I Am The Mighty Jungulator evaluation report

Ruth Jacobs
May / June 2005

Evaluation of three community based Jungulator workshops:

The Park, Knowle West 17 - 19 Aug 2004
Juice Bar, Laurence Weston 25 - 27 Oct 2004
Fonthill School, Southmead 16 - 18 Feb 2005

Contents:

1/ Background

1.1/ Aim of this report
1.2/ General aims of the PAYP / Jungulator workshops
1.3/ Aims of IATMJ
1.4/ Creative aims of the Community Portrait workshops
1.5/ Structure / delivery of the Community Portrait workshops

2/ Feedback from participants

2.1/ Knowle West - The Park: Breakdown of evaluation forms
2.2/ Lawrence Weston - Juice Bar: Breakdown of evaluation forms
2.3/ Southmead - Fonthill School: Breakdown of evaluation forms

3/ Comments from youth workers / Connexions workers

3.1/ Noel Goodwin - Connexions West Of England, The Park, Knowle West.
3.2/ Dave Leavesley - IATMJ, The Park, Knowle West, (movie)
3.3/ Mark Parsons - Youth Worker, Juice Bar Lawrence Weston, (movie)
3.4/ Simon Preston - Arts Development Worker, Southmead Youth Centre, (movie)

4/ Comments from IATMJ

4.1/ Community Portrait - concept and delivery
4.2/ IATMJ roles and relationships with workshop participants
4.3 / IATMJ roles and relationships with youth workers
4.4/ Sustainability issues
4.5/ Learning and development

5/ Summary

5.1/ Workshop participants
5.2/ Community cohesion / development
5.3/ Progression

Appendix - sample evaluation form

1/ Background

The series of workshops were managed by Watershed and led by artists I Am The Mighty Jungulator (previously known as Socket) comprising Nathan Hughes, Matt Olden, Dave Leavesley and Guy Fowler. The workshops were coordinated and funded by Connexions West of England through the Positive Activities for Young People scheme, (PAYP) 2004 - 2005. Also involved were the Young People’s Service, and BYCA, (Bristol Youth Community Action). Connexions West of England was responsible for recruitment of the young people to the workshops, and for ensuring adequate staffing levels. Watershed was responsible for police checking of their own and freelance staff, and carrying out risk assessments.

All the workshops were held at venues with suitable resources in terms of computers and other equipment. IATMJ provided some equipment and the Jungulator software; Watershed provided extra laptops, 2 digital video cameras, mics, tripods, and consumables such as dv tapes, etc.

The proposal was to run a series of community based workshops to build on the successes of the pilot project of the previous year when a series of 1 day and 3 day VJ (video jockey) workshops were held at Watershed. Participants of these pilot VJ workshops were young people in Bristol at risk of exclusion from mainstream education, working with Connexions West of England under the Positive Activities for Young People initiative, 2003 - 2004, also with BYCA, through the Bristol Youth Offenders Team. During all workshops young people were supported by key workers from the Youth Offending Team or Connexions West of England, plus members of Watershed Learning Team who were police checked.

Delivery of the pilot workshops was led by skilled technicians and experienced creative professionals. Contributing to the project and working with young people were artists I Am The Mighty Jungulator (IATMJ), whose custom made interactive audio software, The Mighty Jungulator, was used to generate the drum’n’bass soundtrack from sampled sound fed into it, and Vjs.net, a group of artists, performers and musicians who aim to bring all forms of live video art together, raising the awareness and respect for VJing to the levels of DJing and defining it as a new art form for the digital age.

For further details of these artists and their work see
www.iamthemightyjungulator.com
www.vjs.net

The aim of the PAYP programme is to provide young people at risk with the support, guidance and opportunity to undertake positive activities they need to avoid offending and to fulfill their true potential in education, training or employment. Through the initiative young people can gain access to high quality arts, sports and cultural activities, and those who have developed a talent or interest in these areas are enabled to continue after the programme has ended.

Outcomes for young people should include personal development, confidence building, participation in activities, attendance in appropriate education, employment or training leading to learning of new skills, reduction in criminal activity and encouraging young people to play a positive role in the local community.

