Archive for the 'Event' Category

How to win a BAFTA for social media wizardry

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

We’ve all been in those marketing meetings when everyone gets a bit over excited talking about ‘award winning campaigns’. We’re high on inspiration, a bit rowdy perhaps, and start believing that perhaps world domination is merely one single well-timed mouse click away. Of course (most) awards worth having are hard fought little things, and your best shot is at something in your niche. I mean, you’re not exactly going to win a Nobel Prize for the best kick ass facebook application, right? For argument’s sake, let’s imagine for a second that you could win a BAFTA for your social media wizardry… how might you go about that?

Well, first of all you’ll be needing a great CONCEPT.
The best campaigns are based around ideas that are actually quite simple – an open concept that forms the brief for the final product. When you get your brief, you might like to deconstruct it and find a single nugget that stands out – something as simple as, say, the human need to feel loved. So take that concept, and create a new brief based around that. Let’s say you come up with: “Build a tool that illustrates, using social media, the human need to feel loved – and its tendency towards narcissism”.

Now that’s a brief.

Next you’ll need a CONNECTION or an association.
This is something that connects your concept (that floaty thing) to something existing, live, and kicking. For example, you might want to associate the concept with a group of people, your target audience perhaps… Not something too broad like ‘The yoof of today’. Perhaps instead choose something specific that we can all relate to, such as: “A young, media savvy unsigned band, fighting it out on Myspace, Facebook, Youtube and the like, in search of that elusive record deal”. Sound familiar?

Ok, we have a narcissistic unsigned band, fighting for a record deal, desperately wishing everyone loved them.

Now we need something totally unique, a RANDOMISER.
It’s the equivalent of feeding your fantastic idea through the Enigma machine to produce something totally unexpected. We need to take this existing (now grounded) concept, and warp it through the mind of a mad genius or two, shock it with electricity, make it travel back in time for a while, hook it up to the social web, give it the means to make music, and then squeeze it into an antique cupboard placed in the corner of a modern art gallery.

Now THAT sounds award winning, right?

Introducing Cybraphon – the BAFTA award winning Autonomous Emotional Robot Band

This 1 minute video explains it perfectly:

“Cybraphon automates the now-familiar process of musical performance, followed by obsessive tracking of online opinion, and subsequent mood swings. It is the 21st century equivalent of the player piano, but instead of your coins, it begs for your attention in the online world. Its music is purely acoustic, played robotically on antique and junk-shop instruments in a gallery in Edinburgh; but what it plays is driven by its mood, and this is shaped by its 24-hour monitoring of the whole of the web for comments, reviews, or simply traffic to this web page.”

Genius, no?

Well done Si Kirby for winning a BAFTA for the best use of social media I’ve ever seen. You’ve set the bar buddy, now watch while everyone struggles to keep up.

Here’s the HOW and WHY for those that want to know more.

I highly recommend that everyone watches one or two of the videos on Cybraphon’s video page to see the incredibly long and hard fought year of genius that led to the launch of Cybraphon.

Oh, and here’s a video and some photos that I took at the launch of Si’s last genius project ‘Etiquette’ (a table that could see and play very good music), which was on display at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop a couple of Edinburgh Festival’s ago. That’s me in orange on the right.


Jem goes activist: No to bike parking charge in Westminster!

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

I’m definitely not an activist.

I like to think that I know Politics, and I’m pretty sure of where I stand on most things; a good political debate is fine by me, over a glass of wine etc, but I’m definitely not an activist. So I’m slightly hesitant to admit that next Tuesday I will be attending a demonstration for something very un-green. You’d think that after waiting all these years to find a cause that would compel me to campaign for something that it would at least be for starving children in Afghanistan, victims of some terrible natural disaster, or perhaps in aid of breast cancer research – something worthy. But no, after work on tuesday I am off to campaign against a parking charge for motorbikes and scooters, in a very small central borough of London.

Pretty pathetic huh? ;)


It really gets my goat though… scooters are so small and though not totally ‘eco’ are definitely more so than big 4 wheel drives etc. We used to be able to park in designated spots about the city without charge, and now the situation is very complicated and the signs so elusive that I’ve twice been slapped with a £60 fine for not paying without realising that I wasn’t doing so. Apparently they’ve dished out 10,000 of these every month to unsuspecting scooter parking folk. Darn annoying… so off I trot, and you’re welcome to join me. I’ve got space for one on the back of my bike! ;)

No to Bike Parking Fees Website


The Beltane Fire Festival

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Beltane Fire FestivalThis was my first Beltane festival, and I’m definitely going to have to go again. This isn’t because I had loads of fun, but because I missed most of it through being in the wrong place at the wrong time. About 500 people were crowded around a stage, and being a first timer, my flat mate and I thought that’s where we should be too. Actually, the performers were only going to take to the stage right at the end. Once we realised, we headed off to find the party, but by then it had begun to rain, and I was too scared to have my camera out, this was proper downpour style rain! We were sodden to the core, but had loads of fun. I’m sad that I didn’t get that many photos, but at least I have an excuse to go again next year!

