Institute of Creative Technologies projects
Current work of the Institute of Creative Technologies involves projects in areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality, Digital Art, Digital Performance, Holography, Interaction Design, The Internet of Things, Smart Cities and 3D Imaging.
Digital Culture and Smart Cities
An ongoing project involving a number of activities that explore the roles of digital culture in the development of our future 'smart cities'. The project originated in the IOCT's hosting of a seminal conference (funded by #DMULocal and the Confucius Institute) at Phoenix Leicester in 2016 which explored the implications for cities of the rapid developments in creative technologies practices.Related to this project, Harwood directed the first Art-AI Festival in Leicester, which took place in May 2018, working in collaboration with Highcross Leicester (Hammersons Plc), Phoenix and Luba Elliott (organizer of the London Meetup on Art-AI). With two public installations and a series of seminars, performance and workshops, the event attracted considerable public attention. For further information about the festival, visit to the project website.
H Space is an augmented reality art project being developed with the collaboration of Microsoft Research Asia, Tsinghua University and Guangdong University of Technology. It uses the Microsoft HoloLens to add a virtual artwork to the audience’s environment. Building on Ernest Edmonds earlier Cities Tango works and his collaboration with Sean Clark, H Space adds a dynamic wall of colours that shift and change as the wearer of the HoloLens moves around. The first version of this work was shown in the Art Gallery at SIGGRAPH2018 in Vancouver.
Living with the Internet of Things
This project is an ongoing area of investigation into how the IoT will influence us as consumers. An extended programme of research, the focus of the work is on how we trust services realized through a technology system enabled by sensors, how we understand risk and uncertainty in a context of service failure, and the implications for how we manage privacy and security. The project is a collaboration with the University of Otago's (New Zealand) Dr Tony Garry, a researcher in their Department of Marketing. The project's multimedia outputs were funded by University of Otago and the main survey data collection was supported by InternetNZ.
Machinima: Investigating the Cultural Values
This project investigated the cultural impacts of machinima (machine cinema). The project was funded as part of the Arts & Humanities Research Council's Cultural Values project. Machinima is a relatively recent cultural phenomenon, born on the internet but which can now be experienced at a variety of events such as digital arts media and film festivals around the world, as well as online in community and gaming fora. The project was developed from a long-standing interest in the machinima phenomenon, with Harwood having directed the First European Machinima Festival at the IOCT in 2007, and subsequently published a number of articles on its development and impacts. The full research findings are reported on the project website, along with examples of machinima and machinima outputs.
This project explored the opportunities and implications of transmedia performance environments. This article centres on the experimental Pervasive Theatre project (Assault Events 2014, commissioned by futuredream funded through Arts Council England), which explored the potential of online social tools to create a multimedia, collaborative and participatory work situated across multiple platforms. This project brought together researchers, artists, writers, technologists and practitioners from the interdisciplinary fields of digital writing, transmedia and performance to explore ways to develop narratives that weave together physical and online worlds, blurring the distinction between reality and fantasy, audience and performers in a way that would be exciting, immersive and participative.
Pop Up Play
Pop Up Play is an open source mixed-reality software system developed in a research partnership between Prof Craig Vear, The Spark Arts (Leicester) and DotLib (software developer). The Pop Up Play system and pedagogic framework supports creative play for children through its immersive learning environment and mixed reality system. This flexible system could be based on children's books, gallery or museum exhibits, theatrical productions, or curriculum topics and can immerse participants in projected images and worlds for creative play and open-ended learning.
Shaping Space is an installation that was initially commissioned for Ernest Edmonds’ Site Gallery Sheffield solo exhibition, Light Logic (2012-13). The work was supported both by the Arts Council of England and by the Henry Moore Foundation. It is a representation of computed life, moving and changing of its own accord but maturing and developing as a result of the movement of the audience. Following the first exhibition of Shaping Space at Site Gallery, it has been shown in Sydney, Olomouc, Riga, Rio de Janeiro and Venice.
The Living Score
The living score is a practice-based research project at the intersection of digital music composition, performance embodiment, and AI. Through a series of compositional prototypes the notion of a cooperative and collaborative music system that co-creates within the flow of music performance is implemented and evaluated with professional musicians. This research has led to the creation of a research monograph called The Digital Score (Routledge), and a series of commissions from international artists and festivals. Link to premiere performance of 'Black cats and Blues' (2018)