Saturday, 14 January 2012

Colour Chords at Interact Gallery

An interactive display of Colour Grid animations, featuring lithophone and hydrophone sounds from the Yorkshire Dales is installed in the Interact Gallery , Leicester. The show opened with an evening of interactive art, music and visuals, by local artists using MaxMSP in their work. Concurrently Phoenix Digital Art Centre is hosting the first uk conference for Max users, Max_4u. The Interact show runs for the next 3 weeks at Fabrika Independent Arts Centre.

Colour Chords features grids from 3 recent projects... Nottingham (left), Hunter Gatherer Yorkshire (centre), Fosse Road Park Leicester (right).

Monday, 4 July 2011

Sent to Gatherer from geocacher StormyDown:

What did my imagination tell me in this magical place?

As the sunlight flitted through the tress
And whispered brightness onto the leaves
I felt the serenity of this magical place
And let the sunlight kiss my face

The gentle caress of the breeze
And the ripples on the stream
Was that the creature taking shape
Or was it just a daylight dream?

I watched the colours dance on the water
The reflection of Pip,who is my love's sweet dream
The memory of this place will remain
The scent. the sight, the sun, the name
with regards,

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Friday, 24 June 2011

Hunter Gatherer flies to Bristol in the middle of the night

Early this morning (2.30am Vancouver time - a little more civilised in the UK at 10.30am!) I gave my presentation by skype: ' Treasuring Media: Geoartcache and User Participation'. for the Postdigital Encounters, the Journal of media practice symposium, 2011, hosted by UWE's DCRC at Watershed, Bristol.

It seemed a good opportunity to play with the whole displacement/representation or pervasive media, alongside the creative imagination and call to respond that lies at the heart of the Hunter Gatherer project. I don't know whether those messages made it all the way across the Atlantic - time will tell, as the symposium delegates were extended an invitation to take part. To envisage and call into being the magical creature of the postdigital encounter, with a unique cache key just for the event.

Of course there isn't any treasure on the cache's web-page yet... until people start to respond. This is a two-way process, the key unlocks the treasure, but the treasure's only there when the messages are sent. So the first step is to hunt the cache. Then notice where your attention lies, note the moment, with all its ambiguity, share it openly, (with a little cache key attached so we know what you were looking for!), and then.... the magic begins, the treasure transforms, key opens the door, and  then there is more.... the story begins to grow.

Thanks to Charlotte for not only organising all sorts around the day, but also for acting as the magical creature to control the power point and films for me over on the other side.

Jess Robins
Jackie Calderwood skyping from Canada at  creating digital gathering tool. Magical creature in yorkshire dales

Retweeted by 

Angelina Karpovich
Fascinating talk from Jackie Calderwood, who's skypeing in from Canada. She's here and not-here, truly postdigital. :-) 

Retweeted by 

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Manitoba caches in waiting...

Four themed caches are ready to go, with a new voice - the cousin of the Dales, the wonderful Manitoba creature, coming out of hibernation in Birdshill Park, just north of Winnipeg.

The creature is expected to be in sight by early July. For now you can wet your appetite for the hunt by looking at the cache pages on the gatherer3 website, thought the listing will not go live until the creature's first been heard.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Hunter Gatherer 's Canadian Cousin Comes out of Hibernation!

We've been out geocaching today near Selkirk (some great historical-trail caches with postcards to collect from each of the 24 sites) and in Birdsall Park.

Collected a few travellers - my first one each of: travel bug (Ottoman), geocoin (originally from Germany) and a glass trackable disc (made in Manitoba). They may just help to welcome the magical Manitoban creature as it wakes from hibernation over the next few days....

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Conistone FTF 28th May

Lovely comments from Turkey Nuggets, the FTF at Coniston, who emailed in photos of their grid and text from the log book, thankyou
- great to hear you enjoyed it, really makes the work setting everything up worthwhile :)

I've taken the liberty of translating this first crayon grid into an iphone grid and sending it on to the creature and the gallery.... don't forget the cache key opens up parts of the website, too!
And if you check back later in the summer the creature may just sing back in response to the grids and text you've sent!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

First Cache Live

Today sees the Hunter Gatherer Birthplace, Ingleton  cache go live!
The gatherer3 website's not quite live yet, so anyone finding the cache will have to wait a little longer before unlocking the secrets of their cache key. However the main role of this cache is to introduce the story and gather responses from the cache hunters, which is all live, up and running, just waiting for the first geoartcachers to respond....

And there's room to respond to the project on the geoartcache site too.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Day Trip to the Dales

The mayblossom is in flower! The magical creature is out of hibernation!

I've been working round the clock to get everything in place to deliver the cache boxes this week.. another trip to the Dales, this time a day trip, with a dawn start and midnight return.
The drive went well - through Leeds before the morning rush hour. And it was wonderful to pause for a late breakfast with my flask of coffee still steaming beside the bridge at Burnsall.

