Thursday, 13 December 2007


Originally uploaded by BillT
from the Biennale

Monday, 7 May 2007

Clearing up and looking forward

Parker's Piece shows little sign that we were ever there, and the students have reoccupied the spaces in Downing College where the conference took place, but the impact of ENTER_ continues to be felt. The main ENTER_ site lists forthcoming events and new commissions, and this blog will remain open for news, speculation, announcements and general debate.

Saturday, 28 April 2007 & opensourcesound photos

For anyone that experienced the true majesty of the Enter_ opening night rave hut extravaganza and doubted its flatpack credentials...

For more photos, head over to

Network: Mark Dixon

Removed at Mark Dixon's request.

John Naughton

Originally uploaded by enter_festival.
Academic, journalist, thinker, and chair of the Future Space session at the ENTER_ conference on Thursday.

Listening to ENTER_

We've been out and about throughout the ENTER_ festival and now have a great selection of short interviews posted on the Cambridge Film Trust's podcast service at - you can listen to them from the site or subscribe to the feed and get them downloaded direct.

Friday, 27 April 2007

How is it going so far?

Giles Lane from Proboscis at Work

Listen to Giles on our podcast

Giles at Work
Originally uploaded by enter_festival.

Control Technologies

Control Technologies
Originally uploaded by enter_festival.
Vicky, Drew, James, Manu on stage at the final conference session


Originally uploaded by enter_festival.
Cake, tea, technology

StoryCubes: Friday afternoon

The evolving landscape.

StoryCubes: End of Day 1

A couple of photos of the StoryCube Landscape at the end of Day 1.

Does Sunday school equal Big Brother?

Growing up as a Christian prepared journalist Michael Anti, for the routine monitoring of his email by the Chinese authorities. "I was monitored every day by God,” he said. "You get used to being monitored by the government."

Anti gained renown in 2005 after Microsoft suppressed his blog at the request of the authorities in China. He added that he had recently been to see The Lives of Others, but that life in China is not necessarily the same as life under the Stasi.

"China is just a free country," he said. "You can now set up a company, go abroad and even have sex with girls freely. Only in politics are things not free." Even so he admitted that, "Everyone telephone I regard as monitored by government and every email will be monitored. But I get used to it. Big Brother is watching me, but we get used to it ... Even Confucius told us that we should be careful when we are alone."

DIFFUSION eBook: Sean's Blog posts

Last night we quickly put an eBook together combining all of Sean's blog posts from the first day of the conference. Click the links below to download and print out a copy:
A4 version | US Letter Version

Sniffin' video

Sniffin' video might sound like a punk fanzine for a generation raised on YouTube, and in a way that is exactly what it is. Like Mark Perry's legendary Sniffin' Glue, the project creates radical culture using materials that are extremely cheap and abundantly available.

Graham Harwood of Mongrel gave a demonstration about video 'sniffing' a project he helped instigate while working in Southend-on-Sea in Essex. Harwood recruited a group of local youth with the initial idea of creating some kind of Free Media. What they ended up with a film made by utilising the very CCTV cameras that had been installed to spy on them. The kids found the 24 hotspots in the town and mapped them out. They then 'sniffed' the video by using an off-the-shelf electronic device from Maplins that bought for less than £30. This enabled them to record the footage from the cameras. The group were able to make a film using on no other cameras apart from the CCTV.

Harwood said that, in Southend at least, that "there is a confusion" about the meaning of free media. Richard Stallman's famous maxim. free as in free speech, not as in free beer was mostly irrelevant, he explained, "as people have no money, both are seen as equally important," what people do instead is "replace money with imagination” Incredibly, the group went to the local Tory council and explained what they were doing. Rather than call the police the Tories were actually supportive and saw sniffing video as "a good way to get young people involved in democracy."

See more here.

Friday morning, 10am

Sitting in the conference session in Downing College as Sally Jane Norman kicks off the first panel, looking at 'Open Technologies'. Q isn't here, and will be missed, but the others offer a good range of approaches and should - if we're lucky - lead nicely into the final panel which I'm chairing. Or hosting. Or compering.

