffee cups to represent them!
Christine McLean (Community Engagement Manager, National Museums Scotland) had been wanting to develop community engagement work with mental health service users and providers for some time. “Museums can engage vulnerable people and contribute to well-being through targeted projects aimed at cultural inclusion. Museum collections offer opportunities for interaction with objects to find new cultural forms for personal experience.” (Research Summary: Who Cares? Museums, Health & Wellbeing Renaissance North West)
So this year, when Kirsten Maclean of CAPS (Consultation And Advocacy Promotion Service) approached her to discuss the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival (www.mhfestival.com) it seemed the right time to pilot activities.
The Festival theme this year was Memories which tied in very well with the Tales of A Changing Nation project being developed by Chris Speed and Jane Macdonald of University of Edinburgh (Edinburgh College of Art), tagging objects in Scotland, A Changing Nation with QR codes. In all, around 70 objects in the gallery were labelled with their own QR code, a unique digital identifier which works in roughly the same way as the barcodes used in retail. Visitors with smartphones can download the Tales of Things app, and then use their phone to scan the QR code on a particular object. This links through to the Tales of Things app and website, where each object has its own online entry with links to a host of resources.
The four of us got together and planned two workshops – one where people were asked to bring in their own objects and share stories and a second with the Oor Mad History project participants exploring wider issues of objects, memories and mental health. We had a great turn out both days and generated lots of interesting and diverse new stories, some of which can be accessed on Tales of Things and below:
These two videos were captured during the Making Memories Workshop:
These four audio files were taken during the Oor Mad History Workshop run by Kirsten at CAPS. The workshop explored issues of mental health and history as part of the larger Oor Mad History project and exhibition. These audio files were inspired by a medicine bottle from the Scotland: A Changing Nation gallery:
Christine McLean, Community Engagement Manager, National Museums Scotland & Kirsten Maclean, Oor Mad History, Consultation And Advocacy Promotion Service, and Angelina Karpovich, Brunel University.
As part of the Dundee Science Festival, Tales of Things will have a pop-up stand at the Family Fun Day this Sunday 13th November. Bring in a favourite object which has a good story and we’ll capture the story using the tales of things platform, giving you a unique QR code for your object. We’ll show you how others can scan the code with a mobile phone and see your story for themselves.
Taking place at Sensation Dundee Science Centre, Greenmarket DD14BQ, from 1 – 4pm, 13 Nov. Everyone welcome!
27 Sept – 26 Nov
Lamb Gallery, Tower Building, University of Dundee Mon-Fri 09.30-20.30 Sat 09.30-16.30
This exhibition features a fascinating range of instruments, models and other equipment used in teaching Physics in Dundee from the 1880s onwards. Several of the objects in the exhibition have also been added to the Tales of Things website - smartphone users can access images and additional information by scanning QR codes on the labels in the exhibition.
Tested out the films in the Museum Auditorium today and they look great! Have to say that the cinema trailer “In the Clear” and “Cumbernauld, Town for Tomorrow” are my personal favourites.
In case you would like to know what time your favourite film is on, listed below are approximate timings for throughout the day.
Time: 11.00, 13.28, 15.55
Film: A Cruise to St Kilda (1929). Rare footage of life on the remote island of St Kilda just a year before the islanders were evacuated off the island. Full film depicts the journey from Glasgow to the island via the Western Isles. Produced by Jay’s Screen Service.
Time: 11.07, 13.35, 16.02
Film: Birth of a Sewing Machine (1934). The manufacturing processes involved in making a Singer sewing machine at Clydebank, Glasgow. Full film is 70 minutes long and shows the entire process from castings to packaging the needles. Commissioned by the Singer Sewing Machine Co. Ltd. Silent
Time: 11.15, 13.43, 16.10
Film: The Face of Scotland (1938). Examines the question “what and why is a Scot”, clip depicts scenes from WWI and a war memorial at Edinburgh Castle. One of a group of seven documentaries made for the 1938 Empire Exhibition. Commissioned by Films of Scotland.
Time: 11.19, 13.47, 16.14
Film: Dundee (1939). Film made to celebrate Dundee’s rich industrial heritage, locals explain to the narrator how the city has changed over time. Film was premiered at the British Association in Dundee but had to be abandoned due to the announcement of the start of WWII. Commissioned by Films of Scotland.
Time: 11.37, 14.05
Film: Vital Statistics (1940). Glasgow appointed its first Medical Officer of health in 1863 to combat problems of overcrowding and disease. This film shows the work of the department from housing to schools to monitoring food stuffs. Commissioned by Glasgow Corporation Public Health Department.
Time: 11.54, 14.22
Film: Future of Scotland (1948). Tom Johnston, the former Secretary of State for Scotland and founder of the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board, talks about the benefits of devolution for Scotland. Clip from a larger film about Scotland’s industry and culture. Sponsored by J. Arthur Rank Organisation.
Time: 11.56, 14.24
Film: Housewives of Tomorrow (1951). A Domestic Science class as taught in a Glasgow school. Made in 1951 this film depicts very old-fashioned traditional roles for women as housewives; looking after the children, cooking and cleaning. Filmed at Albert Secondary School, Glasgow. Silent
Time: 12.10, 14.38
Film: In the Clear (1957). Tuberculosis was once a major threat to Britain’s health and in the 1950s there was a campaign to get people diagnosed early by getting a chest x-ray. This cinema trailer, starring Jimmy Logan and Stanley Baxter, was made to encourage people to do just that. Commissioned by the National Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis.
Time: 12.13, 14.41
Film: Young in Heart (1963). Film showing the making of the Hillman Imp motorcar from conception to production at its factory in Linwood, Paisley. The film offers a colourful insight of the workings of the factory which was built to help recover jobs lost from the declining ship building industry. Commissioned by Films of Scotland and the Rootes Group.
Time: 12.36, 15.03
Film: Songs of Scotland (1963). Part of a larger film of traditional songs from Scotland. This clip shows Dolina McLellan and Hamish Henderson singing “Bonnie Lassie I’ll Lie Near Ye’” in a local Edinburgh pub. Hamish Henderson was a Scottish poet and songwriter. Commissioned by Films of Scotland.
Time: 12.39, 15.06
Film: Making bagpipes (1967). Shows the whole process of making traditional bagpipes at Highland Bagpipe Makers who were located on Edinburgh’s Lawnmarket. Commissioned by Educational Films of Scotland.
Time: 12.48, 15.15
Film: Cumbernauld, Town for Tomorrow (1970). Film about the New Town of Cumbernauld showing the optimism surrounding it at the time. Features the Reynolds Memorial Award, which the architects won for achievements in Urban Design. Commissioned by Films of Scotland and Cumbernauld Development Corporation.
Time: 13.15, 15.42
Film: Pure New Wool (1924) Made by the Scottish Woollen Trade Mark Association showing the production process in the 1920s.
Time: 13.19 , 15.46
Film: Morris Chair (1960) The making of a Morris chair using plywood at their factory based in Glasgow. Produced by Templar Film Studios.
Time: 13.23, 15.50
Film: Gold Star (1971) Educational film depicting welding and making of “Gold Star”, which at the time was the largest ship built in Scotland.
Time: 13.26 , 15.53
Film: Highlands (1971) Clip shows glass blowing at Caithness Glass, Wick. Commissioned by HIDB, British Aluminium Company and Films of Scotland.
All films courtesy of NLS Scottish Screen Archives