Student art-meets-tech installation launch

A student project will be officially launched at a Digibury event on 12 March.

Kent students from the School of Computing and TinkerSoc have been working closely with client Deeson Online to develop Project Conway – an innovative interactive computer game and art installation that will be displayed in the Beaney Museum in Canterbury.

Undergraduate students Michael Wilson, Richard Lancaster, Geoff Dodds and Niklas Scholz created the software for Project Conway for their final year project. They integrated it with a large hardware display, built by TinkerSoc, to show the Game of Life simulation.

The project group and TinkerSoc will demo the alpha version of Project Conway, explaining its game engine, web application and the hardware built for Project Conway at Digibury, ‘Kent’s monthly meet-up event for digital and creative types’.

Dan Knox, a PhD student from the School of Computing and president of Tinkersoc explained the project in more detail. ‘Actually, it’s pretty simple: a player ‘creates’ a starting pattern via a special website, then, following the four simple rules of John Conway’s Game of Life – a simulation of population growth and decay – the pattern ‘lives’. It does this by flashing on and off colourful LEDs that represent the ‘life’ of the pattern – populations surviving, reproducing and perhaps, ultimately dying. At the end of the simulation an ‘obituary’ that will be printed out via a small printer. All of this makes up the art installation.’

Deeson Online Digital Strategist, Lizzie Hodgson, said; ‘The aim of the Project Conway is to prove that technology and art can come together in innovative and inclusive ways through experimentation, problem solving, collaboration, development, electronics and play.’

Mitch Robertson, Community Programme & Engagement Manager, The Beaney added; ‘The Beaney Front Room always welcomes new and exciting partnerships. A great example of this is our collaboration with The University of Kent and Deeson Online to help produce Project Conway, an innovative and exciting tech-meets-art exhibition and we look forward to housing the final installation in July.’

The launch will take place on Wednesday 12 March at 7.30pm at The Gulbenkian. After the main presentations about the project, there will be a panel discussion with audience participation to explore the collision of art, technology and all things digital. The panel will be made up of organisations including Canterbury Arts Festival, FutureDream and Workers of Art.

On the panel will be Daniel Lennox, who works for the Really Useful Group where he manages the digital strategy for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s productions worldwide.

Daniel started his career in eCommerce before moving into the media & entertainment sector working on cross platform digital projects for Pinewood Studios and implementing group wide eCRM activity for Northern & Shell (Channel 5, Ok, Express Newspapers).

The event is free and open to everyone.

The project website will be launching soon.