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Annual Review – Tate Exchange 2019

The Tate exchange provided an excellent opportunity for both staff and students from the University of Reading’s ArtLab team to further engage with digital technologies and re-think the art making process. Our students were able to pick up the narratives and processes to deliver these workshops in small group scenarios. The ease of access to understand technology and art across all workshops at the Tate Modern delivered by ArtLab created dynamic and visceral interaction for our school groups and the general public.

Making Moves:

Making Moves is a collaborative sculpture workshop using your body. The aim is to re-imagine, re-create and re-produce sculptures on display in the Tate Modern using your bodies to create shapes and forms together. Your collaborative sculpture will then be 3D scanned and uploaded to an online library for you to access in school or at home. Get ready to strike a pose!

I developed this workshop activity for our 2019 event featuring the use of AR technology. Primary schools visiting the Tate Modern with us were taken on a tour and encouraged to think about how to re-produce the shapes and forms as a group from sculptures they had seen. In using a readily available and free to download app ‘SketchFab’ we were able to both demonstrate the scope of AR and its possibilities.  The Tate Exchange provided us with the contemporary art landscape from which to develop ideas about what sculpture can be and how a human body can be used as a sculptural form itself. Our evaluations showed that this gave 26% a better understanding of art although 22% of pupils wished they had more time for the activity. The time limitations were also mirrored through the amount of interaction we could provide with more complicated technologies such as 3D scanning with only 5% feeling as if they had learnt something about this process in the workshop. However the legacy of using a free app allows pupils from all backgrounds to access content they produced with nothing more than a standard PC and web browser. This was reflected in the teachers feedback where over 60% definitely agreed that pupils were engaging with technology. One teacher wrote: ‘Amazing resources and technology’.

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