Networked Narrative

  • 1 May 2014 - 1 September 2017

Empowering young people with art and technology

Want to join our creative team to make a public artwork for your hometown? Aged 13-25? We are looking for people across Burnley, Wigan and Hull to work with artist Mark Titchner to make an artwork for a public space. 

 

Get involved by emailing NN@fact.co.uk or click on Commission 2 for more information.

 

Watch our short film to help you decide. 

Young individuals (aged 13-25) from across Burnley, Hull and Wigan are at the heart of this project. During 2015-2016, we are offering young people the chance to work closely with artists and a range of professionals to have a say and influence over the decisions involving two art commissions for both online and public spaces.  

 

For our public art commission, Mark Titchner was selected by a panel of young people as the next artist to create artworks with individuals from across Burnley, Wigan and Hull, which will be exhibited in the three locations. His idea aims to make the thoughts and opinions of young people visible in public spaces. Through an alternative advertising campaign, the artworks will be displayed in places where we normally see commercial advertising, such as on billboards, t-shirts, posters and online. Throughout 2016, people aged 13-25 will work closely with Mark via a series of workshops to shape and develop what artworks will be created for their hometowns in 2017. For more information click here

 

Re-Dock was selected by a panel of young people for our online art commission to create a text adventure game Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing. Re-Dock invited artists with diverse backgrounds and skills to help the young people collaboratively make a fictional world based on their real world surroundings. Launched in 2016, the text adventure game is accompanied by the exhibition Northern Powerhouse 2065, which is currently touring to libraries across the North of England. Read more about it here.

Networked Narrative aims to empower young people with art and technology, working with libraries and communities. Ensuring their voices are heard, we want young individuals to make decisions and shape outcomes for this programme. By doing this, we hope to inspire a new generation of creative individuals to develop essential life skills (such as self-confidence, anatomy, self-belief, build good relationships, effective communication skills) that will enable them to take direction of their own lives and that of their community. 

 

This is a collaborative project made up of four main partners: FACT, Hull Culture and Leisure Ltd, Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles and Lancashire County Council, together with smaller partners Artlink, Burnley Youth Theatre, Burnley College, Wigan’s Youth Voice and Engagement Team, Gateway, Wigan Youth Zone and Wigan Libraries. 

 

With support of public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, this project uses art and technology to empower and inspire young people and their communities, particularly in areas with low art engagement.

 

If you are aged 13-25 and want to get involved, please email NN@fact.co.uk or call 0151 707 4414. Alternatively, you can contact the person from your area. If you live in or near: 

Burnley email Jay Walton on jay.Walton@burnleyyouththeatre.org

Wigan email Helen Seddon on H.Seddon@wlct.org

Hull email Matt Soare on Matt.Soare@hcandl.co.uk

Hull Library Service managed by Hull Culture & Leisure Ltd strives to make arts and culture “a proven and valued contribution to building stronger communities, inspiring learning and improving health”. Working in partnership with Artlink, this project will develop their collaborative work across the cultural sector and will strengthen their cultural offer of the city. In 2017, Hull will be the UK City of Culture, where the year will be split into the four themes: Made in Hull, Routes & Roots, Freedom and Tell the World.


Lancashire County Council provides a wealth of learning and cultural opportunities to enable people to achieve their full potential in life. Working in partnership with Blaze, Burnley Library, Burnley Youth Theatre and Burnley College this project will build upon developing future creative communities in Lancashire by engaging young people with the arts, libraries and museums. 

 

Inspiring healthy lifestyles works with a wide range of internal departments and external agencies including public health services, Youth Voice and Engagement teams, Social Services, Housing etc in delivering various arts initiatives and commissions that aim to address community issues. Working in partnership and at a strategic level is key to developing these initiatives alongside local communities, organisations and other Arts Development units within local authorities across Greater Manchester and with the Arts Council of England on common priorities such as the creative economy and health and wellbeing. For Networked Narrative, we are working with Wigan Libraries and Wigan S.T.E.A.M to offer young people opportunities to develop key life skills.

FACT is the UK's leading media arts centre, based in Liverpool. Offering a unique programme of exhibitions, film and participant-led art projects, we use the power of creative technology to inspire and enrich lives. As the lead partner for Networked Narrative, this project enables FACT to develop an ambitious programme of art activities outside of Liverpool, as well as building new networks and capacity for touring, in Hull, regionally and across the North of England.

