Apocalypse NOW! at MargateFestival

// Sept 2018 //

Apocalypse Now! is a generative artwork created by over 200 National Citizen Service (NCS) participants in workshops at Kent University.


Apocalypse NOW! was exhibted in the old Woolworths on Margate High Street between 10-6pm over two weekends in September as part of the Margate Festival 2018. We also added in a late night with sounds provided by Fantastic Pleasure. Woolworths has been empty for years –  great to see the building coming to life again.

The workshop programme was organised by Victoria Barrow-Williams, Education and Community Engagement Manager at Dreamland, its aim to introduce a range of new skills. We taught the 15-17 year olds how to program their own geometric animations in the Processing language. They also designed their own responsive digital creatures. All the contributions were brought together into a huge multi-projector artwork inspired by the four elements: earth, water, air & fire and the apocalyptical paintings of the Victorian painter John Martin.

The Destruction of Sodom And Gomorrah by John Martin 1852

The NCS teenagers really got to grips with learning a new programming language. Despite Computing being on the national curriculum, it appears many schools haven’t worked out how to deliver it yet and only about 20% of our participants had done any coding before, which was surprising to us. We see programming as a vital skill for all people to learn NOW and a brilliant tool for creativity.

The theme of Margate Festival is NOW and this collaboratively created artwork highlights contemporary art-making techniques.

Here are some of the over 200 Animats the students designed to swim around their landscapes.