For further details of pilot VJ workshops 2003 - 2004 see www.dshed.net/digitised/alchemy

To summarise; during the 2004 - 2005 programme Watershed, Connexions West of England, and other partners aimed to build and improve on the successes of the 2003 - 2004 pilot VJ project, and so decided to continue working with the IATMJ artists, as it was felt that they were capable of building a good rapport with young people. Following discussion with the artists and youth workers, it was also decided to base the next series of workshops in community venues rather than at Watershed. The rationale behind these decisions is discussed in sections 1.4 and 1.5, and outcomes are examined in section 4.

1.1/ Aim of this report

To present and clarify the aims and objectives of the programme of activities. Examine the structure and delivery of the workshop.

Collect and comment on feedback from participants, youth workers and artists from 3 community based Jungulator workshops.

Assess the impact of the activity and the value of any learning that has taken place.

To discuss any problems, document good practice, and establish a route forward for future programmes.

The written report is accompanied by 3 short movies consisting of interviews with IATMJ artists / youth workers and examples of work by young people at each workshop location.

1.2 / General aims of the PAYP / Jungulator workshops

The workshops aim to develop young peoples’ creative and technical skills and self confidence through participatory activity and the opportunity to work with experts in the field. Creating digital movies and sound and using a range of equipment and software including the Jungulator package provides an imaginative and innovative means to promote a range of transferable arts-based skills such as:

General skills encouraged during the workshops include:

Development of these skills are supported within in the objectives of PAYP, which aims to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour, and encourage young people into education and training by providing opportunities for personal and creative development through a programme of high quality activities.

1.3 / Aims of IATMJ (from Company objectives)

1.4 / Creative aims of the Community Portrait workshops

This section looks at the change in emphasis of the creative content developed during the 3 workshops from summer 2004 to spring 2005.

IATMJ wanted to work on the idea of producing a self generative community portrait using the Jungulator software, and move away from the VJ work that formed the basis of previous workshops. The rationale was that moving image, animations, interviews and sound would be created at chosen locations around the community based venues by the participants of the workshops, who would be able to select the content according to their own ideas and aspirations of what is important to them in that community. Edited movies and sounds would be fed into the Jungulator software to produce a constantly changing self generative portrait of the community made by its members. Because of the random nature of the Jungulator, each time the community portrait is shown it will be different. It was felt that this would be an effective way to engage young people in examining and representing aspects of their community of significance to them.

In the pilot VJ workshops there was an element of performance in that work was shown or performed to a small invited audience on the final afternoon of the project. This created an impetus to finish work in order to have something to show, and was an important way of celebrating achievement. The end presentation / screening with an audience was an aspect of the work that was continued on the final day of each of the Community Portrait workshops.

During the pilot VJ workshops it had been observed that participants tended to work separately or in pairs, where each participant, or pair of participants, would be encouraged to work on individual pieces. IATMJ were keen to enable participants in the workshops to make one collective piece of work, that all participants felt ownership of, and had all contributed to, rather than several disparate pieces made by individuals. The Community Portrait would allow participants to integrate individual movies and sound created during the workshop into one piece of work. Using this model, it was hoped that participants could be encouraged to work together and develop as a team. By basing the workshops in the community it was possible to bring together groups of young people who lived in the same area, some of whom knew each other already, and some who were new to the area, and to engage them in a creative activity that involved getting to know each other and their locality in more depth.

The idea was that after the workshops had finished, the Jungulator software and all the completed media would remain in the community venue, on a hard drive, so that the work could be displayed and further material added at any point in the future.

1.5 / Structure / delivery of the Community Portrait workshops

IATMJ begin by setting up the room with laptops, projectors, speakers etc. and providing a general introduction to themselves and the concept of generative media. During the latter workshops, examples of work from previous workshops are presented, to show young people what is possible and to “generate a bit of tribal rivalry”.

The introduction includes a demonstration and explanation of the Jungulator music software, but essentially the aim is to get young people involved in hands on working as soon into the workshop as possible. Technical aspects of the work such as camera use, filming on location, editing and creating sound and music using the Jungulator are explained as and when participants need to know.

