Bees 2015 audio

We’ve uploaded the audio of the presentations from Bees in a Tin to Soundcloud. You can either listen to them there, use the player below or download them. Enjoy!

(The sound quality starts off a bit wonky on the first one, but it gets better about a minute in.)

Many thanks to Chris for twiddling the knobs and sliders in the booth all day, and to Kim for preparing the audio files of the recordings.

A Folded Path – exclusive performance

A Folded Path

Supersonic Festival have very generously reserved an entire performance of Circumstance’s A Folded Path exclusively for attendees of Bees in a Tin 2015.

Starting at 5:15, the hour-long pedestrian speaker symphony invites you to become the city’s orchestra, creating soundscapes while walking on a choreographed journey through the streets.

To further whet your appetite, Duncan Speakman will be giving a presentation on the ‘The social composition of A Folded Path and the myth of interactivity’ during the day at Bees in a Tin.

You’ll need to sign up for one of the 30 available places when you arrive at Bees in a Tin. Please make sure you wear appropriate shoes for walking in etc etc.

We’ll be at The Woodman pub after clearing away the conference, so come and find us there after the performance, or be waiting for us if you’re not lucky enough to get a place on A Folded Path. Either way, don’t book your return tickets home too early!

(We also have more information about Supersonic Festival here if you’re thinking of making a weekend of it.)

Supersonic Festival

We’re working in partnership with Supersonic this year, so one of our key messages about Bees in a Tin 2015 is DON’T GO HOME AFTERWARDS!

Well, if you live locally it might be okay, but if you’re travelling from further afield you might want to consider booking a night or two in Birmingham so you can have a whole weekend of experimental music and arts. Supersonic have listed some accommodation options including some discounted rates on their website at

Here’s a bit more about Supersonic, full details on their website.


Supersonic Festival 2015
11-14 June
Birmingham UK

“Supersonic – a celebration of the expressive, challenging and generally out there“ The Times

Learn to make aleatory music using Hexadic System, see a masquerade-like performance by artist-composer Gazelle Twin, take part in a pedestrian speaker symphony led by Circumstance and marvel at the Moog Sound Lab. Supersonic has secured its experimental reputation with over 10 years of consistently innovative and explosive concoctions of visual installations, films, exhibitions and music. Guaranteed to open your eyes and ears to music and art outside the predictable genre labels and familiar performance spaces, Supersonic thrives on the spirit of adventure and discovery.

Line up includes:
Apostille / Afework Nigussie / Circuit Des Yeux / Eternal Tapestry / Flamingods / Gazelle Twin / Happy Meals / Jiří Wehle / Liima – Efterklang + Tatu Rönkkö / Liturgy / Phil Tyler / Ravioli Me Away / Rhodri Davies / Richard Dawson / Selventer / Sex Swing / Six Organs of Admittance/ Slow Magic / The Pop Group / Tomaga! / Wildbirds and Peacedrums / Will Gregory Moog Ensemble / Woven Skull + more TBA

Weekend tickets are on sale via

Bees 2015 – call for contributors

Bees in a Tin

12th June, 2015 • Birmingham

CALL FOR EXCITING & INTERESTING THINGS! Do you do exciting and (or) interesting things? Then this is for you!

Bees in a Tin is a gathering happening on the 12th of June 2015 for interesting and exciting people who make unique interfaces for the world around them. This year it’s happening in partnership with Supersonic as part of their annual festival of experimental music and art.

And we’re currently looking for people to present… interesting and exciting things, experiences, performances, talks, artefacts, ideas and other nouns, at the event.

If you have devised (or are devising) a novel way of interacting with your surroundings that makes people stop, think or just go “wow!”, then we would like to be in the same room as you. Your project could be a performance piece; guided walk; interactive object; data visualisation; science experiment or something completely different. Surprise us!

We’ve started the programming with a keynote presentation from the extraordinary Owl Project. What happens next is up to you.

It doesn’t have to be arts-based and it doesn’t have to be finished: we’re looking for things that invite us to consider our position in relationship to things differently.

We’ll be in a space that can accommodate talks, workshops and/or playtesting and feedback on work in progress. Tell us how you’d like to feed into the day and we’ll do our best to squeeze in as much amazing stuff as we can.


  • We are unable to offer any technical support beyond provision of a laptop, digital projector and amplified sound for the presentations. Please ensure you can be technically self-sufficient if you are proposing an alternative activity.
  • Presentations are likely to be capped at something like 10-15 minutes each in order to allow time for discussion.
  • We are offering a fee of £250 for contributors (shared if there are more than one of you), we also have a very limited budget to support workshops and the like that incur materials costs. We’ll pick up conversations about money with individuals after the selection process when we have a better idea of how the event will manifest itself.
  • The event space is wheelchair accessible, but let us know if you have any specific accessibility or mobility requirements and we’ll work with you to make things as trouble-free as possible.
  • Our event spaces are: a lecture theatre, a meeting room seating 10, a large room with a flat carpeted floor, various large areas open to the atrium.
  • Please don’t assume an adult-only audience.

