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day one info

day two info

day three info
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The following diary was written by Nick Sambrook (US host)
Day one
Wednesday 6th June 2001

As soon as the visitors arrived in the afternoon they were busy unloading the monitors from Jim's video wall Tate exhibition into the storage space at Access Space.

Then Rob and Carlos accompanied Jim on a trip to a local legal firm who had 50 computers to donate to the project. They collected the computers and brought them back to the space.

Don't talk trash..use it!:)

Myself, Vicky, Susan and Lucia took down the "Know Future" exhibition which had been on the walls since February, in readiness for exhibiting the work to be done on Thursday.

Some very large frames (6 by 6 foot) had been located, the previous week, in the cellar of a nearby office block. The frames where about to be thrown out the following week. The team at Access thought, in true recycling tradition, that it would be great to exhibit large scale paintings created during the visit, on the walls of Access Space.

All the visitors joined some of the Access team, removing the frames, which was an extremely difficult job as they were very heavy and fronted with glass. It took 6 people to move them with a trolley! After all that there was not much of the afternoon left so we gave the visitors an introduction to our network of Linux computers and explain why we choose this over Windows.

We introduced the visitors to our websites and explained how the opportunity to have a website had created some inspirational work. I gave a brief introduction to the Gimp graphics package.


day two
Thursday 7th June 2001

The tech recycling people came to clear the foyer of our unused hardware on Thursday morning.

computers for recycling
Computers for recycling..


Myself, Vicky and Susan measured up the strong brown paper backing for the paintings to be hung in the frames. Sheffield Independent Film studios kindly donated a spare studio space for us to do the paintings because the weather was bad outside, where we had originally hoped to paint. This meant we couldn't use spray paint either.

Artists involved in the morning were; Carlos, Rob, Lucia, Susan, Vicky, and myself.

painting workshop
Susan, Lucia and rob working on a painting together..

We decided on the approach of 2 or 3 people working per painting, just doing what they felt, seeing where it turn things, then deciding on further directions from there. This resulted in an abstract psychedelic spirals and blobs piece, a red and black dominated screaming faces and brutalist architectural piece and bump-mapped mainly white canvas.

Carlos & Vicky painting
Carlos and Vicky painting something dark..

We were joined in the afternoon by local artists Urban Paranoia, who created a collage of images of glossy modern living, underneath lyrics by Crass (Punk group), which they titled "Does anyone listen to classical music anymore?". The remaining two canvases were filled by footprints of descending opacity, and another dark-toned abstract by Carlos.

The paintings were documented in progress by digital camera to later be added to the related website.


day three
Friday 8th June 2001

Our visitors took the moring off to explore Sheffield while we fitted the paintings into the frames. This involved removing the backs of the frames, trimming the paintings to size where necessary, sticking them in place and nailing the backs to the frames again.

mounting exhibition
Everyone helping to put up the very heavy frames!

When all the paintings were ready to be hung it was nearly time our visits to do a talk and presentation of work. First Carlos, Rob, Lucia and Susan joined us in helping to measure where the paintings were to be hung. Due to the weight of the exhibits (it took 8 of us to lift, position, drill and screw one painting!

hard work
Putting the frames up was hard work..

This explains why we only had time to hang 2!:) Another we leant on some wall space, the other 3 were left stacked in the foyer. We had a short amount of time available for me to give a brief Gimp workshop with Carlos and Susan. Susan has never used computers for art, where as Carlos was already quite conversant with programs such as Photoshop and PaintShopPro, which the Gimp resembles. He was impressed that such a powerful piece of free software exists and excited by the possibilities of it becoming more widely available, so we intend to give him a copy of Gimp for Windows.

exhibition mounted
Mounted at last!...

People were now arriving for the talk. We did not publicise the event widely because of uncertainty and time constraints combined, but word of mouth at Northern Media school, SIF, emails to local arts orgs, our friends and Access Space users managed to fill the space. Susan Rodgerson spoke first to introduce the group of visitors, then talked about how she set up Artists for Humanity in Boston in 1991 and how it provides disadvantaged urban youth the opportunity to make a living through selling their art. Also how those first kids who started with her, how they had now become teachers and mentors to the new youth coming through their doors. One such example was our other visitor from AFH Boston, Rob Gibbs, who came to AFH at 14 and is now a mentor and teacher. Rob showed us about 50 slides of murals, graffiti art, furniture and skateboard designs, created by himself and other AFH artists.

Carlos Vera spoke next, about how he came into contact with AFH, spent time in Boston sounding out and decided to set up his own community arts project from scratch back home in LA, where he believes there is a more favorable response to the arts.

Lucia Gonzalez spoke last about her involvement with Street-Level Youth Media in Chicago. As she found the the overwhelming majority of people joining were male, she set up a women's group to give them access to technology, media, websites etc, outlets for their voice. She passed around photographs of the projects she's done and some examples of work done by female youth group.

waiting for talk
After the talk..

There was a lively discussion afterwards which touched upon many subjects; comparisons between how they and we are funded, the attitude of the general public as to the validity of art as a regeneration tool for blighted inner cities and as a way of becoming part of the economy. How graffiti murals can be commissioned as a way of beautifying the environment in the USA but carry prison sentences in Sheffield, the role of computers in art and how our project can act as a model for others.



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Redundant Technology Initiative / Access Space
1 Sidney St. Sheffield S1 4RG Tel: 0114) 2495588