Tag Archives: guest post

The IK Prize : After Dark – An interactive experience of a life time | Opinion | Culture

After dark

In a guest post, art student Alicia Bedden reflects on a new way of experiencing art, using the power of technology…and robots…

As a designer we’re always trying to find new ways to interact with our audiences, finding that key aspect that will keep people interested and want to tell other people about their experience, that excitement. There is a constant sense of thriving for designers to create that experience.

A great example of this state of mind as a designer, is an art installation where the audience is guided around by ‘angels’ and forced to walk at a certain pace, such as Robert Wilsons ‘Walking’. An installation like this, allowed the audience to travel around without any of their belongings to worry about, giving them a chance to actually concentrate and delve into their surroundings. (Look it up, it will make you wish you were there like I did.) It’s a constant thought in my mind as a designer, what is it that the audience want to take from the experience? Do they actually know what they want? It’s what you get taught by your University tutors to think about.

With all this in mind, a recent event at the Tate Britain was one of those events, that as a designer you ‘squee’ over, wishing you’d thought of that. ‘After Dark’, the winning project in the 2014 IK Prize was revealed at the Tate Britain. Where the concept of robots taking over was no longer a theory but a reality. They let four robots lose around at night, letting people on the internet, from all-over the world, control them. Sounds pretty cool right? I know.

The robots are equipped with lights, a camera, sensors and motors allowing them to sneak through the galleries in the dark. An onboard computer streams their vision through the internet in real-time and responds to commands.” – Tate Britain

After Dark

The idea of it just makes me tingle. Imagine being the one controlling one of the robots, remotely driving it around the museum at night, where all you can see on your screen is what’s caught in the lights of your robot, maybe even catching a glimpse of another robot whizzing past in another room. It’s that sense of curiosity, exploration and excitement that attracts me to the idea. Here watch this video, let it excite you even more. (Watch the making of video).

“The robot and your hands just become an extension of your mind, that’s how technology ‘aught to be.” Colonel Chris Hadfield, the first person to navigate the robots, from his home in Toronto. Such an interesting concept don’t you think?

The robots themselves are just an extension of you, letting you be the one exploring the gallery, going where you want to go, seeing things you want to discover. Actually getting the chance to test the robots, seeing how they moved, made me realize that after I while I did forget I was remotely controlling this robot. I was being enveloped by the experience, my movements are the robots, the robot and me are exploring as one. Sounds crazy? Maybe, but unless you were one of the few that got the chance to control them, you’ve missed out on an experience of a life time I can tell you. Being in a room filled with other people all excited to test these robots, I knew that the idea was a success before it had even begun.

The design of the robots give you the freedom to explore as though you were there yourself, they move at walking pace, with the ability to look up and down, with the lights being their eyes of sorts. The only main difference being the height, as these lil’ fellas are 1200mm tall, unlike the average height of a person which is roughly 1500mm. Even though they look like a distant cousin of the Disney’s Wall-E, these are truly spectacular pieces of technology.

It excites me to imagine all the possibilities that this technology and interaction with the audience, can do to future events such as this. According to Jane Burton, Creative Director, “its not for commercial gain, we’re trying to bring art to an ever wider audience.” That’s all we ever want to do, right? Explore the world further?

Alicia Bedden

The five best albums of 2013 (that you’ve probably never heard of…) | Review | Music

In something of a departure from the norm for TIE, allow us to present five great albums from last year which you’ve might have missed, compiled by guest poster Jordan Thomas. Agree? Disagree? Confused? Leave a comment below.

Five albums from 2013 you might have missedTonight Alive - Tonight Alive – The Other Side (Sony Music)

Tonight Alive’s first album was a decent pop punk album in a world filled with samey pop-punk bands, this second album however raises them far above the rank and file. While it doesn’t exactly break the mould for the genre it does show exactly how it should be done. The underwhelming cover art aside, this album is stunning; every song is catchy and immediate, with grounded lyrics you can actually relate to and  massive, clear sound production (not to mention Jenna’s fine vocal performance). With Paramore having moved onto new grounds these should be your go to guys for your pop-punk fix.

Check out: Lonely Girl

Katatonia - Dethroned and UncrownedKatatonia – Dethroned and Uncrowned (Kscope)

Dead End Kings was one of the best metal releases of 2012, so how did the band think they could top this? The answer as it happens was to take that same album, strip it of all guitars, aggression and metal and use it to craft a haunting semi acoustic masterpiece. All of the songs work surprisingly well, with the biggest difference being Buildings, with heavy thumping piano replacing the crashing guitar of the original. While the original record was gloomy, this is a whole different league, the songs are slow and dripping with melancholy. it is not a happy record by any stretch, but it is a beautiful one, one which deserves repeated listens to hear all it has to offer.

