Last week I held a workshop with new friend and collaborator Karsten Juncher for members of The CLRG (Creative Learning Research Group) at DOKK1 library. The workshop explored stop animation as a form of tinkering, with special focus on videography and set design; enabled by Karsten’s TinkerQube “spatial furniture.” TinkerQube is a wooden wireframe cube Karsten designed to more easily bring crafting and tinkering activities into 3D space.
The cubes worked really well for this workshop, like stage rigging you’d have in a theater or on a film set – but in miniature. The cube was used to hold clamp lights, to hold backdrops, and support suspended stage elements and flying characters.
The CLRG is small group of librarians and researchers that explore ways to bring tinkering into the library context. The Aarhus main library, DOKK1, is the largest library in Scandinavia and has a reputation for expanding the definition of what a library can be, so they’re a good group to prototype with.
This workshop had the aims of provoking new thoughts within the CLRG, testing out stop animation as a TinkerCube activity, and getting the librarians’ feedback on the cube as a platform for other tinkering activities at the library.
Karsten and I designed the workshop to balance narrative play with technical explorations of stop animation camera movement. The cube lowers the floor substantially for new stop-animators to do panning and zooming shots – cameras can be attached to the stage, and moved incrementally to create smooth camera movements when the animation is played back.
Workshop participants used the cube in different ways, some filming from up above in the case of a Pacman inspired scene, and some filming from the side “audience view.” One group put their cube down on the floor to have better access to lighting their stage from above. Another group suspended a character from above, using multiple strings for better movement control.
You can find more about the TinkerQube at Upfind.dk
Was a two day festival in October 2020 for children and families on the Permanente beach in Aarhus. The event was put on by the Nilsen Museum and En Hemmelig Klub, with financial support from Børnekulturhuset Aarhus.
There were four activities at the festival.
Fortune Telling Treasures
Made by En Hemmelig Klub Children brought the treasures they had found on the beach to a fortune teller who told them their fortune based on the characteristics of the treasures they had found. Children found sea glass, special stones, seashells, crab shells, garbage, a living starfish, and more.
Made by Bobleheksen The Bubble Witch brought the giant bubble making equipment she normally uses in street performances. For the festival, the Bubble Witch showed kids how they could use the tools to make their own giant bubbles. Children played with the bubbles in a range of different ways – chasing them, popping them, dodging them, etc. The bubbles slowly floated around throughout the festival, creating a very magical vibe.
Made by the Nilsen Museum I facilitated the building and tinkering of a specially designed set of marble run tracks for use on the beach. The marble runs were based on the Tinkering Studio’s Marble Machines and a 1936 wooden LEGO toy. Child sized shovels provided an easy way of making mountains and valleys to build the tracks into. Sand is such an amazing play material in itself; adding the very iteration-encouraging marble run tracks made for a very interesting activity I will explore further after the pandemic is over. You can see some of notes about the activity here.
By En Hemmelig Klub En Hemmelig Klub developed a set of tools for drawing large scale pictures and patterns in the sand. They’ve also made a number of footprint-making devices. The sand-drawings wove beautifully between all the areas of the festival and extended far down the beach. There are more pictures of the land art tools in action here.
Photos by Fie Lund Mortensen, En Hemmelig Klub, and me.