This project took the pecha kucha format as the starting point for an investigation into the challenges for artists with disabling barriers in using currently available telematics technologies to share their artwork in a collaborative online format. The project was conceived and developed for WeShare a collaborative initiative by Furtherfield and Drake Music in London, UK. WeShare sets out to develop a Peer to Peer philosophy for arts organisations to enrich our programmes, extend, connect and engage diverse communities and achieve improved flexibility and sustainability. Drake Music breaks down disabling barriers to music through innovative approaches to learning, teaching and making music. Furtherfield’s mission is to co-create extraordinary art that connects with contemporary audiences providing innovative, engaging and inclusive digital and physical spaces for appreciating and participating in practices in art, technology and social change.

Overview
The PK Research/1 (PKR/1) project was designed to investigate the opportunities and challenges for artists with disabilities using existing telematic technologies to share their work online with a live audience. Telematic technologies are systems that allow us to connect over distance, such as, video conferencing, mobile phones, etc… The PK Research/1 project was designed to investigate the challenges for artists with disabling barriers in sharing their artwork in a collaborative online format.

The Research Focus
The PK Research/1 (PKR/1) project was designed to investigate the challenges for artists with disabling barriers in using currently available telematics technologies to share their artwork in a collaborative online format.

Telematic technologies have long held the promise of providing connecting people in distance location together in a meaningful way. Today, the majority of the population can easily videoconference with friends and family on laptops, tablets and mobiles. Group video conferencing is now becoming option for consumers through free Google Hangouts and paid services of Skype and other dedicated group video conferencing applications. While the availability of these technologies open of the possibilities for most of the population, they may not be usable by all people who could benefit from remote connections. These technologies may not be usable with screen readers, and/or external adaptive devices.

PKR/1 aimed to uncover the barriers of usage and accessibility for people with disabilities. The outcomes from this project will be used to inform future work on reducing the barriers of usage and accessibility for artists of various abilities. While the focus is on people with disabilities, outcomes will likely be recommendations that will improve usage for all.

WeShare Overview blog post.

Lynn Cox’s project: 202020: The Psychogeographers Tale and More

Gemma Nash’s project: The Woodlawners 

Read reports from participants in the research project:

 

 

Pollie Barden is a PhD Researcher QMUL's Cognitive Science research group. She is an artist, technologist, and game designer. She has run her games in festivals and presented her art in galleries and museums all over the globe. For nine years, Pollie has been engaging people with disabilities, teens and older people with technology with an aim to increase the opportunities to be involved in the open source community building. She has taught at various universities in US and UK. She co-founded and co-designed snagu, photo scavenger hunt game, that was a 2006 mtvU Digital Incubator Award winner. In 2011, she was one of the six co-founders of G.Hack, a women's technology club, that supports QMUL women in learning and sharing technology skills. With Furtherfield, a technology arts organization in London, UK and Culture Lab at Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK she ran a research project on Telematic Dinner Parties which explored the intersection of distance, food, dinning and games as influences on social presence in technology mediated social events. Her current research is in how gameplay and technology can ease to adoption of digital technology usage for older people.

Current research topic: Connecting Isolated Older People across Distance through Gameplay and Technology

Games have been used as a tool to introduce older people to digital technology. Here we are developing a gameful system to facilitate the social interactions between older people and young adults in an intergeneration community run club. We aim to ease the integration of digital tools through gameplay for older generations. Our research is about both the meaningful integration older people in the digital age and laying the groundwork for our future selves as older people. We hope to be able to learn and share strategizes for game designer, researchers and participants in the development of our emerging gameplay based society. We are designing for our future selves.