The Octoscope of Margate

September 2016, Margate Museum, Old Town Hall, Margate, CT9 1ER

Installation and free workshops as part of the Margate Festival

The Octoscope of Margate was a lovely addition to the Margate Festival with over 750 visitors across the nine days. People of all ages were mesmerized by the piece which was installed in the cosy Police Cell number one of Margate Museum. We worked with the museum staff to source colourful postcards of the town dating back to Victorian times and collaged these together digitally into a kaleidoscopic map of Margate with mutated sea creatures. The Octoscope suited the theme of the festival very well with the landmarks of Margate coming in and out of view. It was accompanied by a haunting version of By the Seaside as if heard by an underwater creature. It was fun to explain to people how the piece was made and many people commented on the calming nature of the room. Younger kids were excited by seeing themselves mixed into the screen. The museum staff were very happy to try out this new attraction and we would recommend to anyone to contact them with Margate themed projects. They were a pleasure to work with and the Museum is an amazing resource of archive material and knowledge.

Workshop results

We ran a weekend of four creative coding workshops teaching kids aged 8-12 how to put simple colours and shapes onto the screen and we added pixelated images of octopus into the mix. These were attended by 44 people which was more than we had planned, due to parents joining in as well. We edited together the results and showed these as a film along side the Octoscope. You can see the results above. It was great to see the range of ages involved - coding is something which can be shared by families as it is new to most people. We also handed out books on creative coding explaining how to get the free open source software needed to carry on coding at home. We sent everyone who took part the code they had written by email.

Thanks

We'd like to thank Ian Dickie and all the museum staff who were wonderful. Also many thanks to the funders, Emily Greenaway at Thanet District Council and the Coastal Communities Fund. And finally thanks to Sam, Barry and Threshold Studios for organizing it all. It was great to see such a diverse set of events and we are looking forward to future Margate Festivals.

Poster

The Octoscope of Margate a description

An interactive digital art work with kaleidoscopic elements will combine live video of the audience, with postcards of Margate, and gruesome animating sea monsters in an ever-changing cataclysmic collage. As the audience enters the dimmed police cell in Margate Museum they will see themselves warped into geometric patterns. These patterns will be mixed with scenes of Margate and footage of strange alien sea creatures undulating across the walls. The overall effect will be enveloping and engaging. The projections will be beautiful and mesmerising with a hint of horror.

Workshop description

Create your own interactive kaleidoscope using simple programming with Genetic Moo.

These one hour workshops allows kids (8-12 year olds) to have a go at simple creative coding. They will learn to program colourful graphics and sea creatures which will move around the screen in Kaleidoscopic patterns. We will provide all the equipment and the kids can have a copy of their own program to take home with them. Parents are welcome to join in too.

The workshops are FREE but there are limited places.

Genetic Moo have been making interactive art since 2008, we live in Margate and have been running creative coding workshops for the last two years. Looking forward to seeing you. Nicola + Tim, Genetic Moo

Genetic Moo 2017