Or refereeing :-)

Festival visitor

enter_ Gunter
Originally uploaded by enter_festival.
Gunter, a festival visitor, at work in a dome

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Active Ingredient

Some nice pictures and interesting discussion from Active Ingredient over at their blog - one to watch.

Active Ingredient

Some nice pictures and interesting discussion from Active Ingredient over at their blog - one to watch.

Vox Pod #1

Hear Jan Gilbert talk to Adam, a visitor to ENTER_

Listen here

Chris Rogers

enter_ Chris Rogers
Originally uploaded by enter_festival.
Programme and Production Manager, outside a dome

Work in Progress on Parker's Piece

enter_ Parkers Piece
Originally uploaded by enter_festival.
Putting up the tents... final touches

The Box Office

enter_ Box Office
Originally uploaded by enter_festival.
this is where to go to find out all about ENTER_ - on Parker's Piece, Cambridge

Steve Mullen

enter_ Steve Mullen
Originally uploaded by enter_festival.
On Parker's Piece this afternoon, looking suave as usual

The cat with many smiles

In a talk entitled Grasping the Smile, Matt Ratto used an extended Alice in Wonderland metaphor to describe the need to focus on creative spaces rather than conventional creative knowledge transfers. In this way, at least, his talk echoes that of both Bob Stein with his notion of ‘frozen’ and ‘unfrozen’ books and professor Heppell's plea for an unfinished architecture. In different ways all three advocate ongoing, open-ended projects rather than, as Ratto put it, an "over emphasis on the end product."

School's out

The massive advances in computer technology will “transform into a revolution in physical spaces around the world," said Professor Stephen Heppell in the final session of the afternoon. “In the last century we built big things to do thing for people, but we are not in that century anymore,” he said.

Professor Heppell went on to say that it is not just, “the old industrial model of a curriculum being delivered" that has long gone, but the architecture of the schools designed to deliver such a fixed curriculum should soon follow suit. New school buildings need to be designed to reflect the “democratically flat” methods of teaching that have being ushered in at the start of this new century.

These new schools are already out here, he said, citing a number of cutting edge buildings including the Discovery 1 School in Christchurch, New Zealand; Copenhagen's Hellerup School that features a staircase that doubles as an assembly hall and lecture theatre where pupils sit on the steps ; the extraordinary inflatable pods of Glasgow Caledonian University and even the Cayman Islands, which has recently re-branded the entire nation as a campus (because everyone is learning all the time).

"Enlightened architects listen to the people who are going to inhabit the building, what we need are buildings that can constantly be remade," he added.

User-generated discontent

In the second session of the afternoon, John Naughton asked whether the current "euphoric wave" for user-generated content was really "just an illusion". He added that rather give us more freedom, the shift towards amateur content was "actually still under the control of the companies who provide the sites." He added: "Its not freedom is the literal sence of the term." He went on to wonder whether "people are going to wake up and say they are being ripped off?"

James Cridland (Digital Media Virgin Radio) shrugged off the concerns stating that he felt that there exist a set of sufficient rewards for users to continue creating content for big media companies. Mike Taylor (Sky Movies Networked Media) was more candid, citing the sudden whelter of footage Sky News was now buying from members of the public (£250 a pop is the going rate). But, he warned, "people are putting themselves in dangerous situations." During the Buncefield oil depot explosion of 2005, the police told Sky that they had seen people runnig towards the blaze in order to get better pictures. "It will take a major disaster before people really begin to wonder whever this is a good idea."

How to get male programmers to talk to each other using women, cricket and two kids

Walter Herriot OBE explained how he got a group of "shy and reticent" programmers and engineers to start talking to each other at the St John's Innovation Centre in Cambridge. The centre, which belongs to St John's College, was created in order to foster an atmosphere and environment that would stimulate creativity and "make lots of money for the college". When he arrived, Herriot said he found the centre "an extremely boring and dull place" dominated by men who seemed categorically unable to talk to one another.