Matt says;

“We aim to be flexible and respond to the interests of the participants. we try not to be like teachers at school, we don’t spend too long explaining and telling people what to do. It’s good to have lots of tricks up your sleeve, so to speak, so that if one thing doesn’t work you can try something else.”

“We don’t have a conscious policy of engagement, we’re kind of like each other when we are working together but we all do slightly different things. Nathan takes care of the filming and organises ideas. Dave likes editing and messing about with the visuals, Guy works quietly with the kids setting up, doing music, and I (Matt) look after the Jungulator software. Kids often learn by stealth, they don’t even realise they are learning; they are just there to enjoy themselves but after 3 days they have something to show.”

Workshop participants are encouraged to develop ideas and start collecting material for the community portrait straight away. This includes experimenting with the Jungulator software, learning how to use a dv camera and going out on location, filming and interviewing people. Sometimes this was carried out in participants’ houses or in the local shops and streets.

During day 2 collecting material continues and there is more emphasis on editing. Young people are introduced to editing software, usually iMovie, and encouraged to edit their own short movies to go into the community portrait.

On day 3 editing continues and the material is collected onto the host machine. Around 2pm on the final afternoon, IATMJ call a halt to proceedings and prepare for the final screening. Friends and family members are invited to the screening, which usually lasts for 15 - 20 mins. The Jungulator is left to run and it produces a self generative selection of the work made by the young people throughout the workshop.

A working version of the Jungulator software is left at the venue so that young people can continue contributing new material to the community portrait after the workshop. A linear version is also recorded so that there is a documented version of the material as seen at the final screening which can be used by the host organisation as a record of their activities.

2/ Feedback from participants

See appendix for sample evaluation form that was used to gather feedback on the final day of each workshop.

The evaluation form was a useful tool to help participants reflect on the workshop experience and articulate what they thought they had learned. The disadvantage of this method was that any participants who were not there on the final day did not get to complete a form or have on record what their thoughts and experiences of the workshop had been.

Using digital video to document the workshops at different stages during the 3 days of each workshop went some way towards obtaining a fuller picture, and some observations made during the workshops are available in the 3 short movies that accompany the report.

2.1 / Knowle West - The Park

Breakdown of evaluation forms

7 participants completed evaluation forms; these were the participants who attended each day and made the most contribution to the project out of a total of about 10 - 12 young people who appeared at the workshop at different times, mostly wanting to play football.

Participants ranged in age from 8 to 14, there being three 8yr olds and one 9yr old. Two of the 8yr olds had only just had their birthdays and were twins. All the participants of this workshop except 1 seemed to be related; they were either siblings or cousins. A friend turned up on the second day and participated in some activities and also completed an evaluation form.

Summary of results as follows:

Reasons for participating in the workshop; 3 said it was a fun holiday activity, 3 said they wanted to learn new skills. 1 said it “looked like fun so I just joined in”

3 participants found the level of the project just right, 1 said it was challenging and 3 said it was simple.

Most found the duration of the project just right, and thought it was good that there were lots of different things to do. 1 said 3 days was a bit too long and 1 said it was too short.

Most participants said they did what they wanted on the course and nothing was missed out that they’d have liked to do - except a visit to the park, mentioned by 1 person.

All found the equipment and facilities at the Park excellent or good, and said they got on excellently or well with the workshop leaders. 1 said, “Guy’s the best”. All said they had an excellent / useful level of help and support, and plenty of hands on time, except for 1 person who did not use their time to make work, and then complained about it.

All participants said they had learned technical skills in camera and filming, and some also listed digital video editing, animation using Goo, and audio using Jungulator software.

At this workshop the most popular activity was camera use and filming and most participants listed this as their favourite activity. 1 participant said their favourite activity was “messing about on Guy’s computer” and 1 said they liked editing. The only thing they didn’t like (apart from each other at times) was “doing things over and over for the camera”

Experience / skills gained from the project included; teamwork / working with other people, building confidence, and technical skills using the camera or making music.

