BAC Scratch Online – Scratch Lab 1

BAC Scratch Online is a new digital project that Battersea Arts Centre is running with The Space. Using Scratch, we will support artists to create an ambitious and inspirational digital artwork especially for the internet. This week we are running our first Scratch Lab. This is what has happened so far…

DAY 1 Mon 20 Oct – Coding workshop
The day opened with an introduction of the history of the Internet and about its development from the first binary code to the World Wide Web. The workshop was delivered by Rob, one of the programmers involved in the project.  Through this session participants gained knowledge about some of the most important figures in the history of the internet, such as Alan Turing and Tim Berners-Lee. They also explored some digital artworks and had a look at the Wayback Machine (a digital archive of the World Wide Web).

After the lunch break artists enjoyed a practical workshop in coding. They learnt to create a webpage using HTML, CSS and Java script codes. Their webpages featured a close memory and they introduced images, videos and links to illustrate their memories. They learnt to modify the size, font and colour of the different elements that appeared on the webpage.

At the end of the session Rob introduced a webpage that he created especially for the workshop. They could hack the site using a special API provided by him. It gave them an insight into the experience of being a hacker, but was all completely legal!

DAY 2 Tues 21 Oct – Sessions with the Programmers and Producers
Artists introduced their ideas and goals to everyone in the room. After that, the group was divided in three different workgroups to chat about their ideas with one of the three programmers: Rob, Oscar, and Michael. They discussed about the opportunities that the Internet could offer their projects and how they can work to improve the functionality, visibility and impact of their ideas.

In the afternoon the programmers changed groups in order to exchange their ideas and to make sure that the artists could take advantage of the their different expertise. The artists and programmers identified challenges that they would need to solve for each project and discussed what would be feasible.

These session also allowed artists to enhance their network and to see their projects from a different point of view. The brainstorming process allowed them to shape their ideas that they will be presenting 22 Oct to a panel. Three ideas will be selected and developed into a Scratch 29 Nov (at the next Scratch Lab.)

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