So how to create a better atmosphere? Well, the first thing Herriot did was to break up the male-dominated environment by inviting a more diverse range of companies to join the centre, especally those from the media and public relations sectors so, as he put it, "we could legitimately get women in the building." This policy lightened the atmosphere of the centre immensely, but still the engineers and programmers were failing to talk to each other. Herriot next tried wine tasting (but everyone got plastered) and football matches (but that made everyone want to fight) and he was wracking his brains to find a solution. And then it came. Cricket. Not violent, not necessarily alcohol inducing and English enough so everyone could join in. But still the different companies were failing to talk. As a, perhaps, last desperate act, Herriot enlisted some specialists: his two kids who were paid a fiver each for each introduction. He hasn't looked back since and St John's has blossomed into the centre of creativity it was originally designed to be.

From the fringes of memory

The artist Chris Dorley-Brown talked freely about the work he did for the BBC in the late 1960s and early 1970s. His work plays, he says, "at the edges of memory" and he showed footage from a documentary he made back then from the east end of London, replete with bomb damage from the Second World War. Indeed, the London docklands featured in the Man Alive documentary, which was broadcast in 1971 and rescued from the BBC archive only recently, are shown in the film as a decaying, post-industrial landscape far removed from the wealth so easily witnessed in the same area today. It was a fascinating view that triggered much from the fringes of my memory and i would have liked to have seen much more.

Dorley-Browne described his work as a kind of "creative estrangement". He also talked about the creative process itself and how that relates to collaboration. He said he collaborates all the time: with the BBC; with his subjects; with his family as he negotiates time to go shooting. But he says that "true collaboration is rare" and that - ultimately - the artistic journey is one of solitude.

Proboscis Public Authoring Zone

Proboscis are now setting up the Public Authoring Zone in the Maitland Room just across the lawn from the the lecture theatre. Over the next two days we will be inviting everyone at the conference to come and create a StoryCube to build up an evolving landscape of the issues, themes, ideas, people and concepts flowing through and around the conference. We hope to use the landscape of StoryCubes to create a meta-narrative of conversations and narratives in parallel to the main sessions of the conference.

We will also be inviting people to come and try out the DIFFUSION Generator to create their own hybrid digital/material
. Write a polemic, a manifesto, a diary of notes - whatever – and we will publish it here and now as tangible paper publication and shareable digital eBook.

Context is king

You have to be wary about trying to summarise a presentation that says, not long after it has begun, "we have to get away from essentialising explanations", but Anne Galloway also stressed the point that we are all mediators, and what is blogging if it is not a form of mediation? So ... Galloway talked about the differences between morals, ethics and ethos. She characterised morals as being the kind of top-down values that we get from things like fables (and the moral of the story is ...) and Biblical commandments, whereas ethics and ethos were much more fluid and bottom-up and are often much closer to etiquette and manners. It's a lot more complicated than that but i am just essentialising.

The point here, I suppose, is to help us understand the nature of collaboration. Towards the end of her presentation she said that we need to articulate the things that are important to us and be able to listen back. “Behaving ethically is about using each other in a positive way,” she said, before eloquently describing a positive form of manipulation; not trying to force others into your world view, but rather using their views as a material for you to manipulate, almost like a piece of clay, into your own personal ethical view and vice versa. In doing so, she said, “we can go forward together, but separate.”

Where we are

Downing College, where we meet this morning, was founded in the 1800 by Sir George Downing, the grandson of the man who built Downing Street in London. The old door to Number 10 lies somewhere within the college grounds, five bonus points for anyone who can find it. Ex-students of the college include John Cleese, the illustrator Quentin Blake and the poet Philip Hobsbaum.

And so it begins

We're off - although most of those who were lucky enough to be at The Junction for last night's opening and the chance to hear Bob Stein review the past and future of the book are probably recovering from the night's festivities. The domes are on Parker's Piece, the conference rooms await delegates and discussants and the day is young.

Check out today's programme for all the details. We'll be posting here, and on Flickr, YouTube and LibSyn throughout the next four days - look for 'enternet' - and we're happy to be your friend on MySpace too!

