WeAreNotListening – The Redesign & The Art Hackathon Showcase!

For the Art Hackathon Showcase we undertook a complete redesign due to the dangerous and potentially flammable nature of our original device! The heating element was replaced by a miniature shredder and the structure of the machine was reduced, formalised and made into one complete object. The night was a massive success with hundreds of people texting in to get things off their chest from within the event, and from afar where people were watching on the live stream. Keep your eyes peeled at http://www.wearenotlistening.com for further info on when the machine is next being exhibited, for now I’ll leave you with a photo and video round-up of the final project:

9527043838_a315e82b2f_b Some last minute tinkering (Photo: Paul Clarke http://www.paulclarke.com)

9524476677_46fea14e34_bThe texts are coming in! (Photo: Paul Clarke http://www.paulclarke.com)

This was our original design and pitch at the end of the hackathon weekend:

And this is the final WeAreNotListening installation in action:

DSC_1803

Bye for now 🙂 Look out on the 3beards YouTube site for more info on the Art Hackathon plus highlights from the opening night at The South Place Hotel.

Get Your Junk Out, London’s Finest Junk Continued

The best way to approach junk is with low expectations and an open mind, that way you give yourself the biggest chance of finding a real gem. Maybe you need to source something on the cheap, are looking for a fun day out, or just want to satisfy your hoarding compulsions. Whatever your reasons, here are two more of my favourite London junk haunts:

Kingsland Road Waste Market, Every Saturday 7.30am – 6.00pm, Kingsland Road, E8 on the A10 between Middleton Road and Richmond Road

Starting out life as a tool market, Kingsland Waste now sells household items, ornaments, electronics, clothes and spare parts. If you go at the end of the day you’ll find some traders have deserted their pitches and left their stock for the taking. I picked up a rather nice pair of ceramic owls on my last scavenge.

Wimbledon Car Boot Fair, Wednesday 10.30am-2pm; Saturday 6.30am-1.30pm; Sunday 7am-1.30pm, Wimbledon Stadium, Plough Lane, London, SW17 0BL

Anything and everything can turn up at this car boot fair, from old toys, books and bikes, to amps, microphones and computers. Wimbledon is a traditional car boot fair at it’s best, and if you’ve amassed too much junk yourself, load up your boot (or haul it onto the bus!) and turn into a seller yourself.

Thrift has been around for decades but in our throw away culture, giving new life to old belongings can act to briefly halt the spinning wheel of consumerism. So, whether you’re a second-hand sceptic or a junk junkie, after you spend some time at London’s junk markets, you’re sure to gain a whole new perspective on what your throw in your bin.

Junk Glorious Junk, The Finest Junk Shops In London

Returning from Berlin with a suitcase bursting with fabulous junk, I decided to visit two of my favourite London junk shops to see what new delights might have turned up. Although I often come home with a couple of purchases I mainly go with the view of meandering through these chasmic troves for inspiration and amusement.

Butler’s Furniture, 157 Martha Street, E1 2PG

Brian’s railway arch features a lot more that just furniture, most notably a collection of hand painted signs and mis-matched effigies, which presumably he made himself. The centrepiece is a butler-bull which if I had the space would certainly become a permanent fixture of my entrance hall. Be sure to mantain a keen eye as things often get tucked around corners or behind one of the many signs which range from abstract comedy to darker political commentaries.

IMG_0746

IMG_0753          IMG_0757

IMG_0760          IMG_0761

IMG_0763          IMG_0748

Des & Lorraine’s, Bacon Street, E2 6DY 

First things first you need to ask Des to show you his mummified mermaid. Then you can get to your browsing, and browsing it may be because amusingly lots of the stock isn’t for sale. I like to think of him as a professional hoarder, keeping a shop to justify his collections. The unspoken rule is anything you can reach you can buy, anything that is suspended or on a high shelf is off limits to customers. Multi-plugs, crockery, cameras, tins, tools, toys and furniture can be found among the innumerable oddities that grace this kingdom of junk.

IMG_0773

IMG_0772          IMG_0771

IMG_0770          IMG_0769

Digital Sizzle Art Hackathon @ The South Place Hotel

9374082754_1630b25007_b Introductions (Photo: Paul Clarke)

What happens when a group of developers, programmers, artists, musicians, and polymaths meet for an intensive 48 hour art hackathon in luxury 5 star hotel? Fantastic question, lets find out.

9374941052_2367b09d5e_bTeam Formation (Photo: Paul Clarke)

With ideas pitched, team formation began. I’d been having some thoughts about a printer which destroys what it prints by perhaps adding a corrosive substance to the ink tanks so the paper destructs itself over time. I threw the idea out hoping to get together a group of people together to transform it, improve it, and make something happen within 48 hours. The brief was to “Take data and turn it into something artistic/creative”, so we decided that our project would focus on putting a bit of humanity back in to tech. The refreshing thing about this hackathon is the ethos behind it. It is a place for ideas to enter into a melting pot and come out twisted, kooky and even more insane than before.

Digital Sizzle 9 - 32The thermal printer is working! (Photo: Seb Potter)

Our team ‘WeAreNotListening’ came up with a project where the audience can partake in a sort of modern-day cathartic experience. The idea is that if you want to get something off your chest, perhaps an old lie, a guilt you’ve been hanging onto, a dark thought, or something you wish to release from yourself you can text it in anonymously to 02380000476 and watch your deepest darkest secrets materialize physically through our thermal printer and then subsequently be blackened to obscurity in real-time. The process is also streamed live to our website so even if you are not at the event you can contribute from afar. The remaining blackened scroll of secrets is them rendered to ash and given away at the end of the event in viles for you to do as you will.

9382613595_eaaa4eee93_bBurning Secrets to Ash (Photo: Paul Clarke)

1  9385941692_42ba687114_b  photo copy 2Setting Up (Photos: Seb Potter, Paul Clarke)

9386542357_04e018542c_bTim, Betsy & Sam (who saved us with his power supply!) (Photo: Paul Clarke)

By the end of the weekend we had a working prototype thanks to the incredible effort from everyone in the team. A big shout out must be given to the 3beards for organising such a unique event, I had the most fun I’ve had in years and met some truly incredible people. Everyone’s projects will be exhibited at the South Place Hotel on the 16th, 17th and 18th of August so come along to shoot fireballs out your hands, ride a bike with your friends to make music together, engage in some public safety with the Citizens Office of Communications Safety, play God and control rising sea levels, enter a state of sensory deprivation and have your brain create music and graphics, and see some amazing leaps of imagination and ingenuity.

Digital Sizzle 9 - 64Team photo! Seb, Betsy, Tim and Alice 🙂

(Thanks to Paul for photographing the weekend! www.paulclarke.com)