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12 May



Skype Advice Portal

May 12, 2013 | By | 2 Comments


Skype Advice Portal is an interactive video installation, created for the ‘Can You Hear Me? I Can See You!’exhibition at FACT Liverpool.


If you could send a message of advice to someone in the future or the past, what would you say?  To whom and to when would you send it? Send your 20 seconds of wisdom through space-time using Skype Advice Portal. All you need is a device with a webcam, mic, and of course, Skype. Here is a step by step guide:

  1. Sign into your own Skype account and make a video call to Advice Portal (username: adviceportal). ACCEPT incoming video.
  2. You will be greeted by a portal resident, and asked to leave your message
  3. make sure your head is in the oval frame
  4. Leave your message after the beep – you only have 20 seconds – so choose your words wisely
  5. watch your message back, then hang up


All messages sent through the Skype Advice Portal are collated and automatically (and randomly) re-presented within the FACT Connects exhibition space as a sci-fi inspired video installation.

Portal guardians reserve the right to remove or edit offensive or inappropriate messages, so please, respect this amazing space-time technology and use your words for good!

22 Mar


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Portals and iPads

March 22, 2013 | By | No Comments


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.

I’ve written in detail about the iPad as a video recording device, but just to give an idea of why it’s useful to think about it again:

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.