Activate the Public Space: Live Blog

Tue 20 Jan 2015

Digital UtopiasHull Truck Theatre
Jan 20 2015, 14:45 – 16:15
#artsdigital @ANDfestival

The public space is augmented with information, networks, forces, bodies, buildings and technology. How do we define the public space? How do we create work for a time where the distinction between being offline and online is harder distinguish.

We hear from a range of organisations, who have opened up new social spaces, data and communities through gaming, networked objects and growing DIY communities.

Activate the Public Space will be live blogged by AND’s guest author for Digital Utopias Dani Admiss, follow the conversation via the console below.

Led by Ruth Catlow (Furtherfield) Prof Jennifer Gabrys (artist), MolMol (Yes Yes No) and Iain Simons (GameCity).

Live Blog Activate the Public Space

About the Speakers

Ruth Catlow

Ruth Catlow is an artist, curator and educator. She works with emancipatory network cultures, practices and poetics in arts, technology and social change. Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Furtherfield online community for arts, technology and social change since 1997, she now also co-directs Furtherfield’s public gallery and community lab space in the heart of Finsbury Park, North London, funded through Arts Council England.

These provide scratch spaces for commissions and exhibitions to tour nationally and internationally, to strengthen the expressive and democratic potential of shared techno-social landscape. Ruth’s artistic projects include: a public game artwork called Play Your Place with Mary Flanagan (US) (2012-) (partners include Metal, Tate, Peabody Housing Trust); a netart work Rethinking Wargames (Lo-fi Netart commission 2003-) exhibited at The Baltic, Gateshead, currently touring as part of Free Play with ICP.

Prof Jennifer Gabrys

Jennifer Gabrys is Reader in Sociology, and Principal Investigator on the European Council Research project, ‘Citizen Sensing and Environmental Practice,’ at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her research investigates the intersection of environments, materialities and communication technologies through theoretical and practice-based work.

Projects within this area include, Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics (University of Michigan Press, 2011), which examines the materialities of electronic waste; and a manuscript currently underway on citizen sensing and environmental practice, Program Earth: Environment as Experiment in Sensing Technology. Her work can be found at and


Molmol is a technologist and media artist who enjoys telling stories with new media, moving images, kinetics and interactive sculpture. In 2003, she brought together a seminar weekly performance about live video performance at Taipei Art district. Around that time, she started to focus on live audio-visual performances and produced work at MOCA, Taipei, as well as music events and electronica arts festivals.

Her documentary film on homelessness, youth, and social justice, Treasure Hill, was screened at Scope Art Fair at MOMA, Basel in 2007. Her interactive LED installation, Connecting Light, was part of the London 2012 Festival, occupied the Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site over seventy miles.

Iain Simons

Iain Simons directs the GameCity festival at Nottingham Trent University, which he founded in 2006. He speaks and writes about videogames and cultural technologies for a wide variety of audiences and is currently working on a new book for the BFI with James Newman.

In 2008 he co-founded the National Videogame Archive of the UK. These days, he’s mostly interested in public engagement with technology – specifically what happens when videogame culture meets everybody else. He lives in Nottingham with his wife, son, dog and several amazingly powerful computers.

About Dani Admiss (Guest Live Blogger)

Dani Admiss is a Curator and Researcher based in London, UK. Her projects focus on the exchange between Art, Design, Technology and Socio-cultural production.

She is Curator of Ground Truth, an exhibition on mapping, territory and tactics. Prior to this was Assistant Curator of the international touring exhibition Digital Revolution at the Barbican Centre, London, and Co-curator of The Institute Effect at ‘Close, Closer’ the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale, Portugal.

Currently she is on an AHRC Block Grant-funded PhD studentship 2014–17 at CRUMB, the faculty for New Media Art at Sunderland University. Her research is on emerging types of curatorial practice, focusing on the phenomena of world-building and critical infrastructures in New Media and Digital Art.

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