Then on to meet various landowners and agree locations for the caches to reside over the summer. Chrysalis have asked us to work with National Trust sites as far as possible, so we don't have access issues as the Trust supports the project, and guidelines for cache locations are already in place through the geocaching community and the National Park.

However some sites just call, regardless of boundaries or deeds!
Three of myne fall outside the Trust lands, so I've got a busy day ahead.. plus some extra filming to make sure I have a good variety of material to work with over the summer as the creature calls and the hunters respond.

Beautiful light today, friendly, welcoming people so generous with their time and interest.

In planning for this visit I was struck with the different paces of communication in the world today. Yesterday I called one site by phone, had a long chat with someone working there, a really helpful conversation with the owner who called me back soon after, and today I meet them and am shown around, suggested the best places for caching, and given a cream egg with my coffee: very welcome after the long drive!

Phone-calls, face to face meeting and the time to sit and wait whilst jobs are done to benefit from the generosity of another's time are all too rare at times. In some areas of my current work-life it would probably take 3 weeks and a lot of email disjunction to set up a meeting with the right person at the right time in the right place..  or more!

It's a refreshing day all round.

Colour Grid 1000021

I made this colour grid at,-2.201696 using

Screen-grab with q&a's for grid here at Burnsall

Colour Grid 1000019

I made this colour grid at,-1.95264 using

Something about the bridges of the Dales...

Driving up alongside the Wharfe, after a dawn start this morning. This has to be one of my favourite parts of England, from Bolton up to Conistone. This is the bridge at Burnsall and even with a chill wind and grey skies the valley just fills with light and live richness.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Images and Uploads

My artwork for the app Splash screen and for use on various artefacts within the cache boxes. 
This will also feature with cache listings at

I've just been uploading the text, gps position and information for the caches, as that needs approval from and I want to check for any missing info when I'm on location later today/tomorrow. We have the art caches from all three commissions listed under the geoartcache membership - but can still identify individual 'hiders' within that. I'm really looking forward to watching the logs and getting feedback from geocachers trying the three different projects.

The first 'birthplace' Hunter Gatherer cache will go public very shortly. The others will go public from the launch of the geoartcache project on 28th May 2011. Who will be FTF ... first to find???

Friday, 29 April 2011


Hunter Gatherer aims to encourage multi-sensory awareness of one's experience in the landscape. Part of this process involves smell.

In writing scripts and recording audio about smell, I wanted to find a list of 'smelly' words. It was actually quite hard to find words that related to smell-ing (sensation) rather than object or specific source of smell, and even harder to find some pleasant ones!!Smell seems to be overly associated with the unpleasant in the english language.

This is what I eventually came up with, thanks to various thesaurus searches:
     smelly, stinking, reeking, foul
     pongy, whiffy, malodorous  
     putrid, fetid
     fragrant, fresh
     aromatic, scented, sweet-smelling, sweet-scented
     odorous, redolent, pungent

Audio Buttons

Process for producing audio buttons:

Record narrative with ZoomH4 mic. Import, edit and then play. Connect the TalkingProducts programmer to laptop (headphone socket). Dismantle audio button and insert its PCB into the programmer. Press record whilst playing back from laptop (red button lights up as shown!). Reassemble audio button with button, logo and  cover.

10 seconds is a very short time!

9 different audio buttons are ready to go into the caches..... They will be posted online as well, but only for people who've already found that cache (and key) to listen to -  no cheating!


Whilst most of the country prepare for today's celebrations, I'm busy preparing a new beginning of a different kind....

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Technical update

The last week has been very exciting as I've met with Sean a couple of times and we've been working on the final 'tweaks' to the Gatherer app ready for submission to apple any moment now. Gatherer integrates twitter and email to send colour grids and text responses, whilst simultaneously posting to the online Gatherer Gallery.

Having been very immersed in the design of the app as the core part of the Hunter Gatherer geoartcache project, it was wonderful to lift my head up and look out above it all yesterday thinking about the 'strategic overview' - how I want to promote the app on the app store. Given that some people may come across Gatherer app through other sources, or by chance, without knowledge of the geoartcache or plans to use it in that way, I have tried to capture the essence of the ideas (and research) behind it - a playful tool for paying attention, noticing what you notice, that can be adapted to many different situations in reflective use.
My aim for the project was to develop a custom-built app for Hunter Gatherer that could also be used in other areas of my research and practice. Of course all that had gone by the wayside during the intense focused period of pulling HG together. So it was very nice to sit up and think about how else it might be used; to write with that in mind. I have plans simmering away already, and another potential musical collaboration or two on the horizon for sister-songs of other magical creatures emerging over the summer. Ssshh!! No more on that for now....

Yesterday was the first serious user testing of the finished app - which I video recorded for reference later when it will be hard to remember how people first responded to the app.

