A week or so on and I’m sat trying to sum up everything that happened at Bees in a Tin. That was a day that was very full of stuff! I’m going to mostly let the photos do the talking here, but you can also listen to the audio from the presentations and read people’s Tweets from the gathering too.
People had been instructed to come and find us up on the second floor. Once through the doors there were badges to be customised and then we were into the auditorium for the first session of presentations, (chaired by Clare Reddington).
Bees in a Tin! Photo: Nikki Pugh
Badges being customised. Photo: Nikki Pugh
Bees in a Tin gets started. Photo: Katie Day
This session started off with Bill Aitchison taking us to Beijing via Stuttgart and a glimpse at the possibilities for transposing tour content and expectations between physical locations. This was followed by Duncan Speakman of Circumstance talking about cinematic experiences, rubber bands and marking out time. Rebecca Taylor then talked about a rooftop in Manchester, cranes, and questioning whether we design for good or for glory.
Bill Aitchison – The Tour of All Tours. Photo: Nikki Pugh
Duncan Speakman – The social composition of A Folded Path and the myth of interactivity. Photo: Nikki Pugh
Rebecca Taylor – The Rooftop Project: The Story So Far… Photo: Nikki Pugh
After lunch was our smörgåsbord of workshops and other interesting things: Punch the Custard saw a lot more action; Simon Park revealed an invisible world of microbes; Critters were met; Farmer Glitch bleeped and blooped; Robert Curgenven got a bit violent on our retinas (with nice things); Simon Farid instigated a small criminality; and Aste Amundsen et al playtested audience-responsive theatre systems.
George Buckenham – Punch the Custard. Photo: Mark Rhodes
Dr Simon Park – Exploring The Invisible. Photo: Nikki Pugh
Nikki Pugh – Meet the Critters. Photo: Nikki Pugh
Farmer Glitch : Farm-Yard Debris, Carboot Treasures – Petrol Can Synths… Photo: Nikki Pugh
Robert Curgenven – A Young Lover’s Guide to Perceptual Pataphysics. Photo: Mark Rhodes
Simon Farid – How To Impersonate a Plain Clothes Police Officer. Photo: Nikki Pugh
Aste Amundsen/Apocalypse Gameshow/Pan Studio – Computer Aided Theatre. Photo: Mark Rhodes
After all that we all reconvened in the auditorium again for the afternoon session of presentations, this time chaired by Annette Mees. Swoomptheeng smashed us with the drum and bass, George reminded us to pay attention (also that carpentry is a difficult thing) and Owl Project keynoted on the theme of crafting interfaces.
Annette Mees; calm in the face of Swoomptheeng. Photo: Mark Rhodes
Swoomptheeng – Raving with Ritualised Punk Technology. Photo: Nikki Pugh
George Buckenham – Making videogames with squishy bits. Photo: Nikki Pugh
Owl Project – Crafting instruments and interfaces. Photo: Mark Rhodes
This is an image that will stay with me for a while!
Afternoon panel session with Owl Project, Annette Mees, George Buckenham and Swoomptheeng. Photo: Nikki Pugh
For more photos, take a look at our set on Flickr.
Why is it important that we bring together all this stuff in the same place? Rebecca Taylor, one of the presenters had this to say:
It really was so refreshing to be amongst folk who are all doing creative and exciting things that, whilst our projects can so often feel exciting, they can therefore also (sometimes) feel uncomfortable too – especially if they are challenging ‘the norm’. It is with that in mind that having a space like Bees in a Tin to gather and play, and share, is just simply, well… essential.
And this from Aste, who ran one of the smörgåsbord activities:
We are asking some really big questions and it’s so valuable for us to have an engaged enthusiastic audience to explore them with.
Many, many thanks to all the presenters, chairs and the engaged enthusiastic audience who made this day such a successful gathering.
There were also lots of people behind the scenes who helped make everything happen: Seb Harding, Kim Wall, Leon Trimble and our volunteer team Helen, Chris and Emma.
We’ve also had masses of support from all our partner organisations: working with Supersonic festival brought aural curiosities and more; Millennium Point and Thinktank provided space and specialist staff; and Arts Council, Creative Enterprise and Birmingham City University provided the funding that made it all possible.
Look back again at those quotes from Aste and Rebecca. If you make things and if those words resonate with you, then please do join us for the 5 Salons we’re running over the course of the rest of the year. Bees in a Tin was just the beginning!