We did it! The app has had it’s first outing and – despite the rain – people loved it.
Thanks to every one of our volunteers who dropped by Lock 7 to give it a go and offer feedback. One pair got so caught up in Shane Solanki’s song that they found themselves dancing at the lido, to the bemusement of passers-by.
Of course, it wasn’t all plain-sailing. And in a week that begun with the submission of our Digital Arts application for the next funding round of Hackney Hear, it seems fitting to look at what needs to improve.
The Digital Arts fund exists to help arts organisations learn to work better with developers – and we’re certainly doing that. On Sunday, before our first volunteers arrived, we sat down with Joe from Amblr to try and make the damn thing work as we wanted it to.
As Joe frantically ran through the programming code, we ran out into the market and assured ourselves that everything was working fine. Then our volunteers headed out in pairs and come back puzzled. It wasn’t working for them.
The problem? Headphone splitters. Powering two sets of headphones was draining the power of the mobile and exposing other inefficiencies in the service – basically, running two headphones stopped other elements working properly.
So it wasn’t a major software fault. Difficult to prevent, but not to predict.
Which brings me neatly back to the Digital Arts grant, which has some worthy aims. But we artists shouldn’t forget that we’ve been using technology to improve our work for years – from lighting to special effects. We have a run-through of it beforehand, to check that it all works perfectly.
And we have a special word for this: a technical rehearsal. Lesson learned.