I’ve been working on a new Re-Dock project, called Portal, that is looking at the way we use technology as a device to send messages and transport ourselves through time and space. In collaboration with Tenantspin, we’ve been working with a group of sheltered housing residents, arming them with iPads, exploring new uses for common tools such as Skype, wikipedia, twitter and the video camera as a message recorder.
Simply turning the camera on transforms the iPad into a window, a portal by which the outside world can be framed, immediately placing the user in the role of author.
Having used video cameras for most of the last 10 years, it’s interesting to watch how other people engage with the screen, especially with a device like the iPad
The scale of the iPad image itself is not too far removed from the real world as viewed by our own eyes, creating an odd kind of harmony between the image and it’s surroundings. It was a remarkable scene, with 6 residents sat in a circle, all viewing each other through the iPad camera, looking slightly enchanted.
The value in immediately creating your own media is apparent, and the iPads fusion of the camera / screen make this incredibly accessible for older people.
There is something about it as a tool that is great for older people. I wish I could afford one for my dad!
The Portal project is leading to an exhibition in May, in FACT, where we will present the workshops and also 3 new commissions developed in response to the project, and tested by the residents. I am developing a new piece of work, based on the Gillfoot No. 2 piece. that aims to implement Skype as a recording device that allowing users to contribute to the video installation.