Dorkbot Cardiff

Dorkbot Cardiff
Thanks to Paul Granjon and Pete Hathaway for inviting me to come and talk at Dorkbot Cardiff next week. Other speakers include Dr Nick Lambert, Chairman of the Computer Arts Society & Olivia Kotsifa, who is involved in the Cardiff Fab Lab project (an MIT project). I went to the Nairobi Fab Lab (with Paul Granjon) back in 2010 which was amazing, so it’ll be great to see those facilities in Wales too.

I’m going to be talking about some Arduino projects, plywood, pointlessness, momento mori and microrenewables. It’s on next Thursday 6th Dec at Milgi’s on City Road. More on the Dorkbot Cardiff website.

Did you film the Pickler Demolition?

If you filmed the demolition of ‘The Pickler’ (part of the Ebbw Vale Steelworks) – on 31st March 2004, I’d really like to hear from you.

The event was filmed by lots of people on both sides of the valley, some of whom are in the clip. I’m trying to trace as many of these films as possible, the plan being to show them simultaneously as part of Ghost Parade on 1st July 2012. If you filmed the demolition or know anyone who did and would be happy for their film to be used in the project, please send me an email on or leave a message on the Ghost Parade Facebook Page.

I will of course credit anyone whose film I use.

Ghost Parade Submissions are Open

Ghost Parade, my contribution to Marc Rees’ Adain Avion project took a step closer to realisation today – video submissions are now open, so if you’re from Ebbw Vale or the surrounding area, or have a connection to the town, please contribute your video portrait. And then of course come along on the night (July 1st) to see if you can spot yourself onscreen…

I’ve tried to make it as easy as possible to take part, so videos can be shot on a mobile phone, web cam, flip thing or even a video camera… There’s lots more information on how to take part on the submissions page.

This part of the project came out of archival research at Ebbw Vale Works Archival Trust, particularly filmed portraits of office staff taken outside the building. The film is from 1918, so very early on in the history of film and the film’s subjects seem unsure of how to respond to the camera’s presence. They remain as still as possible, as if they’re posing for a photograph, whilst the activity of the steelworks goes on around them. There’s a few examples on the ghost parade YouTube channel. Submissions by email will appear directly on the YouTube channel too, so it should hopefully act as an evolving archive of submissions.

Save Sculpture at UWIC/CSAD

UWIC (University of Wales Institute Cardiff)/CSAD (Cardiff School of Art and Design) (more affectionately known as Howard Gardens) seems to be being dismantled from within. Last year the Time Based department was shut down, and now they’ve announced a summary execution of Sculpture.

This is clearly a VERY BAD IDEA. ….


Sign the petition:


A protest rally against the closure of the department will be held at UWIC’s Llandaff Campus at 4.00pm today (14th of December). All welcome!

Maker Faire Africa

I’m currently in Nairobi in Kenya with Paul Granjon and Peter Hathaway, for Maker Faire Africa, on behalf of bloc: Creative Technology Wales. Maker Faires are like science faires for DIY technology and the African version is billed as a ‘celebration of African ingenuity, innovation and invention’. bloc ran a Maker Faire as part of May You Live in Interesting Times and commissioned several practitioners for the festival, so this year they’ve sent a contingent to Kenya to continue the dialogue started in 2009.

At the Faire itself I’m going to be working with Nairobits Digital Design School, doing surgeries for Makers about marketing their wares online for free, but in the meantime I’m helping Paul out with his ‘Nairobi Solar Machine‘ project, working with students from FabLab in Nairobi University. This feeds nicely into some work I’ll be doing with arduino and micro generation in the autumn, as part of Powys’ Chance to Create scheme.

The three of us are writing a blog over at WordPress, although to be fair, Peter is the main contributor, by quite a long way.

Bogey Road on BBC Wales

BBC Wales have posted an article about The Bogey Road project on their website, including a clip of one of the Ffos-y-fran/1984 Miner’s Strike sequences. The article is here:

Update: The film in it’s entirety is also now available in the Project section.