So far so good - watching how people navigate around the interface (as experienced iphone users or completely new to smart phones) and where they look whilst making the grid - what they reference or draw inspiration from - are equally informative.

The app needs to be simple to use so that doesn't get in the way of the direct experience of the place and making of the response. Equally it needs enough information for people to find out what to do and ensure we get the responses sent to the website/email address so that the Magical Creature can hear/see them too!

We've also been talking about the structure for the Gatherer3 website, how that will work and what media I need to make before it goes live. How the cache keys will function (unique 5 digit codes found in each cache that change when the Magical Creature is in residence nearby!), etc. We registered the url a couple of weeks ago, and it will be hosted on the Cuttlefish servers (rather than with my website host) so that we can utilise other Cuttlefish services easily.

I've found a free text-to-email service, so I'll be able to offer the text-in-response facility that I had hoped for. Text-to-email is preferable than text-to-phone as it means I can receive the emails from anywhere in the world without extra cost, and they'll fit into a similar process with the other data coming in from the app.

I generated all the QR codes were a couple of weeks ago via a free online service. Each relates to a specific cache key and will provide the content page for that 'piece of the puzzle'. QR codes could be used for sending texts, emails, embedding gps coordinates.. all sorts of interaction. Plenty to explore in a future project perhaps... For Hunter Gatherer they will serve as a link to the cache key web page.

France-Leigh at Chrysalis Arts has been working on the project branding and guidelines to go in the cache boxes. The stickers may not be ready in time for my first caches, so laminates and super glue could come in handy in the interim!

Remaining hardware required... find some cheap plastic pencil sharpeners and the right size lunch boxes for a few hungry creatures ...(!)

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Dales at Easter

Spent a couple of busy, beautiful days filming, sound recording, photographing, geotagging, geocaching and generally getting immersed in the landscape in order to construct more of the HG story, compose introductory texts and videos, and confirm the locations for the caches....
Stunning scenery, sparkly spring lambs and superb sunshine made it an inspiring and  refreshing stay.

Day one:
Start: Leicester, making artwork for app 'splash' screen to send to Sean before I leave.
First stop: Skipton to collect sound recordings from Bobbie Millar of the Quarry Arts, Ruskin Rocks and Leeds University inter-disciplinary research projects.
Second stop: Gargrave for updates with Chrysalis Arts.
Third stop: a night a Malham YHA and a chance meeting with artist Petra, exploring overlapping interests of making artwork in the environment, walking, mobile technology and reaching a state of 'meditative' focus through activity.

Day two:
Equipment set-up, text-writing, map/route planning for day.
First stop Ingleton: to see the source of the lithophone rocks (and sounds).
Second stop: Upper Wharfedale - many secretive areas that you may get to explore if you take part in the geoartcahe project!
Third (eventual) stop: Kettlewell YHA

Day three:
Dawn recordings, equipment, text and map updates
First stop: Kettlewell area on foot
Seond stop: more locations in Wharfedale area...  still secretive!
Third (eventual) stop: Loughborough for app updates
Fourth (final) stop: Leicester to start editing editing editing!
Looking towards Ingleton

Lunch stop

Can you ever get the artist out of the work?

Stereo audio: hydrophone (underwater) and ambient (handheld) mics 

"What are you filming?".....

Time for a quick cache find!

Travelling light


Screengrab from groundwork's full iphone app - great way to see where you are from the air/topographical/route maps. Showing Ingleton Quarry, my location and direction of nearest geocache (NOT HG!).

Ingleton Quarry

Hair, grass, wind

Hydrophone recording

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Testing latest version of Gatherer app

Another stage in development, questions included, twitter integrated, as are email and posting to website.
Here's a grid I made at Malham , 18:16 on Thursday evening:

I made this colour grid at,-2.151469 using

"Light on leaves, the shape of the hill, the warmth of the land"
"Colours, patterns, rocks and shadows"
"The view around me"

And here is this same grid (text and data)transformed into the first test animation using the Ingleton ringing rocks and hydrophone recordings as referred to above (post of 23rd April).
- well, when I can get blogger to upload properly!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

2 Magical Caches

I revisited the magnetic nano cache at the Museum of Archaeology on Saturday, before a quick, wonderful, whizz through 5 centuries of the most inspiring and communicative artworks. The ancient Greeks certainly knew a thing or five about bringing magical creatures into existence... Imagine finding a cache of such delicate goldwork from several millennia past!

And yesterday I set off for a walk in one of my favourite woods, on the Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset periphery, following a path i'd never been on before in search of the Four Forts Part 2 Cache. The fragrance of bluebells was divinely gentle and uplifting, and absolutely magical light streaming through the new beech leaves and vibrant strong green grass of spring. The cache leads to a Motte and Bailey that was curiously familiar: