Out of the Vacuum

What Happened

Out of the Vacuum was a Tutor Time challenge – a whole school intervention project that took place during tutor time at both Academies. Tutor time runs daily before timetabled lessons start and each tutor group includes a mixed age range from years 8-11.

This simple, short project aimed to test how an application (like Pinterest) could be used across the whole school to engage staff and students collectively, and to find a creative way of bringing students together to set up an ‘ambassadors group’ who would go on to take more responsibility for leading, planning and delivering future activities for Art at Work.

All teachers learnt how to use Pinterest during an INSET day. A competition was then announced for each tutor group, challenging them to design a themed festival using photography and digital technology. They could only enter by using Pinterest.

Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo/ video sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, “re-pin” images to their own pinboards, or “like” photos.

Students were told that Art at Work was seeking to commission a new festival for the city. Each company (tutor group) was required to work together to create a their own proposal for the design and plan of a public, site-specific festival.

Each proposal was expected to:

• Create a site specific festival event (virtual or physical).
• Involve 140 x year 8 students and 30 teachers from 2 local Academies as active participants in the festival.
• Involve the local community, somehow in the production, and to accommodate an audience of 800-1000 people.
• Feature the visual arts and creative use of technology somewhere in the programming or planning of the festival.
• Work with a range of practitioners such as artists, photographers, games designers and digital developers.
• Involve at least 3 local businesses.
• Include the kind of events and experiences that would make you and your friends want to go to the festival.

Pinterest was used as a creative digital tool for gathering inspirational images and footage during the design phase of the challenge, and groups had to include creative ways of making money, watch out for the Council Public Events Officer, be Health & Safety obsessed and very conscious of environmental impact.

Each proposal was entered into an online internal voting process for short-listing, with each group getting the chance to select their favourite proposal to represent their school. The final winning proposal was then selected by the Art at Work team with the winning group getting the chance to go onto the Brighton Wheel in September with a professional photographer to take shots of the city from the air.

The winning group was LG4. The team said:  Our Company is called Jammin Ltd and we would like to set up a music festival for Brighton & Hove which uses outdoor venues and indoor venues like pubs/clubs on the sea front. We would like to celebrate International Day of Peace (21st September) with a weekend of music to bring people together.

To see the winning idea in more detail, go to Pinterest and search for artatworklg4 and then click pinned.