Developed and offered alongside the touring Robots and Avatars Exhibition with our partners KIBLA, Altart and FACT, the Robots and Avatars Learning Experiences are creative digital workshops  in the areas of Avatars, Robotics, Telepresence and Social Media/Online Communication. They are aimed at enabling young people/ professionals to acquire self-confidence and creative thinking and explore issues of identity, communication and team work for the 21st century.


Workshops at FACT: ‘Visions of our Communal Dreams’

To support the endeavour of their commissioned artwork ‘Visions of our communal dreams‘ Michael Takeo Magruder and Drew Baker have run a series of 8 interrelated educational workshops from February to March 2012 at FACT with 9 female students (Year 9) from Weatherhead Media Arts College. The students have been learning skills relating to avatar customisation and collaborative content creation that fed back into both the artwork and its underlying creative processes.

The students learned how to create a communal forest within a shared 3D environment in virtual worlds. Over eight sessions, they have learned industry standard and transportable skills such as basic scripting and animation, avatar body and clothing customisation and constructing and texturing builds. The ‘forest’ was exhibited in FACT’s gallery and public spaces, and audiences will be able to interact (plant a tree for example) and see it through a series of  windows or ‘portals’ in unexpected places in the building. Read more about these workshops in FACT here.


Workshops at Altart: Telepresence and Motion capture

PART 1 / December 2011. Organised by AltArt Foundation in the framework of Robots&Avatars Project and Vis-a-Vis Festival, a first week of Telepresence workshops took place in December 2011 with a group of young local dancers and professionals.

Dancers: Vesna Grandes, Ferenc Sinkó, Bodolai Balázs, Alina Ciceu, Vajna Noémi, Laura Codreanu, Kelemen Kinga, Rarita Zbrancak p

Video/media: Szakáts István, Péter Anna
Documentation: Szén János, Oláh-Badi Levente, Vaczi Roland
Production: Lavinia Jaba, Kelemen Kinga, Rarita Zbranca

PART 2 / October 2012. A second series of workshop days have taken place from 21st to 24th October at AltArt, bringing together body>data>space associate director, Leanne Hammacott, Jo Blowers (Contact Improvisation specialist from the UK), Romanian based Groundfloor Group and a group of dancers, technologists and visual creatives. The group has been exploring how we can represent the body in multiple ways on and off-line, working with motion capture and Kinect technologies to explore new possibilities of artistic expression with the body and virtual ID.

Movers: Bodolai Balázs, Jo Blowers, Kata Bodoki-Halmen, Alina Ciceu, Laura Codreanu, Racz Endre, Sinkó Ferenc, Both József. Alina Porumb, Zsuzsanna Vass, Gothárd Vera.

Visuals: Anna Peter,Alex Popa, Istvan Szakats

Support and documentation: Lavinia Jaba , Vaczi Roland , Emilia Zbranca

Organizers: Leanne Hammacott (body>data>space), Kelemen Kinga, (Groundfloor),  Rarita Zbranca (Altart)


Workshops at KIBLA: ‘Visions of our Communal Dreams’ and ‘Klackerlaken’

2 sets of workshops are taking place at KIBLA alongside the Exhibition:

Workshop: Visions of Our Communal Dreams. Mentors: Michael Takeo Magruder and Drew Baker
Date: from 2nd till 4th of October 2012

Workshop concept: The Visions of Our Communal Dreams workshop gave participants the opportunity to learn various digital media skills and processes that are related to working within shared virtual environments like Second Life and OpenSimulator. During the 3-day event, participants will use their newly learned skills to collaborate with members of the Visions of Our Communal Dreams creative team to develop resources for the artwork’s communal virtual forest. These collaborative outcomes will be integrated into the Visions of Our Communal Dreams art installation in the Robots & Avatars exhibition at MMC KIBLA. Read more here.

Workshops: Klackerlaken. Mentor: Mey Lean Kronemann

Workshop concept: The Klackerlake (clack roach) is an invasive species: A crossbreed of vibrobot and LED-Throwie, a rattling and glowing bug. In this workshop, children (and grown-ups) learn how to build their own solderless glowing vibrobot. No previous knowledge is needed. Participants first explore how LEDs and motors work, and can then build their own designs. Workshop designed for families and children. Read more here, more pictures here.


Women in Tech activities

Final activities of our EU project Robots and Avatars took place from 9th to 13th May in Maribor/Slovenia with our partners KIBLA, AltArt and FACT.

A debate dedicated to ‘Women and Girls in Technology’ took place on Thursday 9th May with top level women speakers and participants from Slovenia, Romania, France and the UK.  Across the 2 years of the project, this topic  has come up as an imperative and topical debate. It is clear that in the EU this debate is on the table and crucial – for women and girls to feel able to join in to the growing technology world as active artists, producers, educators, coders etc.

How do we approach these skills sets which are seen as a “boys domain” by many girls of school age?

How do we find ways to involve young women through skills development linked to solving problems and finding solutions?

How to encourage a feminine viewpoint to emerge in the next generations of arts and technologies ?

The future of design and creativity through software and hardware needs equally to be influenced and created by women to enable an equal feminine perspective to be integrated at the base of the new tools. Women need to be able to take up the opportunities and knowledge offered by the tech revolution equally to men.

A documentation (video, pics, writing) team will lead participants in recording and reporting on the outputs and feed the conclusions back into the RACIF e-publication, website, blog and social media.