Build Your Own: Tools for Sharing

FACT , Liverpool / UK

June 2, 2015

4 June–31 August 2015

FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology)
88 Wood St
Liverpool L1 4DQ

The exhibition Build Your Own: Tools for Sharing premieres at FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) 4 June–31 August and explores how digital technologies come together with traditional processes of production to create new ways of working, sharing and collaborating.
Co-produced by FACT, Crafts Council and Norfolk Museums Service, the exhibition features four newly commissioned works by leading makers, creative technologists and collectives. The exhibiting artists have been working closely with FACT’s award-winning engagement strand to develop projects with various local groups and communities in both Liverpool and Norwich to provide a major programme of related events and workshops.
Will Shannon and Turner Prize 2015 nominees Assemble’s new commission Homework explores domestic spaces as platforms for experimentation, production and learning. The artists set up a casting factory in the backyard of a newly refurbished house on Cairns Street in Toxteth, and have used reclaimed materials to manufacture concrete fire surrounds and mantelpieces for ten houses that are being refurbished for theGranby Four StreetsCommunity Land Trust. The casting workstation itself will be installed at FACT along with documentation of the project.

Linda Brothwell carried out research within Liverpool’s large Polish community for her project Acts of Care: The Lost Letters of Liverpool, to create a public intervention influenced by traditional Polish paper-cutting techniques and patterns. Brothwell has restored missing letters in iconic building signs in Liverpool with a new handcrafted alphabet that combines traditional English and Polish Wycinanki designs.

Neurotic Machines (working title) by Rachel Rayns, developed with the Raspberry Pi Foundation, shows us how an “Internet of Things” machine—a Raspberry Pi greenhouse—can work as an alternative gardening system by monitoring light levels, temperature, humidity and soil moisture in order to keep our plants healthy. Over 50 Raspberry Pi greenhouse kits will be built and used by individuals all over Liverpool, alongside a purpose-built garden at FACT.
The hacker and entrepreneur community DoES Liverpool, led by creative technologists Ross Dalziel, Patrick Fenner and Adrian McEwen, will set up an iteration of the Enabling the Future project by the e-NABLE community. DoES Liverpool will set up a production line of 3D printers at FACT, which will supply the components for building prosthetic hands for local people with real needs.
The wide range of projects under the Build Your Own umbrella show how nature of craft and DIY has changed drastically. The ability to make clothes, furniture and other household goods used to be absolutely necessary to provide for the family, but nowadays we are just as likely to create a website as to knit a sweater. New times call for new skills—but the old ones have an important role too. This exhibition explores what the democratisation of digital tools really means, whom the emergence of new technologies will affect, and how traditional craft skills can connect with new digital tools.
The exhibition is curated by curator and cultural programme director Lauren Parker and creative communications company Thirteen Ways. Artists Simon and Tom Bloor have created a bespoke environment for the show along with design studio An Endless Supply.
Alonside the exhibition, FACT also presents FACTLab; a pioneering workshop space where visitors of all ages are invited to explore the possibilities of creative technology, by experimenting with tools and devices that are normally out of reach to most of us.
A partnership between FACT and the School of Art and Design at LJMU, FACTLab will host visiting artists, support the development of new works, and provide a physical location for informal workshops and skill-sharing events. FACTLab aims to be the initial step of something that will grow into a permanent resource for engaging with the creative community
Build Your Own: Tools for Sharing will tour to Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery 3 October 2015–3 January 2016, where the artists will work with local communities and develop their artworks further.