Hacking The Public

Last weekend I took part in The Public’s experimental Gallery Hack Camp event. Experimental in that they’ve never hosted anything like this before and also, well, it’s a bunch of creative people in a space – we’re going to end up trying stuff out!

First up: rearrange the letters. GRAHAM CAKELY PLC. That’ll do nicely.

Second up: respect The Public’s attitude towards caffeine.

Third up: a tour of the 230 metre long gallery ramp that we had been invited to tweak and re-imagine.

++th up: IDEAS!

Eventually the ebb and flow of conversations settled down into coagulations around ideas. Kim, Alyson and I set off in search of cracks and crevices to leverage towards exciting, secretive, human-scaled experiences. This involved some impromptu den-making and a certain amount of static electricity…

Eventually the gravitational pull of the ramp drew us back in to what had been most people’s first response to the ramp: by some administrative oversight, the ramp is currently without a marble run. Shocking!

We fixed that.

like marbles; but BIGGER

We only had a few hours making time, but we managed to scrump some interesting materials from various boxes, shelves and cupboards. We by this time being Kim, Dave and I.

I think we had a nice demo mix of mechanical and electrical going on with chutes, a bicycle wheel paddle wheel, drumroll, unfeasibly large alarm clock, fire bell and Christmas lights all either affecting or responding to the golf balls along their journey.

Things got a little eratic after we relocated from the camp HQ to the ramp, but I think the power of these things is all in the build. Remember the Improbable Machine?

marbles from nikkipugh on Vimeo.

It’s got me thinking a lot about the use (or not) of prototypes in settings like this. I think I’d like to be able to engage with imperfection more.