To apply:

If you’d like to submit something to our selection panel (Nikki Pugh, Katie Day and Lisa Meyer), please download and complete the expression of interest from the link below and send it and any supporting images (less than 3MB total size) to bees2015 [at] manyandvaried [dot] org [dot] uk by 5pm on the 29th of April.

Please rename the file with your first and surname at the beginning of the filename. For example: ‘Joe-Bloggs–Bees-in-a-Tin-2015-EOI’

If you have any queries, please contact us.

Key dates:

Deadline for submissions: 5pm, 29th April, 2015
Notification of successful proposals: 8th May, 2015
Event date: 12th of June, 2015

Event location:

Thinktank at Millennium Point
Curzon Street, Birmingham, West Midlands B4 7XG


You can download the expression of interest form from either of these links

Bees in a Tin 2015 – EOI (.doc format)
Bees in a Tin 2015 – EOI (.rtf format)


Bees in a Tin is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Presented in partnership with Supersonic.

Also supported by Creative Enterprise at Coventry University and Birmingham City University. Hosted by Thinktank and Millennium Point.


Bees in a Tin 2015 – save the date!

Bees in a Tin is back!

Many & Varied in partnership with Supersonic are delighted to present Bees in a Tin, as part of Supersonic Festival. Save the date of June the 12th in your diary!

We’ll be following a similar format to last year’s gathering in that the day will be an interdisciplinary mix of new experiences, performances, talks, artefacts and ideas based around the theme of interesting and exciting people who make unique interfaces for the world around them.

Here’s what people had to say about last year:

“The organisers shaped and presented the programme sensitively in a way that allowed interactive thrones to sit alongside the formation of limestone in Cotswold rivers, a life story told through the medium of punk and disco, and the search for secret messages in the branches of trees. Bees in a Tin is one of those unexpected treasures I could recommend to pretty much everyone I know, regardless of their usual interests.”
Verity McIntosh, Pervasive Media Studio Producer

“Bees in a Tin was easily one of the best events I attended in 2014. A lovely crowd of clever, curious and friendly people and a really interesting and inspiring spread of speakers and workshops.”
Henry Cooke, technologist, East London Kinetics

This year one day just isn’t enough! We’ll also be running a series of salons on First Fridays through until December.

For future announcements follow @ManyVaried and sign up to our mailing list at the bottom of this page.

Stuart Nolan's Ouijabird workshop collides with Alice O’Connor's Make-Believe activity

Stuart Nolan’s Ouijabird workshop collides with Alice O’Connor’s Make-Believe activity at last year’s Bees in a Tin

Bees in a Tin – audio recordings

Thanks to the combined efforts of Kim Wall, Leon Trimble and Pete Ashton we garnered enough equipment to be able to record the presentations at Bees in a Tin.

Here they are for your listening pleasure…

Introductions and thanks


Henry Cooke – The Throne at Game of Crowns


Kate Andrew – Marvellous Minerals, Brilliant Building Stones


Dr Rebekka Kill – Facebook is like disco and Twitter is like punk


Morning panel session (chaired by Jen Southern)


Workshop introductions


Holly Gramazio – Games in Places, Places in Games


Gareth Briggs – Animated Typewriter


Keynote: Sarah Angliss – Tuning in


Afternoon panel session (chaired by Hannah Nicklin) and close

Additional thanks to Kim again for minding the sound levels all day and for preparing these files for use here.

Labeling Bees in a Tin

We held the Bees in a Tin event on Friday (the last in our programme of events supported by The Public and Arts Council England).

It was really rather spiffing, but you don’t need to take our word for that: you can see what everyone else was saying on this Storify collection we assembled here.

The hordes waiting to hear about the afternoon workshops in store for them

We’ve been overwhelmed by a deluge of positive, enthusiastic feedback about the day: nearly 70 curious people gathered together to listen to and take part in 13 contributions from interesting and exciting people working across and inbetween loads of different subject areas. Choreography, art, geology, psychology, technology, music, game design…

In the pub afterwards a few of us were trying to find a term to describe the type of projects and people we had encountered during the day. My first attempt was “interstitial studies”, following on from this post and the observation that people didn’t quite fit the usual labels. This was dismissed though, as it felt like it implied that people somehow didn’t have bodies of knowledge behind their work, which we know to be untrue. My second attempt was “impingement studies”, thinking of the interlocking grains of igneous rock crystals that I’d been looking at through a microscope a few hours later. Dismissed for sounding a bit rude.

Stuart shared a nice term from genetics: “hybrid vigour“.

Jen used a nice metaphor in her summary about “bumping up against the edges”.

In the end we decided it was probably best to avoid trying to apply labels…

Below is a slideshow of photos and videos from the day. You can also view them via this set on Flickr.

We also have audio recordings of the presentations.