 

Networked Narrative is grateful for the support of public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, allowing this project to use art and technology to empower and inspire young people to work in their libraries and communities across the North, particularly in areas with low art engagement.

What do young people think our world will look like in the future? Networked Narrative is pleased to announce the launch of Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing, an online text adventure game made by Re-Dock, with young individuals from across Burnley, Wigan and Hull.  Wigan is a harsh place to live (after a nuclear explosion in the year 2035) with dead zones where technology doesn’t work, Burnley is over run with robots, with an enslaved population of artificially created humans, but Hull is a pretty nice place to live as long as you work in the two main industries of advanced robotics or bioengineering. 

 

Play the game or watch our film about how the game was created. 

 

To accompany our text adventure game, Northern Powerhouse 2065 is an exhibition currently on tour to libraries & community spaces across the North of England, which showcases objects from the game (also known as "artefakes") including new modes of communication, such as emoji gloves, a FutureGen lab swipe card and the sacred ‘book’.

 

The touring exhibition launched in Burnley Central Library and has travelled to Wigan Library and Hull Central Library. It will then exhibit in Bransholme Library, Leeds Central Library, Accrington Library, St Helens Library and Wigan Youth Zone. To celebrate the end of the tour, it will exhibit at FACT during March 2017 and we hope it can exhibit in a library in Liverpool from then onwards. For a full list of touring venues and dates, click here.

 

If you are a library venue or non-art space based in the North of England who is interested in being part of this touring programme, please email NN@fact.co.uk 

 

Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing is an online art commission by artists Re-Dock, working with young individuals aged 13-25 from across Burnley, Wigan and Hull to create an online adventure game for the world to enjoy. Text adventure games are a form of interactive fiction, using software to simulate non-linear narratives. The format has the potential to cross over into diverse interests between gamers, writers, readers and creators. The young people have experienced a range of workshops that explored DIY cartography, world building, creative writing, making objects and programming to bring their world to life. 

Re-Dock invited artists with diverse backgrounds and skills to help the young people collaboratively create a fictional world based on their real world surroundings. Helium balloon mapping with Saoirse Higgins took the young people outside the library to explore their hometowns from a bird's eye perspective, Neil Winterburn took those insights to create an alternative world and map, writer Kate Feld worked to flesh out the characters and world into and the final workshop with Glenn Boulter and Ross Dalziel brought the world to life through software and tangible objects.

 

“It’s been amazing working with the young people and co-creating the world of tomorrow. I’ve had a some interesting insights into their relationship with technology, where some see the benefits, but equally some are cautious of where things are heading” - Hwa Young Jung, Artist, Re-Dock. 

 

“I have really enjoyed working with Re-Dock, because I have met artists I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet before. I particularly enjoyed the twine workshop, because it involved coding and playing lots of different text adventure games. I couldn’t believe that some of the games were really hard to figure out, so I can’t wait for our game to be made” – Chloe Brotherton, aged 15 from Burnley. 

 

This online commission has been fully documented here.

Mark Titchner is the artist selected by our young people for our public art commission, where he will create artworks with individuals from across Burnley, Wigan and Hull that will be exhibited in the three locations. His proposed idea aims to make the thoughts and opinions of young people visible in public spaces. Through an alternative advertising campaign, the artworks will be displayed in places where we normally see commercial advertising, such as on billboards, t-shirts, posters and online.

 

Mark’s artistic practice is based on the use of words and language, and his works are often designed to be encountered in public spaces, such as shopping centres, libraries and public transport. For this project, Mark will ask young people to respond to the question, What is it that you want more than anything else? encouraging them to consider either their individual lives, their communities, or the wider world. Advertising-inspired artworks will then be created based on the young people’s responses.

 

During May-September 2016, a series of workshops held in each location, will enable people aged 13-25 to work closely with him to shape and develop what artworks will be created for their hometowns in 2017. Further details of the workshop dates will be available soon on our “Event Programme” section.

 

If you are aged 13-25 and want to work with artist Mark Titchner, please email NN@fact.co.uk or call 0151 707 4414.

A brief timeline of the story so far...

