The Long Lens blog: Photography with added snaps, art and culture

The photography site for sore eyes. Featuring: Art, photography, performance and theatre. With extra writing because I'm also a writer.

Creative Exchange and The Digital Public Space (not for people who read Bella)


The Digital Public Space is the fairly simplistic term given to the part of the online world where we can all be produce work and be creative.

If anyone has a more simplistic, better informed explanation than that, do drop me a line.

This place, the DPS, is a fascinating world of new ideas, cross-discipline collaboration and fear.
It ultimately aims to enhance society in general and the economy specifically.

Mike Ryan (Manchester Digital) ”Menworth Hill* can monitor two million digital communication channels at any one time.”


Some embrace it with excitement and exploration, others abuse it with pretty but pointless creations while a handful of academics are looking beyond the bluster and questioning the impact of the digital future on society.

The Creative Exchange, launched recently at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Manchester, is the tip of the iceberg in this area of user-generated content (audio, film and photos) and shared technologies.

This is what some of the seven guest speakers said at the event:
Bill Thompson (BBC Archives) “Metadata is the key… Everyone keeps their own stuff but shares access to it.”

Professor Richard Harper (Microsoft) “Facebook timeline… narrative is not linear.”
Professor Jo Twist (CEO UK Interactive Entertainment) “If we don’t have kids learning code, programming, we are stuffed.”

But you can’t imagine ideas without the help of visualisations. And here are mine from the launch event at MOSI.

From top to bottom: Professor Rachel Cooper, Mike Ryan, Professor Bill Thompson, Matt Watkins, Professor Neville Brody, Professor Jo Twist, Professor Richard Harper and Clement Renaud.


NOTE: The Creative Exchange is a collaboration between  Lancaster University, Newcastle University and the Royal College of Art.

NOTE TWO: I will shortly be writing about the problems of photographing in poorly lit conference spaces.

*Menworth Hill is an RAF station in North Yorkshire which is operated by US intelligence services.

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