Most participants thought their new skills would be useful at school or in a job. 1 person didn’t know how anything he had learned on the course would help him in the future.

All said the overall experience was excellent or good and that they’d like to be involved in a project like this again. All signed consents for their creative material to be published online if required.

2.2 / Lawrence Weston - Juice Bar

Breakdown of evaluation forms

7 participants completed evaluation forms out of a total of about 15 who attended the workshop at some point over the 3 days and contributed material to the project. Participants ranged in age from 12 to 14, and most were girls, although some boys got involved mainly as subjects to be filmed by the girls. On the final day some of the girls were excluded because of bullying behaviour and so did not complete forms.

Summary of results as follows:

Reasons for participating in the workshop; most said it was a fun holiday activity and they wanted to learn new skills, and that they wanted to learn about cameras and filming. 1 said her cousin had told her to come but she didn’t know what to expect.

3 participants found the level of the project challenging, 1 said it was very challenging 1 found it just right, and 2 found it simple.

Most found the duration of the project just right, and 1 thought it was good that there were lots of different things to do. 2 found it too short and no one found it too long.

No one mentioned anything they wanted to do that was not included in the workshop.

All found the equipment and facilities at the Juice Bar excellent or good, and without exception they all said they got on excellently with the workshop leaders, who gave them excellent help and support, and plenty of hands-on time.

All participants said they had learned technical skills in camera and filming, and some also listed digital video editing, animation using Goo, audio using Jungulator software, and interviewing skills.

At this workshop the most popular activities were camera use, filming, and interviewing other people. 1 person said their favourite activity was animation using Goo.

Experience / skill gained from the project included; confidence with the camera, communication skills, interviewing skills, working with others in a group and helping them with camera and interview skills. 1 participant said “ I met loads of new people, learned how to do movies and interview technique. I interviewed 3 people who I didn’t know; I’ve never done that before. I learned how to edit movies.”

Most participants thought their new skills might be useful in a job. 1 said, “If I want to do camera work it will come in handy”. 1 said, “when I go on holiday I can use a camcorder and using the computer, I’ll know how to get the stuff on.” 1 said “ I might be able to work on cameras or an interviewing show on TV in the future, learning more about that at college maybe.”

All said the overall experience was excellent or good and that they’d like to be involved in a project like this again.

2.3/ Southmead - Fonthill School

Breakdown of evaluation forms

6 participants completed evaluation forms but the participants who filled in the evaluation forms were not necessarily those who had participated most in the workshop, just those who were around at the time that the forms were being completed.

Summary of results as follows:

Participants ranged in age from 14 to 19, and were mostly boys.

Reasons for participating in the workshop; all said they wanted to learn new skills, 1 also wanted to develop interest in cameras and filming.

All the participants found the level of the project “just right”, 1 also said it was challenging.

Half of the participants found the duration of the project too short and 1 thought it was good that there were lots of different things to do. 2 said the 3 days were just right.

No one mentioned anything they wanted to do that was not included in the workshop.

All found the equipment and facilities at Fonthill School excellent or good, and said they got on excellently or well with the workshop leaders. All said they had an excellent or useful level of help and support, and plenty of hands on time - except for one person who had just turned up on the last day.

All participants, except the person who had only joined the workshop on the last day, said they had learned a range of technical skills including: camera and filming, digital video editing, creating music and sound using instruments and creating audio using Jungulator software.

At this workshop the most popular activities were creating music and sound and camera use and filming. 1 said he enjoyed “learning new skills”

Experience / skill gained from the project included; building confidence and technical skills. 1 person said “ I have gained more skills on my bass guitar …it will help me play better.”

Most participants did not answer the question about how their new skills might help them in the future except for 1 person who thought what he had learned might help him at college.

The overall assessment was that the workshop was excellent or good, and that they’d probably like to be involved in a project like this again.

3/ Comments from Youth Workers / Connexions workers

3.1/ Noel Goodwin - Connexions West Of England, The Park, Knowle West.

