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Creative Informatics on the Road: Beyond Conference 2022

Last week the Creative Informatics team visited Beyond Conference in Cardiff with several of our Creative Informatics community to showcase their projects to a broader creative ecosystem of thinkers, makers, investors and researchers from around the UK. This is Beyond’s fifth year exploring the relationship between creative research and business innovation.

As one of nine Creative Industries Clusters around the UK, the Creative Informatics community is no stranger to using research for driving forward innovation in the creative industries. We were able to show that work in action with six exhibiting partners that Creative Informatics has funded:

Black Goblin

Black Goblin at Beyond – photo by Caitlin McDonald, used with permission.

Black Goblin is an audio design company based in Edinburgh, co-founded by Ana Betancourt and Gabrielle Haley. Powered by physical modelling, procedural audio techniques and machine learning, Black Goblin’s software allows anyone to create sound from scratch in an easy, non-technical way, while also having a positive impact in the economic and environmental aspects of sound production. During Beyond, the team showcased their first product which is in development, Subversive. Black Goblin have been supported by Creative Informatics through the Resident Entrepreneur and Connected Innovators programmes.

FND Stories by Andrew Brooks

Andrew Brooks presenting FND Stories at Beyond – photo by Caitlin McDonald, used with permission.

Andrew’s project FND Stories shares the stories and lived experiences of those diagnosed with the neurological condition Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) through multimedia experiences including video, text, and large-scale ink and gold leaf pieces. The different art forms used in the project explore different facets of the stories of people living with FND, often focussing on specific details of their experiences. Andrew exhibited his work earlier this year at Inspace Gallery. Andrew was supported through a Connected Innovators grant with Creative Informatics.

My Traverse by the Traverse Theatre and Cadpeople

My Traverse at Beyond – photo by Caitlin McDonald, used with permission.

Celebrating 60 years of history as a key part of Edinburgh’s creative and cultural scene next year in 2023, the Traverse Theatre wanted to devise an online interactive experience exploring the richness and depth of the Traverse archives. Through a Challenge Project, the Traverse connected with Cadpeople, an award-winning visual communication agency, who provided design and development support for the My Traverse interactive platform. By adapting a platform predominantly used for the industrial sector and tailoring it to suit the performing arts sector, Cadpeople devised a rich 3D world of illustrative and motion-graphics elements. In each room an actor or writer with personal ties to the Traverse guides users through the experience.

Painting Music by Kate Steenhauer

Painting Music by Kate Steenhauer at Beyond – photo by Caitlin McDonald, used with permission.

Painting Music uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create music from live painted drawings, in real time and unique for each performance. Artist Kate Steenhauer led a collaborative research and development project with AI developers Dr. Starkey and Jack Caven from Aberdeen University. The AI algorithm exploits areas of similarity within the two distinct artforms to respond to the live-painted elements and produce musical notes that reflect the development of the evolving artwork. Supported by the Connected Innovators programme, Painting Music underwent software and hardware optimisation in collaboration with composers, creative codes, and designers. This includes a portable and autonomous system designed and fabricated by Ray Interactive which can be used for live broadcasting—see below for more about Ray Interactive’s work with Creative Informatics. And have a look at this short video of the Painting Music setup in action with Kate and Creative Informatics team member Courtney Bates!

Ploterre by Rebecca Kaye

Ploterre by Rebecca Kaye at Beyond – photo by Caitlin McDonald, used with permission.

The lush handmade prints featured in Ploterre are based on data from the natural world. This is done by combining principles from the fields of mathematics and design. These principles inform the entire process and enable the creation of artwork from formulas. The formulas used within this work would normally describe data but in Ploterre, they are used to describe colour and form. Ploterre artist Rebecca Kaye received Resident Entrepreneur funding from Creative Informatics to research and devise her new system for applying data to graphics.

Ray Interactive

Presenting the Interactive Mobile Participation (IMP) platform at Beyond, Ray Interactive is a creative design studio based in Leith, specialising in hybrid (digital+physical) interactive projects. IMP is a hardware/software solution which connects spectators’ mobile devices with on-site audio-visual kit at live events, supported with Resident Entrepreneur funding. As well as bringing their own ideas to fruition, Ray Interactive support artists, creative agencies and cultural organisations to realise their ambitious concepts. Read more about the past and forthcoming Challenge Projects Ray Interactive have supported with New Media Scotland, St Giles Cathedral, and more.