Very tired. A long day, for me anyway. Up at 7:30 to drive the camera obscura-laden car to Digbeth where it was a camera obscura dominated day.
In the morning I spoke at How To Play Knowledge, a paid speaking gig for an academic conference about new ways to communicate research where myself and Nikki Pugh were, I guess, inspirational edge cases doing stuff outside the structures of academia. I spoke about the Birmingham Obscura project which turned out to be a really good fit for the conference, with the added bonus of forcing me to go through the last 18 months and seriously think it through. The main discovery was that we haven’t actually started yet. We’re still laying the ground and probably won’t start the proper work before 2016. And that’s fine. In fact it’s essential. The long game is the right game.
Then I hotfooted it to The Bond where Many & Varied was happening, a salon for art/tech/other folks who don’t fit into the usual categories. It’s co-run by Nikki, again, and I see it as the culmination of her decade long effort to build a community around herself. Another long game, and it’s slowly coming together. Jenny and I set up the camera in the venue and Jenny presented it to the group. It was also the camera’s dress rehearsal before CoCoMad tomorrow, which was quite exciting.
Lots of other things were going on at M&V and the main theme was DIY-Bio, something that’s been on my radar but which I’d never gotten a hook into. The hook turns out to be pretty simple – home brewing is DIY-Bio, as is baking your own bread. Yeast, bacteria, micro-organisms, and then it’s just a few steps before you’re mucking around with DNA. I don’t know if I’m about to make biology a core part of my practice, but I’m certainly going to much around with it a bit.
At the end we did a silly group exercise where we came up with ideas which might fit a DIY-Bio project. I came up with the Literal Fish-Eye Lens, being a photographic lens made out of a real fish eye. Apparently, to withstand water pressure, deep sea fish have thick, solid lenses on their eyes. I want to see how these would affect the optics of a camera. You can buy fish-heads and whole octopi at the BullRing markets, which is just over the road from BOM, so what the hell, eh? My group went with it and we presented to the group. And it’s wasn’t event the most absurd idea.
By the end my 4 hours sleep was catching up (I finishing preparing my morning talk at 2am and was pretty wired for a bit after) so after checking some of the Digbeth First Friday stuff I drove the camera home. Fi, bless her, went and got fish and chips and we watched some more Once Upon A Time. And now I’m going to bed for I’ll be driving that camera around from 8am again tomorrow.
A good day.