Noel selected the young people who went on the Jungulator workshop from a group who regularly attend holiday activities at the Park. Looking back at the activities nearly a year later, he says;

“Seven of the participants were siblings or cousins from the same family, which in hindsight was not a great idea - it led to family squabbles and so on. The other lad (Damien) is someone I work with from a children’s home. He was a bit older (14 at the time, I think) and I wanted to give him the opportunity for some mentoring. He sometimes took well to this and sometimes not. He did get to grips with the technology fairly well, though. I don't know if it had any long term effect on Damien, but it kept him positively engaged during the holidays. The rest of the guys still regularly attend holiday activities at the Park, and one of the middle children did ask if we were doing anything similar this summer, which is positive.

They definitely enjoyed it but maybe 3 full days was a bit much and I think most of them were a bit young to be able to tell how much of an impact it had on them in terms of getting involved in media as a hobby or potential career. I think Nathan has in mind a workshop that is shorter and has less techie work for the young people to have to come to grips with. I think this would work even better for this group.”

Also see interviews with:

3.2 / Dave Leavesley - (IATMJ) The Park, Knowle West, see movie.

3.3 / Mark Parsons - Youth Worker, Juice Bar Lawrence Weston, see movie.

3.4 / Simon Preston - Arts Development Worker, Southmead Youth Centre, see movie.

4/ Comments from IATMJ - Nathan Hughes, Matt Olden and Dave Leavesley.

4.1/ Community Portrait - concept and delivery

Observations were that previous workshops with young people at risk of exclusion and young offenders at Watershed were VJ orientated, where participants tended to work separately rather than in a group. In the community based workshops IATMJ wanted to encourage collective working and so had moved away from the VJ model towards the community portrait. This was a more experimental way of working in that it actually involved the young people in research and development of new ideas and software, testing models and concepts focused around generative media. IATMJ point out that the software was improved as the workshops progressed; they see the workshop as part of a constantly evolving experience both for themselves and participants - see Learning and development section 4.5 for further details.

VJ workshops during 2003 - 4 were performance orientated, which created a good impetus to make and show work, and finished VJ pieces were published online as part of the Digitised: Communities Online project.

See www.dshed.net/digitised/alchemy

However, once the workshop and the performances were over and the pieces had been published online there was nothing left to continue to engage the young people, and nothing went back to the communities that the young people came from. IATMJ identified this as a sustainability problem, and part of the impetus to take the workshops into community settings was to try to leave a usable piece of software in each community so that youth workers and young people could continue working after the artists had left. See Sustainability issues, section 4.4 for further discussion.

IATMJ found that working with the community based groups had the advantage that the participants knew each other, unlike previous workshops at Watershed where participants had usually never met before. This made it easier in most cases for participants to work together. They felt this made the workshops more “socially responsible” eg. The girls at Lawrence Weston worked together as a group and thought in social ways about the idea of a community portrait.

Each group of young people worked differently: Knowle West young people wanted to shoot hours of footage but had trouble concentrating on the editing process. Lawrence Weston girls were interested in music and dancing and representing these aspects of their lives. Southmead young people were most interested in music and not so concerned about making a community portrait.

4.2 / IATMJ roles and relationships with workshop participants

IATMJ members Nathan Hughes, Dave Leavesley, and Matt Olden say the most difficult problem in working with young people is countering the pernicious culture of apathy. For many young people, getting involved is not perceived as cool, and that can be the biggest challenge. They explain their approach to tackling this problem;

“It’s important to build a rapport. We sometimes feel our casual appearance wins people over, we certainly don’t put ourselves on any pedestal, they don’t need to think we are anything special. I (Nathan) used to build up a sort of Jungulator hype, but now I think its best to just be what we are in all our half formed imperfection.”

“It’s like technological aikido - we use whatever the kids do already, whatever they are interested in to make work. We build on what’s already there. It’s not rocket science, and we don’t force anyone to do anything.”

“After the workshops we like to know all the participants go away with something on CD or whatever. We try to leave a working piece of Jungulator software on a computer they can use after the workshop but so far this has only happened at Southmead.”

It was agreed following the experience at Knowle West, that despite their enthusiasm, working with younger children was difficult, and 8 was too young.

