#Gallerycamp13 was held at The New Art Gallery Walsall (NAGW) on 9th September 2013. It was the first national ‘unconference’ for people interested in discussing the future of galleries and their programmes with a specific focus on the role of digital.
I have worked closely on a number of projects with The New Art Gallery Walsall for a few years now, and they were massively supportive, giving up their whole gallery for the day, demonstrative of their commitment to exploring new ways of engaging through digital.
We were also fortunate to welcome a number of new faces to unconferences as well as a number of unconference veterans such as Andy Mabbett (who facilitated the pitching sessions), Dan Slee, Lorna Prescott and Simon Whitehouse.
The event was attended by over 60 people to discuss, debate and influence the current and future state of digital in galleries and how to make the most of technologies.
We ran number of sessions with a wide range of topic areas including
- supporting ‘digital’ as a medium
- how can galleries use data from social media to create new work / income funding
- a demonstration of Leapmotion and gestural/interactive tech
- looking a 3D printing/accessibility
- how can galleries allow crowd curation and/or interpretation of exhibitions / content
- digital + disabled access (online communication)
- how do we share our projects better, learn from each other & evolve
- how can DIY museums & community archives work with professionals in museums
What was especially encouraging was how receptive many attendees were to embracing digital technologies in their work.
#Gallerycamp13 is just the beginning.
I ran a follow up event on 26th November 2013 called #Letsmakestuff in partnership with Birmingham City University which was around making stuff inspired from a number of challenges posed at #Gallerycamp13.
The event was two workshops using the MakeyMakey, a simple device giving people an opportunity to enable simple solutions, turning everyday objects into keys and use them with their computer (Youtube link)
A big part of #Gallerycamp13 and its legacy is giving gallery and other arts/creative professionals the opportunity to have with accessible tools and acknowledging the benefits that these tools can provide on one off projects but also in day-to-day work.
Participants from #letsmakestuff have said they they will buy, or have already bought new MakeyMakeys, and put them into action as part of their own work. A precedent has been set to enable gallery staff, artists and other creatives to use simple technologies that can transform the ways in which they engage.
I am extremely grateful for the support shown by IEWM as a continued champion of open space events such as #Gallerycamp13 and in their continued work in supporting public innovation and access.
Plans are already afoot for #Gallerycamp14 and I am working with Birmingham City University to plan further digital workshops involving MakeyMakeys and other accessible technologies into 2014. Please get in touch if you’d like to know more.
Tim Wilson, Chief Action Man at Creative Knowledge