‘The Bogey Road’ Premiere

Still from Ffos-y-fran/Miner's Strike sequenceA new short film, The Bogey Road will be premiered at St Aidan’s Church, Butetown, Rhymney, Caerphilly NP22 5QH on Thursday 12th August 2010 from 3.00pm. The premiere will be combined with the unveiling of Simnai Dirdro (Twisted Chimney) by artist Brian Tolle. The unveiling will start at 2pm just to the north of the village.

The Bogey Road is a short film, which uses archive, found and ‘orphan’ film, to create a series of vignettes that bring the archive into a sometimes uncomfortable collision with the present.

The commission was to make a short film in and around Butetown, an unfinished ‘model’ village built to house iron workers in the 1820’s, in the Upper Rhymney Valley, Caerphilly, just off the A465 Heads of the Valleys road. Using archive and found moving image material, the film replays moments from the archival footage in locations which resonate, or jar with, the original material. The process required working closely with local residents, filming in people’s homes as well as pubs, churches, the Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil and the Ffos-y-fran land reclamation site at Cwmbargoed.

The original footage was contributed by local residents and historians, Chapter Video Workshop, the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales and the Archive at BBC Cymru Wales.

For further information and press images please contact: Senior Project Manager, Emma Price at Safle on Tel No: 0845 241 3684 E-mail:

Download The Bogey Road Press Release

Beginners Arduino Workshop, Cardiff

Arduino 316As part of a Chance to Create project, I’ve teamed up with Rhys Williams to put together Wales’ first Tinker It! Beginners Arduino Workshop on 27 & 28 Feb 2010. Here’s the gen:

Do you have an interest in open source software, constructing your own hardware, simple electronics or interactivity? This weekend workshop will provide a basic introduction to the Arduino platform for artists, designers and hobbyists. The workshop will be led by Tinker It!, the UK`s leading provider of Arduino training.

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It`s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.

Places cost £140 for students and includes a beginners arduino kit to take away.

No prior experience of Arduino or electronics is required to take part.

To book please visit:

For directions to Chapter please visit the website:

The workshop has been organised by Rhys Williams and Stefhan Caddick, and is kindly supported by Chapter Gallery, Ffotogallery, bloc and Powys County Council`s Chance to Create scheme.

Introduction to Arduino

What could be better than spending a weekend learning about Arduino, the favorite open source hardware hacking platform for designers, artists and hobbyists? Aimed at students, artists, and designers or anyone who wants to learn the basics of Arduino, simple electronics and building interactive projects.! has been running monthly workshop around Arduino and its uses in creative uses since 2007.! is a design studio based in London and Milan designing interactive products and spaces for brands, events and museums.

What do I need to bring?

Please bring a laptop if you have one, although Ffotogallery have kindly offered to provide them for anyone who can`t access one. If you`re bringing a Mac laptop, then you need to know the admin password for it to install the software). NB: You don`t need to already know about electronics to come to this workshop.

What we will provide

A beginners Arduino kit which you can take away with you after the workshop.

Archive Film Night

You are invited to an evening of films from the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales. The films were all shot in the Rhymney Valley or South Wales Valleys between the 192o’s and the 1970’s. Commentary by historian Huw Williams.

Thursday 20th November 2008
7 – 9.30pm.

St Aidan’s Church, Butetown, Rhymney, NP22 5QH

Highlights include:

  • Ferndale Carnival – amateur footage from a 1926 Carnival, held in aid of the ‘Distress Fund’ for striking miners’ families.
  • Washing Day – a home movie about domestic life in Bargoed in the 1950’s.
  • Eastern Valley – a 1937 documentary about a social experiment in which unemployed miners form a co-operative to grow their own food.

The screening forms part of a project by artist Stefhan Caddick, who has been commissioned by Caerphilly County Borough Council and Safle to make a short film in and around the Butetown area.