Art + Tech is an innovative professional development programme which aims to provide new skills, creative practice enhancement and experience for creative entrepreneurs, to help ensure their success in the creative industry during and post university. As a response to the pandemic this series will allow students to learn new approaches and practices in art and technology to enhance their professional practice with the programme hinging on the role and importance of accessibility to tech.

Arts SU X Artivive introduction

Video of opportunity: Directed and edited by  Zula Rabikowska
Our vision for the opportunity

For this opportunity I programmed a holistic two-day layered workshop with the focus on communities of practice and tech advancement. The first aspect of the workshop provided selected UAL students the opportunity to meet other students from across the university face to face- enabling them to share their practices and hear more about the background and approach of Artivive. This space created an opportunity to network, building professional relationships as well as hopefully long-term friendships.

With a focus on tech advancement and engagement- the second stage empowered students to be digitally trained in the Artivive platform and app use by trained Artivive staff. Bringing their own work to the workshop, embarking on a collaborative project reflecting each other's practice with Artivive-enhanced responses. Students received full tech support to enable them to gain a complete and holistic understanding of Artivive.

Introduction to Blender
Workshop April, 2022 proudly programmed in collaboration with UAL: Creative Computing Institute, Camberwell College of Art

Workshop images below (please use the arrows to scroll)

Introduction to Blender workshop
Images: David Povilaika

I was approached by CCI student Cécile Barouk who had noticed a gap in knowledge from students at the University, she had been in conversations with colleagues and friends and realised that quite a few of her peers had wanted either an introduction, or better knowledge on the free and open source online software Blender and that this wasn’t being readily provided at course and curriciulum level.

After a few conversations both with Cécile and subsequently Georgina Capdevila-Cano at UAL’s Creative Computing Institute- we decided to move forward with this self-intiated / student-led workshop offering anyone the opportunity to attend a two hour intro session on the software. We wanted this to be as student-led as possible so whilst Arts SU and myself in particular provided the coordination and administration, the actual session was technically facilitated by Cécile with back up support from CCI staff Lieven Van Velthoven and Pete Mackenzie.

The session focused on participants creating from scratch their own virtual mushroom, which was then brought together digitally by Cécile and formated to create a mushroom collective (see below):

On the experience of reaching out the students’ union, initiating the workshop idea and facilitation:

Delivering the workshop was an amazing experience. It is very precious for me to be able to share my experience and knowledge with students that are interested. It was nice to see that there were many reasons they wanted to learn how to use the software like 3D printing, 3D animation or architecture. There was also a good diversity of courses. Making digital objects and scenes is something that can be useful in any artistic medium even if it is not what their course is focusing on. I would say adapting to the different degrees of familiarity with technology was the most challenging part. Students were excited to learn more about and to make things digitally. They also said that being in person is completely different from online tutorials and that they wanted more in-person workshops and learning experiences.

I am very thankful to the SU for giving me the opportunity to do the workshop and I can’t wait to do more!

Cécile Barouk
You can read more about this workshop and access the unique digital resource hub created by Cécile Barouk here

Cécile Barouk bio BSc Creative Computing student at UAL Creative Computing Institute. She uses Blender in her art projects to create virtual objects and environment to make images and animations.

This workshop is part of the Arts SU Arts Programme Art + Tech series- rethinking the way creative students engage with the virtual and digital environment.

I would like to thank Georgina Capdevila-Cano, Lieven Van Velthoven and Pete Mackenzie for their support and time on this project.