Whilst we were waiting around near the stage, random folk who were bored decided to get up on the stage to provide entertainment. Mostly people either did a silly dance, or wrestled each other.
Their silhouette was quite cool though:
Beltane Fire Festival

Some folk with lampshades as hats:
Beltane Fire Festival

Some of the lads:
Beltane Fire Festival

Beltane Fire Festival

The finishing line

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

The finishing line, originally uploaded by Jebaloo.

Taken at the end of Rocca’s show, which was amazing by the way. See my
links for Rocca’s site. She asked me to take photos for her, but
having lugged my camera bag all the way to Glasgow, I turned up with
about 15 empty batteries. Dufus.

I will learn.

New Website Launched!

Friday, March 21st, 2008

celebration balloonsWahay!!! A few weeks in the making, and with a lot of help from my html genius flat-mate Tommy Kaneko (website), and photography critique Donna Maciocia, the new website is born!

If you’ve come directly to this page, then click here to visit the ultra posh new site –

I’ll be keeping the blog as it is for the time being (I’ve got html fatigue), and will obviously be trying to keep up the momentum that’s been gathering recently. I want to thank you all for continuing to visit the site, even over the quiet few months of late.

The new site houses my portfolios, which were the hardest and most time consuming element. Lots of thinking went in to it, and tomorrow I’ll likely change my mind and re-do the whole lot.

That aside, I’m thoroughly chuffed with it, and very excited about the future. I’m getting to grips with a new project at the moment which I will reveal more about later, but need to thank my good friend Jennifer Paton at the Edinburgh Council planning department for giving me lots of knowledge and assistance. More on that next week hopefully.

Please let me know if you find any dead links, or oddities in the new site. I’d also love to hear what you think of it and the new portfolios.

Cheers, and have a super sunny weekend wherever you are.

(p.s I nicked the balloon pic off the web, tis not mine – here)

Exhibition at the Proud Gallery, London

Friday, February 15th, 2008

Back in November I entered a competition called ‘Renaissance‘. Rather excitingly I have been selected as one of the organiser’s favourites and so will be appearing in the exhibition in London and in the accompanying book.

Please do visit the gallery to soak up the culture. I’ve seen some of the other pieces and it will be a very enjoyable exhibition.

Renaissance Exhibition
Dates: Launch Night is on the 5th March, Exhibition is open to public 6th to 9th of March
Venue: The Proud Gallery
Address: Buckingham Street, London, WC2N 6BP

View Larger Map

Vote for me, Saatchi Gallery Online.

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Hello all!

I’ve submitted one of the photographs from the Renaissance series of photographs that I took late last year into a ’showdown’ on ‘STUART’, which is a website for student artists run by the Satchi Gallery.

It would be immense if you could find the time to rate the photograph from 1 star to 10s tars (10 being the best ;). The web site is a pretty good way to showcase photography, so it would be brilliant if I did well in a competition like this.

The link to click is here: VOTE HERE!

Voting starts at 9am on the 14th of January.

Thank you so much!

Data Recovery Holiday! (and Amplifico photos)

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

My hard drive corrupted, and although at the time this seemed pretty awful, I now realise that whilst I’ve been sending it off to get repaired at great expense to various companies across the UK, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks in a very happy laptop vacuum. It’s been rather refreshing.

That said, there is a major lesson to be learnt here. Don’t ever ever forget to back up for three weeks in a row because these will be the very three weeks worth of data that you’ll end up spending hundreds of pounds getting recovered. Although I appreciate Rapid Data Recovery’s hard work in retrieving the photos that I’d been ‘too busy’ to back up, it wasn’t exactly cheap. Lesson learnt though, and over the last two weeks I have purchased a cd storage box, an enormous crate of DVD’s, a 1TB back-up drive, and even a fire safe for worst-case-scenario (although the latter may be overkill). I’ve also been blessing Mozy OnLine Backup for very quietly keeping the majority of my files online somewhere without me even realising.

So, to all of you complacent laptop users, get yerself some back-up solution or learn it the hard way.

That said, below are some photos that I took at Amplifico’s not so Album Launch party at club ego on the 29th September. I was just about to upload them when my computer broke, so sorry for the delay. Oh, I’m now going to put the galleries on external pages since the blog’s begining to take a rather long time to load with all of these galleries in it.

Many a nice shot of the ‘fico, but in my humble opinion, the ‘dancers’ ruled this party. Click below.


Nan Maciocia’s Surprise 80th Birthday Bash

Monday, September 24th, 2007

I’ve placed the photos from this wonderful evening onto their own little webpage in sequential order, click here to see them: Gallery

The evening was fantastic and involved many a meeting of old friends. I took the sequence of photos below and decided to make it into a little animation. It’s of a friend tapping Nan on the back, and then as she turned around her face went from confused disbelief, to the raised arms and smiling face of yet another surprise greeting.