News

Ever played a futuristic 3D space-bongo or a Theatre Jukebox?

Posted on Wed 27 Mar 2013
A new kind of electronic synthesiser.

It's been all systems go at Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio lately, with two of our residents hurtling into 2013 with a line up of exciting projects and new adventures.

Resident theatre producers Stand + Stare Collective have already found themselves travelling halfway across the world as news of their enchanting arcade-style storytelling machine Theatre Jukebox spread like wild-fire. After returning from Austin, Texas where their Jukebox was nominated for an Interactive Art award at festival South by Southwest, the brother and sister duo have got stuck into the many projects that they have in the pipeline for this year.

“Imagine a Jukebox that plays stories instead of records, and allows you to choose only the chapters you want” [DShed]

Using RFID tags (the touch-based technology used in Oyster cards) hidden inside beautiful postcards, the Jukebox invites you to choose a card and place it on the tabletop. Once you put on a pair of headphones, a story is triggered and magical projections animate the postcard and spread over the surface.

A Theatre Jukebox - a juke box that plays stories instead of records.

From 8 – 12 April, Stand + Stare Collective will also be leading Watershed’s annual Grundtvig workshop bringing together older learners from across Europe. This year’s workshop, Digital Dishes, will use our relationship with food and the memories it evokes to create a new collection of food-related stories for the Theatre Jukebox.

With forthcoming commissions from the Library of Birmingham, Oxford City Council, and a project with Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry in the pipeline, not to mention a brand new project commissioned as part of Watershed’s REACT scheme, the duo have a very busy year ahead of them.

On the other, slightly noisier, side of the Studio, musical innovators nu desine have just shipped their first ever order of AlphaSpheres. A musical instrument made up of 48 pressure-sensitive rubber pads, the AlphaSphere offers a new way to interact with music and its delivery to market marks a huge achievement for the small team who have worked tirelessly over the past three years to reach this point.

“The AlphaSphere doesn't just improve the synthesiser, it completely reinvents it as a futuristic 3D space-bongo” [Stuff Magazine]

After a whirlwind year seeing nu desine listed next to technology giants Microsoft, Google and Nokia for Stuff Magazine’s Design of the Year Award, the team have propelled themselves into the new year by exhibiting at one of the world’s largest music trade shows in California, The NAMM Show. After 4 days of demonstrations and meetings, nu desine returned home to begin hand-assembling 20 AlphaSpheres ready to be shipped out. Consisting of more than 400 individual parts per device, this was no mean feat. Having successfully waded out of the mounds of plastic, foam, and rubber, the team are now hard at work preparing for the UK launch of the AlphaSphere.

Two members of nuDesine packing up the Alphasphere's ready for shipment

To keep up to date with what’s happening in the Studio head over to pmstudio.co.uk or join us on a Friday afternoon for our Open Studio Fridays. For more information on the Theatre Jukebox, come along to our free lunchtime talk on Friday April 26th at 1pm, where Stand + Stare Collective will be telling us all about the adventures of their gorgeous device.