Dave says;

“They have no concentration, all they want to do is play and use the cameras and they don’t want to see the work through, so we have to do all the editing. We need a bunch of kids who can engage in all the processes, or there’s a bottleneck of unedited work by the second day.”

4.3 / IATMJ roles and relationships with youth workers

IATMJ are keen to emphasise that the youth workers are really important in the smooth running of the community based workshops. For example, Mark Parsons at Lawrence Weston Juice Bar was required to sort out some group dynamics so that the girls could continue working together with the least disruption to the workshop. The origin of the problem was bullying that had started before the project, and Mark felt it could not be allowed to continue. If he hadn’t been there it is likely that some or most participants would have left the project. It would have been unlikely that anyone who did not know the young peoples’ group’s history together could have solved this type of common problem.

On the whole the youth workers help the young people engage, make sure they aren’t bored, and sort out any friction between participants. They know the young people and they can tell IATMJ what sort of things they are interested in.

IATMJ say;

“They look after crowd control and group dynamics so we don’t have to. We try to split people up and get youth workers involved if there’s stuff kicking off. We just try to connect and have empathy so things don’t get out of hand.”

“We are not trained youth workers - we just go in with a concept. There is huge scope for flexibility, we like to try things out in a playful way, for example, it went towards the music at Southmead.

“Youth workers get really involved in Jungulator too, that’s when it’s really good. If they like what we are doing then the participants will as well. If we go back, the expectations have grown up with the young people.”

4.4/ Sustainability issues

For a sustainable approach IATMJ need youth workers to be interested and involved so that software can be used continuously after the workshop is finished.

Issues regarding training for youth workers in using Jungulator software were raised - IATMJ recognise that training would need to be provided so that busy youth workers can engage in the technology in a more confident way. This has not been part of the programme up till now, but may be an area for consideration in the future, if the Jungulator software is to be made more accessible and become integrated into the activities programme at the centres where workshops have happened.

Work with some young people is ongoing, for example IATMJ have been working with Taz (Tarran Smith) for 2 years on VJ projects. They tried to encourage Ricky (Singh) to rap with them at a New Years Eve event and Guy Fowler is still providing free bass guitar lessons at Southmead following the workshop in Feb 2005. Workshops planned for 2005 - 2006 at the same venues will encourage some of the same young people to attend and build on their experiences of the previous year, continue developing music / camera skills and add new material documenting each area to expand the community portrait that exists in each locality.

4.5 / Learning and development

In the community portrait workshop young people learned really quickly how to edit film in iMovie and make QuickTime movies. The participants at Lawrence Weston especially enjoyed doing that, they enjoyed filming and seeing themselves on screen. IATMJ were pleased with the result there. The self generative portrait idea didn’t work so well at the first workshop in Knowle West partly due to technical considerations, IATMJ described the result as ugly, chaotic and too psychedelic. This led them to improve the player by using 2 or 3 screens. Nathan said;

“These workshops showed us how to develop new players that we can use in future workshops. Constant research and development filters through into more high profile work. Its valuable for us as a group.” For example, IATMJ has now presented work which is driven by technology developed or improved through these workshops at Cybersonica International Festival of Music and Sound, Encompass, The Big Chill, dot.venue, Arts Depot, and the Port Elliot Literary Festival.

“So while Knowle West showed us some problems, the workshops improved technically. Things are always developing with us, now we have a new player that gets rid of all the pixilation; new ways of displaying that look ‘really wizzy’. Working with kids gives us a hell of a lot, it’s research and development, where we can test out new ideas and it’s a sort of reality check which balances things out with all the ‘arty’ stuff. Now they want us to come back with the Jungulator and show them new methods. It’s a constantly evolving work in progress and we’re all in it together.”

IATMJ state that these young people are far from the “target audience” they’d imagined.

They say; “We thought they’d be computer literate kids into electronic music and film, like the 16 - 20 year olds we worked with at Watershed, people like Taz, Ricky and Craig, electronic music heads who just want to do stuff. But anyone can participate.”

