This is a curious little essay I wrote in response to an interesting and slightly bonkers project I was involved in at at Loughborough University over the past year or so. The idea of ‘Public Communications: Art, Technology and the Public Sphere’ (part of the EPSRC‘s ‘Bridging the Gaps’ scheme), was to bring together a disparate bunch of academics, artists, technologists, designers and activists, stick them in a room together a few times for several hours and see what they came up with. Apart from myself, participants included Ian Bruff, Mel Jordan, Kathy Pui Ying Lo, Darren Southee, Antoinette Burchill, Dave Beech, Matt Davies, Andy Hewitt and Phoebe Moore. (Mel, Dave and Andy together constitute the Freee Collective). Our discussions and activities were, to put it mildly, wide-ranging – including debating the nature of public space, Armenia, mapping, wearing the fool’s cap (out of which a rabbit was pulled), shared fridges, having our brain-waves monitored by a strange little machine and generally pondering the meaning of public art and the role technology might play in fostering it. Or something. It was, to be honest, a bit on the vague side, but as it was only ever a pilot project it was meant to be exploratory.
Anyway, after the final meeting we were all asked to record our thoughts on and responses to the project as a whole and for some reason mine came out in this form. Quite where the project will go now I do not know, but rather than leave this lying about my hard drive doing nothing, thought I’d put it here instead, also doing nothing.