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"Grow Your Own Media Lab" - Tech_2 / Folly

"Grow Your Own Media Lab" - Tech_2………..
is a touring project, coming to Folly between 16 August and 13 September.

Unusually for an arts project; Tech_2 uses the gallery as a living and working space. Far from being an exhibition, it aims to create an environment for artists and technical experts to work collaboratively and for visitors to do
their own research.

During the month long residency, Tech_2 will turn the gallery and office space at Folly into a workshop in which different artist and community groups will work on recycled computers to build access resources - "media labs" - that will later be used by the public. The residency is called "Grow Your Own Media Lab", and will also include some teaching and learning sessions.

While the artist groups are in residence, anybody is welcome to come to the gallery, make use of the research materials there, see the "linux" free operating system in action and even bring an old computer themselves to work on
with the benefit of the resources and collective knowledge that will be in the gallery.

Tech_2 also incorporates a 3 day course on "small renewable energy systems" - how to use solar or wind power to run our resources in cases where no other power is available.

Lisa Haskel is the organizer of the project in collaboration with Folly and the artist groups. She says: "We're doing this because we believe that a bit of
knowledge can lead to more self-sufficiency and means of self-expression. Lots of people know how to make web pages, videos and music with their computers now.
That's great, but there's a whole area, about how the Internet works, how to publish and distribute your own stuff, that many people know less about. What a lot of people also don't know is a lot of what you need is based on software that is free, and that can run on relatively old computers, and that you can even publish from your own broadband connection at home. We're here to spread
that knowledge a bit, and hook up with local groups who are into some of the same things as us".

Is it art? is a legitimate question. "I'm not sure if that matters", Lisa goes on. "Part of what where about is making it more possible for artists to work without having to spend lots of money on expensive equipment and Internet
hosting, and helping an organisation like Folly provide needed resources without unnecessary costs. But part of what we're doing is trying to make it more possible for
everyone to get involved with using their computers for creative and community purposes, to keep the technology under their own control, use it with social and environmental awareness, and to encourage everyone to become producers as well as consumers of the digital revolution that we hear so much about".

The introductory session is on Saturday 17 August at 2pm. Everyone is invited to hear the artists in residence: "Redundant Technology Initiative" from Sheffield, and "Access to Recycled Technology" from Birmingham, plus Lancaster based "Seeds for Change", introduce themselves and meet the artists and organizers.

The gallery is open 12noon to 4pm, from Saturday 17th August to Monday 26 August, and from Saturday 20 August, there are talks each Saturday during the residency at 2pm.

Please note that the renewable energy systems course MUST be booked in advance.

For full programme information:
See http://tech2.southspace.org

For further information contact:
Lisa Haskel
07946 378905