Check Out: The Racing Heart

Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused to SingSteven Wilson – The Raven that Refused to Sing (and Other Stories) (Kscope)

From his humble beginnings making tapes of supposed forgotten bands to his current status as one of the most revered men in music; Wilson has always been making excellent boundary pushing prog rock. Building on the jazz influences of his last solo outing this album pushes his sound even further away from that of his other works. Extended jazz solos (courtesy of the excellent Theo Travis) are frequent, and though his heavier side is still there it’s more in the background, with gentle melodies being allowed more of a front row. Like Katatonia, it is not an album to cheer you up, but it is one to close your eyes and listen to in mellow bliss.

Check out: Drive Home

Deafhaven - SunbatherDeafheaven – Sunbather (Deathwish)

Take the dreaminess and distorted melodies of shoegaze, and slam it together with the pummelling heaviness of black metal and you get Sunbather. The resulting album is not always an easy listen, but is a worthwhile one. BM screams and drumming are the main meat of the sound, but there’s nearly always melody from the guitars, and slower instrumental parts and spoken word help to break it up into a more manageable listen. Since the album’s release, it has gone almost mainstream, bringing with it the usual hype and backlash, but regardless of whether it is really as important a release as some claim, it is undeniably an excellent one.

Check out: Dream House

Pet Shop Boys - ElectricPet Shop Boys – Electric (x2)

I haven’t really kept up with the animal themed store boys lately, my knowledge spans pretty much their heyday period and drops off when they did. However this one seemed positively met so I decided to give it a go. Boy, am I glad I did. It’s obviously PSB, but manages to sound very modern as well. More bass heavy than a lot of their famous stuff, with a strong dance feel running through the album it’s an exhilarating listen, Bolshy and Love Is… are probably the most recognisable stuff on offer, with the interesting additions of pseudo dubstep (Shouting…) and a surprisingly decent piece featuring Example (Thursday) giving the album a nice bit of variation. Whether you be a fan of pop, dance or just the PSB this is an album you should consider.

Check Out: Love is a Bourgeois Construct

Jordan Thomas

Film: The most anticipated film releases of 2011

With the 2011 film release schedule now in full swing, with critic favourites The King’s Speech and Black Swan already capturing audience’s imaginations the world over, This Is Entertainment looks forward to some of the other delights the year has in store, courtesy of our very own Gillian Lambie in her first guest post.

Well we’ve all watched or heard about the likes of Toy Story 3, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and the 3rd Twilight: Eclipse – as well as all the other brilliant films that seen us through 2010. (I know this because we spent more than £1 billion pounds going to watch them all!)

So what’s next? What do we have to look forward to in 2011? The answer is: a lot. Around 119 films were produced in the UK last year, all ready for our viewing in the near future.

These upcoming titles include a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean named On Stranger Tides where we look forward to seeing Johnny Depp, as Captain Jack Sparrow, in much more excitement and danger.

Also, not too far away on 12 August a brand new film Cowboys and Aliens arrives, by spaceship! The cast including Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford take to the stage as cowboys from Arizona armed with rifles and guns ready to save the world. Looks to be an exciting, must-see movie.

But, if you can’t wait that long for aliens, then a Simon Pegg creation, Paul, enters our screens later this month. Written by the same creators of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Paul looks to be just as hilarious and full of just as many explosions and clever one-liners as Pegg has delivered previously with Spaced Director Edgar Wright. ’Paul’ is set to arrive on 18 February.

A second Sherlock Holmes is also on the cards for those of you who watched and enjoyed the first film with Robert Downey Jr. returning as the titular hero and Jude Law as his long-suffering sidekick this December. Their first outing was released in 2009 – a film that made an estimated £40 million in it’s first week of release – so the stakes are high and the new film has is bound to offer something for everyone.

To follow on the 2011 theme of sequels, Transformers 3, or Transformers: Dark of the Moon as it’s called, will be a perfect summer treat this July. Those who enjoyed the first two, and to be honest, there weren’t many that didn’t, will definitely enjoy this one!

And for the very few who are not taken by aliens, detectives and wizards – we have Captain America: The First Avenger. A film about a Superhero! The Superhero being Chris Evans, playing Steve Rogers – a man too unfit for the military but lucky enough to be turned into Captain America. The film looks to be released this July.

Not to mention Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, which we have all been anticipating since….forever. The film follows on from the hugely successful series of Harry Potter films based on the books by J.K Rowling. I’ve got to say Part 1 was pretty good, if not a lot darker and scary than the first ever pre-teen Harry Potter we seen way back in 2001.

For those who liked to read those wonderful, fantasy filled story books when you were kids, remember the book War Horse by Michael Morpurgo? The book that was first published in 1982 but is still read by millions of children today? Yes? Well, in just less than a year we will be able to relive that book on the big screen. Director, Steven Spielberg has been very busy over the past year filming in locations all over England including Devon and North Hampshire ready for the release in December 2011.

Finally, watch this space for details on Disney below-the-radar release I Am Number Four in the next few weeks. All in all it’s looking to be a good year!

Gillian Lambie