BradfordRivers.net is an educational project about inspiring young people’s passion for art, and encouraging them to try new things through the use of web blog technology. Being part of the U.K. educational art program artExchanges, our aim is to use digital technology (SMS/ email/ web blog) as a contemporary stream/ fluid connection that can shape artistic/ imagined landscapes.
BradfordRivers.net is a fully interactive website which contains four different web blogs from four different Bradford schools- High Crags Primary School, Glenaire Primary School, Windhill Primary School and Salt Grammar school. Through web blogs the students will learn how artists work over a period of time, interact with the artists during the progression of creating their arts, publish their arts to the world and explore the possibilities of web technology.
This project is a collaboration between four Bradford schools students ages ranged from 5 to 16 years old, Kenneth Hung (digital artist, San Francisco, U.S.A.), Kathy Cremin (Project Officer, Bradford, United Kingdom), Simon Warner (photographer & filmmaker, Yorkshire, United Kingdom), Lizzie Coombes (photo artist, Yorkshire, United Kingdom), Peter and Ann Sansom (poets, United Kingdom) and numerous internet surfers around the world.
BradfordRivers.net is funded by Bradford Museums, Galleries and Heritage with funding for the initial concept from Culture Online, part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
I began this project with the idea of a river – the movement of water – and with that in mind, built a project around the flow of nature. Knowledge starts as a single element and as it grows, it branches out creating streams; each person who comes into contact with that element may be inspired, creating a new branch or adding to the river like a merging of streams.
BradfordRivers.net can be seen as an underground aquifer, stretching beneath all the participants. As each person contributes to the project through photography, poems or their medium of choice, the water – their knowledge – springs up through the ground and travels outward through the project’s website like a new stream.
The message thread and live chats share similarities with the movement of a river, ideas entered by the participants branching from one discussion to the next. The website will serve both as documentation and as the main communication platform of interaction, though the ideas generated there may move further out into the world.
Just as communities need water to survive, this project aims to gather a community around the creative contributions that its participants will generate. Using the Internet as the most organic form of information distribution, the ideas will move outward as their own compelling structure gains attention.