Category Archives: PGCE

Creativity Module and Decode

The second semester has officially started and I’m upbeat as I handed in my Application to register on Monday so I’m now waiting for a response. I also sent the first draft of my social media chapter to the Digital Media Handbook editors. I’ve still got the case study to write but I need some feedback before I commence this. I also think it’s going to need to be quite heavily edited first.

On Monday I also started my lecturing assignment for David Gauntlett’s creativity module. This consists of seven weeks of lectures given by him and then students are split into four groups with one hour seminar sessions of which I take one. There are also two weeks where we take the students on field trips. The lecture yesterday started an introduction to creativity and its definition. David has a very entertaining and individual delivery style. He likes to precede his talk by eating a banana. Maybe this nutrition energises him.

My first seminar was fairly uneventful. I wanted to stress to the students that it is a time for them to express themselves. I remember from my PGCE doing an essay on Pedagogy v Andragogy where the lecturer is used by the students as a facilitator rather than didactic informer. I got the students to pair up, introduce themselves and report to the class on their partner’s interests and expectations.

Yesterday afternoon I went to the Decode exhibition at the V&A. This is an area I find fascinating as it is about being creative with code. My knowledge of code is limited but I have great admiration for anyone who has. I’ve been excited by the open-source software Processing which has been used extensively by the exhibitors. There are contributions from the established names in the production of generative art like John Maeda and Flight 404 aka Robert Hodgin. This example is voice reactive.

[vimeo 7578615 460 280]

In the evening I went a talk hosted by One Dot Zero entitled Digital Futures: Storytelling in the Digital Domain as part of the V&A Connects series. There were presentations from Ed Cookson at The Sancho Plan who explained how 3D models respond to people playing real instruments and Andrew Shoben from Greyworld, a company that creates interactive work in outdoor spaces. But the most interesting presentation of the night was by Eva Rucki from Troika. She discussed the making of the Digital Zoetrope in the Decode exhibition. Her main focus though was the ‘cloud’ installation for British Airways at Heathrow Terminal 5. Truly inspiring. Here is a video about it.

[youtube J9LUlADnwAE 460 280]

A New Decade

It’s been snowing heavily again. I’ve been writing most days over the winter break and have now completed 6,000 words with another 2000 to go. It’s been very intensive and parts have been enjoyable but I’m getting a bit weary of it now. It’s standing me in good stead as I’m going to have to get used to lots of writing over the coming years. My background has been in the design world where everything is more visual than textual. But over the last few years I’ve been writing more and more. My first foray into writing again came when I completed a PGCE followed by my MA both of which required large amounts of essay writing. This certainly got me in the swing again and I’m learning slowly to touch type.

I’m out tonight to see the comedian, Kim Noble, who uses multi-media in his act. He’s is said to be quite outrageous. The Guardian describes the show as being a “either a dark masterpiece that yields coruscating insights into the depressive mind (Noble has a history of mental illness), or it’s a wallow in squalor and self-pity, the staging of which marks its sensation-seeking nadir. Maybe it’s both. It’s certainly unforgettable.” Mmmm should be interesting.

During the research I found this video of Clay Shirky on YouTube. His book Here Comes Everybody gives an enlightened view of the world of sharing and participation. I’m finding his views more and more engaging with every read.

[youtube A_0FgRKsqqU 460 280]

A Little Background

And you may ask yourself… how did I get here? Well, this PhD study has been a couple of years in development. Last September I finished an MA in Digital Media and previous to this a PGCE, but I decided I needed more time to work out what I really wanted to do. I’d previously been working in the television industry for many years and found the rather vacuous and rigidly structured environment too restrictive for my future development. The egos and empire building had become tiresome.

After my MA I wanted time to re-discover areas that I hadn’t had time to explore with constant submission deadlines nipping at my heels. I took a mortgage holiday to take the financial pressure off. While considering my next move I earned some money lecturing but also spent part of the year on Jobs Seekers Allowance. It’s a risky strategy.

During this time taking a PhD really interested me. I’d already found an area of media that aroused my curiosity, along with a deeply held interested in the media. I was encouraged to go forward and apply by my university tutor. The application and funding process was long and drawn out. I applied for a grant with the AHRC,was offered a place on the PhD and gained funding for three years.

My journey starts here.