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

CRUMB Bliss Out Centre

The CRUMB team are en route to Cambridge to set up their Bliss Out Centre for the delegates of the Enter Festival conference _Unknown Territories. We'll be offering a nice cup of tea and a sit down (with a biscuit - some home-made!) along with other therapeutic activities:
  • 20 minute Indian Head Massages
  • Open Source Embroidery
  • Fortune Teller games to predict the future of new media art
  • motivational aides and a self-help reading library
  • teatime blogging tips
On Thursday afternoon we will welcome specialist advisor Charlotte Frost - the knitting net art historian, who can answer all manner of questions about Internet-based art and the methods used in writing a history of this emergent territory - cast off your fears that the glory days of have passed you by! On Friday afternoon we will welcome Kelli Dipple - the cross platform feasibility queen who will provide drop in advice for overworked and underpaid Media Artists and Curators. Ask her all those dirty questions about distribution and intellectual property, about collaborating across distance and the consequences of personal distribution, dealing with large institutions or general DIY production.

We'll post updates here as we go!

Friday, 20 April 2007

Julie Myers walking around Cambridge

Julie Myers's walks to other peoples favourite places began in Cambridge today.

Using her mobile phone to document the journeys she traces the texture of the streets, the noise of the traffic and the voices of local people.

From the foyer of The Junction Paul directed her to the "secret cafe" in Saint Edwards passage.
( Here he and his 5 year old daughter like to drink hot chocolate together).

From there Russell and Anna sent her to Clowns Restaurant . . . . . will she get there and where will they send her next ?

An alternative map of the city unfolds.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Aerial Phonography

Just in the nick of time, the weather prevailed and Simon Keep has managed to take his balloon ride across the city in preparation for Aerial Phonography.

Check out his blog for some great test footage, and of course come along to the domes on Parker's Piece to pick up a handset and experience the final work.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

A welcome from Annette

This is Annette's welcome message from the ENTER_ programme:
Welcome to the inaugural Enter_Unknown Territories Conference and Festival!

The Enter_ journey started two years ago. The re-branding of the Digital Arts Network and the start of Enter_Net’s regional activities signalled the culmination of a long-standing Arts Council England commitment towards new technology art in the Eastern region. Enter_ responded to an urge to produce and present innovative art in a prime technology environment, and to celebrate opportunities for collaboration.

Enter_ and explore with us! Beyond the environment of established arts and academic venues, festival activities take place across Cambridge: public art events, workshops and presentations in tents on Parker’s Piece (fly a spy-kite or take part in a giant potluck); get lost in an interactive maze at the Leper Chapel; experience live dance and sonic performances at the Junction, participate in debates and dialogue during the conference at Downing College – whether you are an expert or a newcomer, our activities invite you to explore, learn and share.

You won’t have to read a giant manual to enjoy the activities. Come and explore – the journey has just begun.
Download the programme from the main website - it's 5Megabytes but worth the electrons!

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Visit the new ENTER_ website

Our new home page and website are now online, with all that you need to know about the astonishing range of events, art, activities and excitement coming to Cambridge at the end of April. Check it out now!

Thursday, 5 April 2007

ENTER_LOVES YOUR RECIPES...... And wants to cook them for you!

As part of the Enter_Unknown Territories festivities artist Rainer Prohaska will be cooking up your favourite recipes in his electronic kitchen a reversed Coronation Feast, citing a giant feast that took place for 14,000 Cambridge residents in 1838; a performance and participative picnic - free admission and all welcome!

Please send in your mouth-watering recipes and ideas by Easter Monday 9 April to our Austrian chefs:

A selection of the best recipes will be prepared and served up to you during Local Food®: Potluck & Cables – Reversed Coronation Feast in the afternoon of Sunday 29 April on Parkers Piece.

For further information and to send a recipe please visit:

Please visit our website for further festival & conference information.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Monday, 2 April 2007

Want to be our friend?

ENTER_ has a MySpace profile, for those of you who are out there on the social network scene. We're at and would really like some friends...