Dave says;

“We want to combat mainstream DJ culture, and challenge the idea that DJ culture is where it’s at. People should listen and participate in the Jungulator - it’s not good enough to mix records, it’s lazy and complacent. IATMJ is a thread in a new tapestry that’s being woven. We’re not alone, but I’m egotistical enough to think we’re about the best. People have been bludgeoned into believing adverts and DJ culture is cool, but they don’t understand what real art is. We’ve lost something in the last 10 - 15 years -people have such low expectations. We need to re-empower people and demystify things.”

5/ Summary

5.1/ Workshop participants

IATMJ found that working with an older group (12-15year olds / average age 13) was far more productive and focused than with the younger children at the Park, Knowle West, some of whom had only just passed their 8th birthdays. The older participants had better concentration and overall understanding of the work they were doing.

Youth workers at Lawrence Weston Juice Bar decided to concentrate on the girls as they felt they had been left out previously. This worked well for IATMJ who found that the girls were very focused, and once one of them decided to engage and get stuck in, the others soon followed. IATMJ produced a document for them on how to edit movies. Lawrence Weston participants spent a lot of time digitising and editing material for the player and managed to generate over 200 movies in 3 days.

Nathan said:

“It may sound odd, as Gummo (the Harmony Korine film - http://www.finelinefeatures.com/gummo/) is controversial, but it struck me at one point that we were letting them make a Gummo on their own terms, warts and all uncensored community portrait through eyes of young people. Actually, although the Lawrence Weston girls acted tough on the first morning and said they drank cider and vodka at Blaise Castle Estate, they asked us not to include this when they found out we were going to invite parents in for a viewing at the end of the workshop.”

“Young people wandered around the shops interviewing locals - asking what they thought about living in Lawrence Weston - was it as tough as its reputation? We got some great material.”

Young people at Southmead were mainly boys who were into music. They had just made a skateboarding movie and seemed very cohesive as a group. They seemed to know each other really well and there was a supportive atmosphere at this workshop with young people working cooperatively together. The level of musical knowledge was impressive with young people playing various different drums and guitars both together and separately. IATMJ were impressed with the way the young people at Southmead interacted with the Jungulator software, and stated;

“This versatile software was used extensively by one participant at Knowle West, hardly at all at Lawrence Weston, and enjoyed its greatest usage at Southmead. In order to take advantage of their enthusiasm and talent for music, we used a Motu soundcard, to enable real-time recording and playback through Jungulator. Effectively, a guitar player would play a riff along to a drum loop, which is sampled, processed - (pitched up, down, reversed, effected etc), and played back to the musician. The young guitar player would then build up progressive layers of guitar parts, while excitedly proclaiming that the machine was mad, and it shouldn't be possible. A track was made from this interactive music making, which became the soundtrack for the portrait - (the engine has an embedded mp3 player which can hold original music tracks composed during the workshop, or produced previously).

5.2 / Community cohesion / development - how quality activities are developed with community cohesion in mind;

IATMJ's aim is to introduce an exciting new resource and method of media production to a committed group of youngsters who learn its use through a vibrant, engaging workshop, in the hope that they will continue to work with it.

IATMJ artists express the hope that the workshops led by IATMJ are beneficial and engaging in terms of skills acquisition, and offer new approaches to media production and methods of practice. They are still experimenting with the self-generative portrait of the community, which is yet to be fully explored with the right practitioners, and may be discarded if deemed to be unsuccessful. Young people become part of the testing process with new ideas are brought in as a response to each workshop which IATMJ see as a constantly evolving work in progress that they are all part of. This is important to IATMJ artists who have not previously thought of the workshops in terms of community development or specific benefits to young people.

Nathan says;

“The idea that our workshops are developed, and undertaken with a view to supporting ‘community cohesion’ feels like quite a responsibility, and to be honest, something we haven't given a great deal of thought to previously. However, IATMJ consider it essential that those involved experience something both unique and challenging, which they greatly benefit from in many different ways. As the person responsible for designing the workshops, I trust that we are providing a service which is both useful and thought provoking on many levels.”

