The exhibition Build Your Own: Tools for Sharing is an exhibition that explores how digital technologies come together with traditional processes of production to create new ways of working, sharing and collaborating.
Co-produced by FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), Crafts Council and Norfolk Museums Service, the exhibition will feature newly commissioned work by leading makers, creative technologists and collectives to be created in Liverpool and Norwich. The artists will work closely with FACT’s award-winning engagement strand to develop projects with various local groups and communities in both cities and provide a major programme of related events and workshops.
Will Shannon and Assemble’s new commission Homework will explore domestic spaces as platforms for experimentation, production and learning by setting up a casting factory in the backyard of a newly refurbished house on Cairns Street in Toxteth, Liverpool.
Linda Brothwell will carry out research within Liverpool’s large Polish community for her project Acts of Care: Liverpool Edition, in order to create paving slabs influenced by traditional Polish paper-cutting techniques and patterns. The slabs will be permanently incorporated into the street in a Liverpool area.
Rachel Rayns’ project Neurotic Machines (working title) developed with the Raspberry Pi Foundation will show us how an “Internet of Things” machine – a Raspberry Pi greenhouse – can help us take care of our gardens.
The hacker and entrepreneur community DoES Liverpool, led by creative technologists Ross Dalziel, Patrick Fenner and Adrian McEwen, will set up an iteration of the Enabling the Future project by the e-NABLE community. DoES Liverpool will set up a production line of 3D printers at FACT, which will supply the components for building prosthetic hands for local people with real needs.
The wide range of projects that fit under the Build Your Own umbrella show that the nature of craft and DIY has changed drastically. The ability to make clothes, furniture and other household goods used to be absolutely necessary to provide for the family, but nowadays we are just as likely to create a website as to knit a sweater. New times call for new skills – but the old ones have an important role too. This exhibition will explore what the democratisation of digital tools really means, whom the emergence of new technologies will affect, and how traditional craft skills can connect with new digital tools.
The projects will be showcased through the exhibition at FACT, a series of creative interventions taking place across the city and an ambitious and inclusive public programme of talks, skill sharing workshops and maker hacks, a summer school for children and young people, a publication and a conference to be held in Norfolk. All activities intend to bring alive the joy of making.
The exhibition is curated by curator and cultural programme director Lauren Parker and creative communications company Thirteen Ways. The curators have a special interest in how the common ground between old and new crafts can be applied in the real world – and how acts of sharing can engage and intersect with individuals and communities. Artists Simon and Tom Bloor will create a bespoke environment for the show along with design studio An Endless Supply.
Build Your Own: Tools for Sharing will tour to Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery 3 October 2015 – 3 January 2016, where the artists will work with local communities and develop their artworks further.
Artist Will Shannon and architecture collective Assemble’s new commission Homework will explore the domestic space as a platform for experimentation, production and learning by constructing and setting up a concrete casting factory in the backyard of a house on Cairns Street in Toxteth, Liverpool. The casting workshop will be used to manufacture concrete fire surrounds and mantelpieces together with the future residents of ten houses that are being refurbished for the Granby Four Streets Community Land Trust. The material will be developed from reclaimed aggregate from the housing refurbishment, such as old roofing slates and broken bricks, to celebrate the heritage of the material and the process of its reappropriation. Community casting workshops will be held on Cairns Street in the run up to the exhibition and the casting workstation itself will be installed at FACT along with documentation of the project once finished.
The 10,000 strong Polish community in Liverpool is the starting point for Linda Brothwell’s project Acts of Care: Liverpool Edition. This artwork will be generated through research about Polish culture and how cultural practices and identities evolve and change over time in relation to a new city after immigration. Brothwell will hand-make new tools to make paving slabs influenced by traditional Polish paper-cutting techniques and patterns. These unique slabs will be permanently incorporated into the street paving in a Liverpool area.
The project Neurotic Machines (working title) by Rachel Rayns developed with the Raspberry Pi Foundation will show us how an “Internet of Things” machine – a Raspberry Pi greenhouse – can work as an alternative gardening system by monitoring light levels, temperature, humidity, soil moisture in order to keep our plants healthy. An essential part of this project will be to, through public workshops, encourage people of all ages to learn more about both the process of growing plants as well as computer programming. Over fifty Raspberry Pi greenhouse kits will be built and used by individuals all over Liverpool. A purpose built garden will also be created at FACT, teaching us how computing can be used in unexpected, creative and rewarding contexts.
Build Your Own will also provide an insight to the benefits and opportunities that come along with 3D printing and open source projects, by inviting visitors to get involved in testing and building 3D printed prosthetic devices. The hacker and entrepreneur community DoES Liverpool will setup an iteration of the Enabling the Future project by the e-NABLE community, where a production line of 3D printers will supply the components for building prosthetics for local people in need of a prosthetic hand. Lead creative technologists Ross Dalziel, Patrick Fenner and Adrian McEwen will help to setup, facilitate and technically support the 3D print area at FACT.
FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) is the UK’s leading media arts centre, based in Liverpool and is focused on bringing people, art and technology together. FACT’s award-winning building houses three galleries, a café, bar and four cinema screens. Since the organisation was founded in 1988 (previously called Moviola), it has commissioned and presented over 250 new media and digital artworks from artists including Pipilotti Rist, Nam June Paik, Bill Viola, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Isaac Julien.
The Crafts Council is dedicated to enabling people across the UK to make, see, collect and learn about craft. The Crafts Council develops new touring exhibitions annually, available for hire to small and medium sized galleries, museums and arts venues across the UK.
Norfolk Museums Service comprises museums, collections study centres and countywide services relating to archaeology and education. Norfolk Museums Service was established in 1974 when the County and District Councils in Norfolk agreed to delegate their museum powers to a Joint Committee to manage museums through a county-wide Museums Service. The Service remains a unique partnership between Norfolk County Council and Norfolk’s district councils, funded through council tax, earned income and grants. NMS is now regarded as one of the leaders in the museum sector and in 2012 was successful in its bid for major investment from Arts Council England. NMS is one of only twenty one museum services in England to be awarded Major Partner Museum status by the Arts Council.