Here’s what I’ve just submitted to Todmorden Lamplighter Parade - for Nov 16. They’re applying for Arts Council funding, & won’t know the outcome for 12 weeks. So, nothing’s firmed up yet.
Bridge Rectifier’s Work
Bridge Rectifier was set up as a hackerspace in mid 2015. Structured as a not-for-profit cooperative organisation (limited by guarantee), based in Hebden Bridge, the group aims to bring together a broad range of people to share knowledge and equipment to work on diverse projects. Typically, hackerspaces enable programmers, engineers, IT administrators, artists, chefs, musicians, and the curious to share knowledge and learn from each other. They’re for people interested in converging technology, arts, crafts and music. In a sense they’re a modern geeky reincarnation of working men’s clubs, women’s institutes and an inventor’s shed where groups of people use imagination and technology to make existing objects do something unexpected. Think of it as an open community laboratory, machine shop and workshop studio with a highly social element.
Individuals are free to work on personal projects, as well as collaborating on larger projects, potentially with a community focus. Following the Boxing Day floods in 2015, current plans include building and implementing a network of flood sensors. The data will be freely available to local people, and will be usedfor a variety of novel applications (including, but not limited to displaying live river levels using visual displays in local shop windows, etc). Other non flood related projects and events include: electronics workshops, robotic drawing machines, art discussions, reading groups, open source software exploration, and open agriculture workshops.
For more information, see: www.bridgerectifier.org.uk
A series of line drawings will be rendered in electroluminescent wire, derived from original drawings produced by Todmorden primary school children. This special wire is covered in plastic sheathing (available in various colours), and glows brightly. It may be powered by special battery packs, or bespoke mains supplies. Up to about 30 ‘wire drawings’ will be created, each perhaps roughly A3 or A2-sized. Images may be stitched onto dark canvas using transparent fishing line. A group of drawings will be displayed together, potentially in a row of church windows. It’s not certain yet whether bright power-hungry wire will be used, needing mains power, or whether dimmer wire will suffice, potentially using battery power. The chosen site may need to be quite dark, and checks made to trade off between image size, wire brightness, and viewing distance. Bridge Rectifier will liaise with schools to determine a suitable way of sourcing sketches. Image subject matter will be determined after a parade theme is chosen.
A second series of images will be created using (laser-cut) acrylic sheet, lit from the edge by one or more coloured LEDs powered by batteries. Power requirements will need to be determined after experimentation with image size. The image may be engraved by hand, or by laser-cutter, or by other methods (if these facilitate re-use of the acrylic for future years). Images will be sourced from secondary school pupils, potentially involving pupils in preparation of computer files ready for laser-cutting. Appearing to be lit from behind, these images will be suitable for display in a large church window – subject to appropriate fixing methods being identified.
How It Furthers Group’s Practice/ Ongoing Work
These two projects help to raise community awareness of Bridge Rectifier, its capabilities, facilities, and approach to collaborative working. Currently, the group needs to grow its membership to a sustainable level over the next year, whilst most of its running costs are covered by a Small Grant from Calderdale Council. BR intend to buy a laser-cutter in the next few months, which will be the group’s largest acquisition. A high profile laser-cutting application, via Lamplighter Parade, would help further promote Bridge Rectifier membership benefits for artists and makers across the region.
Bridge Rectifier plans to deliver both projects within a total budget of £1,000. Using volunteers, the group will need to purchase large amounts of electroluminescent wire and specialist power supplies, together with a lot of acrylic sheet, LED strips and suitable battery packs. Backing and mounting the work also needs to be considered.
Costs will depend on the number of images/ pupils involved; image size; EL wire brightness; and any specialist power requirements. All of that is difficult to gauge at such short notice.