“My personal feeling is that contact time in itself is of key importance, and that something positive occurs because young people from a completely different milieu experience the unique collective personality and drive of IATMJ. Our instinct is to provide structure and objective, and facilitate, or channel the collective expression of the participants in a dynamic and informal manner.”

A teacher friend of mine working in a disadvantaged area, said that if she was able to ignite a spark in just one child per class a year, so that they might be courageous enough to push beyond their normal socio-geographic expectations, she felt she was achieving something. IATMJ work from the same principal, while encouraging and enabling opportunities to encounter, and experiment with new technologies, modes of practice and cultural perspectives in a no-pressure environment.

Perhaps (and if it's possible), participants should be monitored over time, as any effect or influences these activities have, may be more clearly defined over time. Taz (Tarran Smith) is a good case study / example for the sort of positive continued developments / outcomes etc.”

5.3 / Progression

An extremely positive aspect of the three workshops has been the involvement of young people in research and development of innovative self-authored audio-visual software. This software has been developed through the nine days of the workshops, with the generative player evolving in significant steps from one to the other. One might say that the young people are guinea pigs, or perhaps test pilots is a better term, but there is no question that their collective energy and patterns of use have contributed significantly to the progression of IATMJ software, which will be used to benefit future workshops.

While it is difficult to track the progression, if any, in the learning patterns of the young people who were involved in the workshops, at least one lasting benefit which the young people have accessed through the workshops is that Guy Fowler is still engaged in providing (free) bass lessons at Southmead, There is an also an increased awareness around the role of digital media and creativity amongst the (very) young people at Knowle West who have asked about the possibility of further Jungulator workshops.

It would be interesting in future workshops to trace further learning journeys of the individual young people who participate in the workshops to document any long term learning benefits resulting from this sort of creative activity. This may be possible during the 2004 - 2005 PAYP programme if some of the same young people participate in further Community Portrait workshops, some of which are taking place at the same venues.

To ensure a higher degree of sustainability it would be worth considering embedding creative digital practice into the communities more fully through providing training opportunities for youth workers. IATMJ artists recognise that youth workers need to build their own levels of confidence in the use of unfamiliar technology. Further training would help ensure that the Jungulator software that has been provided on several hard drives in community venues can be accessed and utilised by the youth workers once the artists have left the community. Youth workers who are confident in the use of the technology would be able to provide ongoing creative opportunities for young people to produce new material to add to the generative community portrait at times to suit the young people and the youth programme in each area.

Appendix

JUNGULATOR WORKSHOP EVALUATION

NAME.................................................. age ...................... DATE ..............

Your feedback is useful to help us shape future programmes. Please answer the questions as fully as you can and give the form back to Ruth. Tick as appropriate.

1/What did you hope to achieve through the workshop?
fun holiday activity     to develop interest in cameras and filming     to learn new skills    other - please say:

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2/ Did you find the level of the project -    very challenging    challenging    just right    simple    too simple

3/ Was the length of the workshop    too long    just right    too short    good that there were lots of different things to do

4/ Was there anything that you wanted to do that was not included in the workshop? If so, please say

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5/ Were the equipment / facilities    excellent    good    fair    poor    bad

6/ How well did you get on with the workshop leaders?
excellently well    fairly well    poorly    badly

7/ Do you feel you were given enough support by the workshop leaders?    excellent help and support    useful help and support    not enough support    unsupported

8/ Did you have sufficient “hands - on” time?    too much    plenty    enough    not enough    none

9/ Technical skills - what did you learn? Tick everything you learned on the workshop:
camera work    digital video editing    creating sound / music using jungulator software
what did you like best? - please say:

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Was there anything you didn’t like? - please say

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10/ What do you feel you have gained most from the project? For example, confidence, communication skills, technical skills etc.

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11/ How do you think what you have learned on the course will help you in the future?

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12/ What is your overall assessment?
excellent    good    fair    poor bad

13/ Would you like to do anything like this again in the future?
yes, definitely    yes, probably    maybe    no, probably not

If you would like to be kept informed of similar event and projects in future, please provide contact details address

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tel ........................ mobile ........................................... email .......................................................................