Digital Creativity Week 2018

Digital Creativity Week 2018 at the University of York

During Digital Creativity Week 2018, students worked with the data of the Yorkshire Historic Dictionary (with support from the Borthwick Institute for Archives team) and had sessions on various digital tools.

In an intensive week, they covered working with Data, Image Editing, Audio Editing, Coding and Visualisation and set out to created 3D immersive augmented experience. The range of Digital Creativity Tools we trialled was huge, including Audacity, Pixlr, Processing and Krita. They even learned some AppsScript, OpenRefine and Regular Expressions.

With an emphasis on getting the students to play with data, much of the thinking was based on the creativity ideas of Brian Eno from his book, The Vertical Colour of Sound. In which there are some insightful common sense ideas, including:

"For the world to be interesting, you have to be manipulating it all the time.”

"As soon as you externalize an idea you see facets of it that weren’t clear when it was just floating around in your head."

“The more time you spend on an old idea, the more energy you invest in it, the more solid it becomes, and the more it will exclude new ideas.”

Images of people holding up an iPad to view augmented reality content

During the week we would constantly be encouraging and supporting students to experiment, try new tools, and play with any data they found interesting. As Steve Jobs said "Creativity is just connecting things". Students made maps, timelines, word clouds and assembled and edit media.

To assist with fostering a play ethic, we made a toy of sorts, The Yorkshire Bandit and a slide deck Creative Prompts, a sort of digital tools version of Eno's card deck, Oblique Strategies.

Students were given Leuchtturm 1917 plain notepads (because the pages are numbered, meaning you can index your best ideas) and some Sharpies (because nothing creative happens without nice pens).

Two people using the image of a stained glass window to trigger augmented reality kaleidoscope animations and the sounds of church bells ringing.

The final creation was a presentation in the 3Sixty space at York, that included the trigger images to fire off the animations. You can watch a widescreen video version of the presentation in this video.

In this video, two of the students involved in the project talk about what they made, how they made it, and what they learnt along the way.