Culture Hack 2013

This post is fresh off the press after a blistering weekend at Culture Hack 2013 held in a brand spanking new space at The Whisky Bond. This wasn’t my first time at Culture Hack but it was my first time trying to make something.

Culture Hack is a 48 hour making challenge, where programmers, designers, artists and producers get together and try to make something useful and/or creative using data which has been released by arts organisations. Having looked at the data I decided to try to make a Twine game/choose your own adventure story which explored a series of paintings owned by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. As there weren’t many paintings in the set, I used data released by Tramway, Away with the Birds and Scottish Music Centre to add more depth to the project. I also added available online resources such as newspaper obituaries, youtube videos, library records and buildings data.

My final story is called the Forgotten Portraits. On one level it’s a simple walk through a gallery with label information, but if you explore more closely your character will be reminded of childhood events, images and music. It’s by no means a polished game but if you are interested in checking it out you can play it here.

Other Exciting Hacks

23 projects were finished in time for the show and tell on Sunday afternoon. Here are some of my favourites:

Sing for your stitches a sewing machine powered by singing #chscot

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A sewing machine powered by songs from Away with the Birds.

Interactive birdsong map of the isle of Canna #chscot

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An interactive map of the island of Canna which played bird song as you walked across it. Other exciting hacks I don’t have pictures of included a bicycle which let you explore data and a Creative Scotland Quiz made by Yann.


I also got a chance to take part in a workshop learning to code Arduino led by the guys from MAKLab. Here is a short video of my flashing LED switch triumph!

Arduino workshop at #chscot

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It was an absolutely amazing weekend, a massive thank you to Suzy and Rohan from Sync for organising a brilliant event. I learnt absolutely loads, met some great people and I’m going back to work really inspired to take on new data challenges!

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