In August 2015, a small team of young people from Burnley, Wigan and Hull examined the portfolios and websites belonging to 16 artists from the UK and was asked to nominate four artists, based on what they thought of their art and if they were interested in working with them. 

 

In September 2015, three artists were shortlisted and offered a research & development (R&D) fee to develop an initial idea/proposal for a new public artwork that was in response to the following Artistic Brief.

 

In February 2016, the artists were invited to Manchester to present and pitch their idea to a group of ten young people from the three locations. With guidance from the partners, the young people’s decision was final and the best idea belonged to artist Mark Titchner who we are now developing further. 

Mark Titchner: Public Artwork for Burnley

Callan Waldron-Hall has enjoyed his experience so much that he keeps returning to Burnley! 

 

Mark Titchner: Your Answer To The Question

Callan Waldron-Hall returns to see how the Networked Narrative project has progressed with artist Mark Titchner and young creatives from Burnley, whose ideas will shape into public artworks for their town at the end of this year.

 

Mark Titchner: Why are we what we are rather than something else? 

Callan Waldron-Hall gives us an insight into what happened in our first workshop with artist Mark Titchner and people from Burnley.

 

Giving Young People the Choice: Picking an Artist for Networked Narrative

David Jenkins has spent the last twelve months working with artist colelctive Re-Dock to create the game Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing, and was invited to be part of the selection panel for Networked Narrative's new commission.

 

Northern Powerhouse: Bots vs Bods

Discover what the some of the artists and young people had to say about their involvement in creating the text adventure game.

 

Game Review: Northern Powerhouse: Last Towns Standing

Oscar (aged 15) reviewed Networked Narrative's brand new text adventure game before it went live. Read on to find out why you should play it too!

 

Re-Coding the Library’s Image Problem

Emma Seery considers how communal and co-working spaces in our librares have transformed the way we use them.

 

Adding the Final Touches to Text Adventure Time

Ilona Walker reports back on the conclusion of the Text Adventure Time project, an online game that young people from Wigan, Burnley, and Hull have been working on since April.

 

Creating an Apocalyptic Adventure with Networked Narrative

Jake Thorne reports back from a workshop, where participants are devising a plan for the survival of the human race in 2065.

 

From Westeros to Hull: The Text Adventure Continues

Zoe Yvonne Delaney charts the text adventure unfolding from the fantasy genre into the real world.

Community Spaces and Empowerment

June Lightfoot, part of the team in Hull shares her thoughts on the project so far.

 

Balloon Mapping in Burnley

Stephen Fallows discovers more about balloon mapping, and what relevance this has to text adventure games!

 

What exactly is Balloon Mapping?

Learn more about Balloon Mapping and how to do it yourself at home, plus information on how to get involved with the next workshop session.

 

What could volunteering do for you?

Hannah Lea discusses what volunteering can do for young people and talks about her time spent supporting a new art project happening across the North West.

 

Getting Creative with Networked Narrative

Young people come to Liverpool to lead and advise us on the project identity, design and brand.

 

What is the Future of the Library? 

Discover how the project will blur real life with adventure, creativity and the online gaming world.

 

The Return of Text Adventure Games

Learn more about the online commission, where artists Re-Dock will work with young people in libraries to create ‘an epic saga of the north’.

 

A Text Adventure Time

Young people attend the first Summit in Hull to learn Wiki skills and decide on the genre of their text adventure game with artists Re-Dock. 

 

Mark Titchner: Why are we what we are rather than something else?

Callan Waldron-Hall gives us an insight into what happened in our first workshop with artist Mark Titchner and people from Burnley.

If you’ re aged 13-25 and want to join our creative team to make a public artwork for your hometown – Burnley, Wigan or Hull, please email NN@fact.co.uk or call 0151 707 4414. Alternatively, you can contact the person from your area. 

 

If you live in or near: 

Burnley email Jay Walton on Jay.Walton@burnleyyouththeatre.org

Wigan email Helen Seddon on H.Seddon@wlct.org 

Hull email Matt Soare on Matt.Soare@hcandl.co.uk 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connect with us on social media, and share your thoughts, photos and memories of the project:

 

Find us on Facebook

Twitter @Net_Narrative

Instagram @net_narrative

Contact FACT

If you would like to know more about Networked Narrative, please contact

Debbie Chan
Networked Narrative Creative Producer
debbie.chan@fact.co.uk

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