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8th February 2012, 9:39am
University of Lincoln makes its Kinetica Art Fair debut
Rinstrument with Interactive Design staff and students Some of the UK’s most creative young minds will be at this year’s Kinetica Art Fair (9-12 February 2012), with students and graduates from the University of Lincoln’s BA (Hons) Interactive Design programme exhibiting for the first time.

This renowned digital art fair is hosted by Kinetica Museum in London and brings together galleries, art organisations, curatorial groups and collectors from around the world who focus on kinetic, electronic, robotic, sound, light, time-based and multi-disciplinary new media art, science and technology.

Highlights of work on display by Lincoln students will include “Ringstrument”, a modern day music box that uses a camera in-place of a stylus or CD laser. The creation of recent graduate Amanshah Andrew, otherwise known as Fu, Ringstrument has a turntable used in conjunction with a purpose built Flash interface that in turn triggers a pre-programmed set of sounds by reading a selection of spinning grids.

And social media trending has never been more illuminated than with final year student Jordan Burnett’s “Tweet Lamps.” Tweet Lamps’ six light bulbs are connected to Twitter and flash when certain words are tweeted. The bulbs allow people to compare trends in real time and visualise what is being discussed most.

“Freeze Frame” by Joan Planas, which involves a sensor that detects the exact moment a raindrop creates a splash, and “Mindbending” by John Revel, an art piece that explores the theme of mind over matter, will also be on display.

Joan said: “With Freeze Frame a laser light was pointed at a Light Dependent Resistor so that it would read its maximum value. As soon as the drop cut the beam, the LDR would read a different value and that would trigger the picture.”

John says Mindbending is based on Mindflex™ a table top game that consists of a headset that reads brainwave activity.

He said: “The objective of the game is to move a light foam ball around an obstacle course. When the player concentrates, the ball rises on a cushion of air, and when they relax the ball descends. Once we played around with it for a while we couldn’t resist thinking ways to hack it. We came up with many ideas crazy involving electric shocks, moving radio controlled toy cars, shifting lights, screen based apps. After a lot of thinking we decided to create an art piece that illustrated the power and potential of the device and how mind can control matter (with the help of some electronics, of course).”

Clive McCarthy, Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) Interactive Design course, says that when he first visited Kinetica, he was blown away and immediately realised this was the place his students should be showing off their talents.

“The course is very digital arts-based and so the event is a good fit for us– the perfect way for the students to start their final year degree shows,” he said.

Lincoln will be one of only four universities attending the art fair specialising in kinetic, electronic, robotic, sound, light, time-based and multidisciplinary new media art, science and technology.

Its highly respected Interactive Design course has been responsible for producing alumni populating the very best creative studios within the major cities of the UK and Europe.

Clive added: “Denis Kovac, head of Bunch Design in London, said there must be something special in that Lincoln water after asking me if I had any more students seeking employment.”

And Interactive Design students are no strangers to national recognition and awards even during their studies. Last year for example, Amy Thornley helped cheer up commuters at various Tube stations with her winning animated film “Spreadsheet Invasion” in which space invaders attack a spreadsheet. The film was chosen as part of “Smile for London”, an independent initiative bringing film, art and animation to platforms.

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