Ubuntu in our eyes has very much been a success story as far as we are concerned SoSLUG and the MediaShed then called the Jelliedeel Shed having had donated to it a number of redundant computers and screens for a "Grow Your Own Media Lab" hosted by Access Space in Sheffield and hosted by James Wallbank a Linux Lab was setup covering a three day period to introduce the concept of extending the life of old or redundant computers, these same computers would normally destined for land fill sites. Now an EC Law prevents land fill contamination by hazardous chemicals and metals contained in computer related equipment.
Over the three days James Wallbank would introduce the use of Ubuntu 5.10 on such equipment.
December 9th, 10th and 11th (Fri to Sun), 2005 (GYOML)
Grow Your Own Media Lab (GYOML) is a project to develop creative, open access IT centres across the UK, combining the latest free software with locally recycled computers. The project was funded by Arts Council England and led by Access Space Sheffield. This three day workshop was hosted by Mongrel at its space in Southend and led to the setting up of the current MediaShed facility.
What is a Media Lab?
A Media Lab means a place equipped with computers where people can come to learn, create and communicate online. It's a place where you can share technical information and creative ideas, where you can experiment without the fear of screwing something up. It's a place where you can show things you are working on, meet potential collaborators for projects and find new artistic uses of digital technology that suit you. The Media Lab is about how to organise and pool our resources so that everyone gets the most out of digital media.
Over three days James Wallbank from Access Space worked with SoSLUG, Mongrel and the then Jelliedeel Shed now the MediaShed to show people how to set up and run a Media Lab using recycled computers. The intention being that afterwards the Media Lab would be available for artists and local people to use and run.
The three days were a mixture of discussions, demonstrations and hands-on workshops.
- Day 1 (Fri): open presentation and demonstrations to get people excited about the Media Lab model.
- Why do we need a Media Lab in Southend?
- How can free and open source software and trash technology make a difference?
- Day 2 (Sat): practical workshops on setting up and running a Media Lab, topics like LINUX installation on recycled kit and basic desktop software like word processing and image manipulation.
- Day 3 (Sun): practical workshops on running a Media Lab and how participants can use it as a resource and as an organisation in their work.
Finish with a surgery on ideas for individual or group project work.
Around these events there was also plenty of time for questions, demonstrations or just hacking around. At then end of the workshop the group decided that this would be a good model on which to begin building a Media Lab style space hosted in Mongrel's shed. The MediaShed was born soon after and the rest is history...
To see what sorts of things other people have done in the past, see Access Space project site at rit.lowtech.org