The Exodus digital artworks at Phoenix Square comprised an interactive multiscreen, an interactive wall graphic and a locative trail. The exhibition featured an Empedia audio trail from New Walk museum to Phoenix Square, an interactive wall of QR codes and a video installation at Phoenix itself.
The project built on work by Ashok Mistry that was concurrentlyon show at New Walk museum and explored the mass migration of Asian people from Uganda to the UK in 1972.
A couple of technologies developed with Cuttlefish are being used in the project:
Firstly, Empedia – a locative media platform – was used to run the audio trail. iPhone users could download the Empedia app from the App Store and use it to explore eleven audio pieces . Non-iPhone users could scan the QR codes on the route and listen to the audio that way. If you don’t have a smartphone then you can still browse the trail on the Empedia website.
Secondly, the Interact Controller – a tone based installation controller for iPhone and Android – was used to allow people to interact with the video installation in the Phoenix Cafe. This is a new technology developed for the piece.
Installation Phoenix Cafebar
In Phoenix, the video installation on the café multiscreen allowed one to edit a unique journey through videos created specially for this commission. This video installation was a unique development using iPhone or iPad tones to control the nine video windows. Users could visit reception to borrow iPads to participate – they just had to plug into the wall fitting and then could edit their own journey through the videos.
The videos celebrated the concurrent exhibition at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery, using film footage of journeys across narrative textile surfaces. The textiles were created by community groups and professional artists, with lead artist Ashok Mistry, for the ‘from Kampala to Leicester’ exhibition at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery.
The large wall graphic allowed the public to follow the audio trail in the comfort of Phoenix’s café. By scanning the QR codes they could trigger the audio commentary using iPads, iPhones or android phones.
This digital commission in one of a series of events and activities across Leicester that marks the 40th anniversary of the expulsion ofUgandan Asians and their subsequent move to Leicester. In August 1972, Ugandan dictator Idi Amin gave the Asian community 90 days notice to leave the country. They were forced to leave almost everything in Uganda and seek refuge in other countries such as Britain and Canada. The digital commission consists of a trail linking New Walk Museum and Art Gallery and Phoenix, a video installation in the Phoenix café multiscreen and a large wall graphic showing the trail and providing access to QR codes, located in the Phoenix café.
Trail: New Walk Museum & Art Gallery
Using personal testimony from Leicester’s Ugandan Asian community, the trail revisits the dramatic events in 1972 and shares memories about arrival in the UK and settling in Leicester ithe 1970s, while celebrating the community’s continued cultural and economic impact on the City.The trail follows a route from New Walk Museum & Art Gallery to Phoenix, with QR codes located on posters in shops and windows along the route. Scanning the QR codes triggers the audio commentary telling the story of the exodus. Onarrival at Phoenix, visitors can interact with the video installation and wall graphic in the café area.
To follow the trail, iPhone users should download an app from Empedia, via www.empedia.info. You can then follow the trail, scanning the QR codes located along the walk (or on the map on the reverse) to release audio information. The map on the reverse can be used as a route guide. Android phone users can follow the trail without downloading the app, provided they have a QR code reader downloaded on their phone. For iPhone users, information on the trail can also be triggered by GPS position if this facility is active on your phone.