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Working in the Mac room

Working in the Mac room
Originally uploaded by BillT.
The main part of last Thursday's event, Get a (Second) Life, was a hands-on session for the fifty people attending where they got to try out blogging, made their own podcasts and vodcasts, posted to Flickr and even got to adopt a new personality in Second Life.

It was bit crowded, but a lot of fun!

Come join us on Flickr

Flickr is one of the most popular photo-sharing websites, and it has many community features that make it a great place for collaborative projects like ENTER_

We have our own flickr account, enter_festival, where we are posting pictures in the run up to the festival and conference, but any flickr user is welcome to join the enternet group run by blogger Bill Thompson, or simply to tag their photos with enteronline so that they can be found there.

We look forward to seeing your pictures!

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Carly and Gill get a Second Life

Carly and Gill went to Cambridge
And had a honeycomb hot dog
Tummies full they found Annette
And created their very first blog

Down down down in the basement
Surrounded by computer geeks
They found swivel chairs to amuse them
And went round and round on their seats

Carly finally realised for sure
That Gill had lost the plot
When she wrote this poem, seriously
And went off with a student. NOT

Enter_ event tonight

The ENTER_ team is hosting an event at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge tonight, March 29th. Get a (Second) Life is a hands-on introduction to blogging, photosharing, social networks and virtual worlds, run by ENTER_ with help from Bedford Creative Arts, Long Road Sixth Form College and Anglia Ruskin University.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Let's Eat...

One of the highlights of the ENTER_ festival will be the Local Food picnic/performance, taking place on Parkers' Piece, Cambridge on the afternoon of April 29th. Echoing the Coronation Feast of 1838 this will be a live cooking performance with food and recipes contributed by those attending, an electronic potluck. More details on the Local/Food website, where the call for recipes is now open.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Conference Venue

Enter_Unknown Territories - The Conference will start on Wed 25 April in the evening at The Junction in Cambridge and take place at Downing College on Thu 26 and Fri 27 April. The central hub of the festival, the domesite on Parkers Piece is just across the road.


The ENTER_ conference will take place in Cambridge, beginning with Keynote talks from Anne Galloway (Canada), Stephen Heppell (UK) and Bob Stein (US).

Panel sessions include:

Uncommon Ground - Creative Encounters Across Disciplines and Sectors
(chair: David Garcia, Amsterdam)

Adventuring Out the Challenges of Knowledge Exchange (chair: Bronac
Ferran, London)

Future Space (chair: John Naughton, Cambridge)

Toolshift/Mindshift (chair: Rob van Kranenburg, Ghent)

Open Technology (chair: Sally Jane Norman, Newcastle on Tyne)

Control Technology (chair: Bill Thompson, Cambridge)

There will also be the launch of Uncommon Ground co-commissioned by Virtueel Platform & Utrecht School of Arts with support of Arts Council England's Artists' Insights strand, as well as the Proboscis public authoring zone, Crumb's bliss-out centre, workshops, presentations and public art events.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

sidings, cambridge, morning

sidings, cambridge, morning
Originally uploaded by BillT.
We will all be gathering in Cambridge at the end of April. If you happen to be walking over the pedestrian bridge over the railway, look out for this great perspective view.

What are we doing on Blogspot?

This is the blog for the ENTER_UNKNOWN TERRITORIES conference and festival, taking place in Cambridge, England from April 25-29 2007. It's will provide an opportunity to meet, share and discuss how we build and sustain collaborative creative practices in new technology, arts, education and commerce. So what are we doing on a free blog service instead of running our own state of the art server?

We're here because we can be. Because Blogger, like Typepad and Wordpress and other blogging tools, are free, easy, available and powerful. Because you no longer need to spend large amounts of money and lots of technical effort making an online presence - the net today allows anyone with access (and we recognise that this is a small proportion of the world's population) a simple way to speak and reach others.

So we'll be leveraging Blogger and Flickr and YouTube and Jumpcut. We'll be on MySpace and Facebook and bebo and Orkut. ENTER_ will be everywhere - and it will cost very little. The cost, of course, is in time and imagination. Being here is cheap. Being effective here is hard work.