FreqOUT! Innovative Wireless Arts Education for Young People

Amy Robins
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This paper will cover:

- An exploration of the artistic and community applications of wireless and mobile technologies

- An assessment of how these technologies can provide enhancing experiences and educational opportunities for young people.

- A model of innovative collaboration across public, private and charitable sectors and leading Arts organisations.

FreqOUT! seeks to explore the artistic and educational potential of wireless technology in order to engage socially excluded young people living in the city. Addressing a range of local priorities, such as providing arts activities in an area that is currently under served with provision for young people it is providing opportunities to engage traditionally hard to reach communities and set new standards in arts and community initiatives through innovative use of mobile and wireless technologies. From a base on the Churchill Gardens Estate in Pimlico, London (which falls in the top 20% of the UK's most deprived areas), FreqOUT! works with 13 - 21 year olds, developing their creative, social and communication skills. Artists, tutors and youth workers facilitate activities that will enable the young people to discuss and create responses to current issues and technologies in a safe and supportive environment. Through involvement with technology, exposure to artists, members of the business community and statutory service providers we aim to increase the young people's opportunities for work and further education. Recent projects have included:

1) 'GPS Drawing and GPS Mapping'

13-19 year olds worked with New Media Artist Jeremy Wood and Programmer Hugh Pryor to 'invisibly' write their names and draw shapes up to 400 meters wide by tracking their movements in Battersea park using Global Positioning Devices. The young people used handheld GPS devices to record their positions every second during the activities. The resulting data was converted to printed drawings and digital animations of their movements - showing how, through movement, they had 'drawn' huge scale pictures and signatures.

2) 'Who Watches Who?' -

13-16 year olds collaborated with Melissa Bliss and Jake Nowak to create a short film shot using a wireless digital CCTV camera. They visited the Westminster City Council CCTV control centre, one of the leading of its kind in the world, learnt how to use the wireless CCTV camera especially installed for the project in Churchill Gardens and debated the issues around surveillance systems. The final outcome is a short film written, acted out, shot and edited by the young people expressing their opinion of surveillance technology.

Keywords: Emergent Technologies, Arts, Education, Mobile, WiFi, Wireless, Community
Stream: Art in Communities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Amy Robins

FreqOUT! Curator and Project Manager, Vital Regeneration, City of Westminster Council

She has been working within community education and facilitating workshop for the last three years.A seven year collaboration with Tanveer Ahmed as ‘Amyandtanveer’ has culminated in a current British Council photographic commission and touring exhibition ‘Common Ground’ with opportunities in 2004 to facilitate community and professional workshops in Indonesia and in March 2006 Oman and Abu Dhabi.

Amy is currently studying for an MA in Fine Art at Central St Martins, and is a recipient of an Arts and Humanities Research Council award. She particularly interested in the use of emergent technologies within a Fine Art context.

Ref: A06P0178