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Day 5 - Text - Off site and Live studio link up

This week I continued working off site and in the studio, with two visits to the staff room.  

I visited the staff room twice this week.  The first time, I met some of the auxiliary staff who had contributed to the collage in their own way, with their own interpretation.  They had ripped out single adds and images to accompany the adds.  They commented on “What a laugh they had” doing this.  The collage had indeed grown quite a bit since the last time I visited.  I sat and began to rip out more pieces from the travel magazines to add to the box of images to be stuck to the collage.  Both these and the comment box had disappeared.  One of the staff offered another kind of box which could be used, an empty latex glove box.  I took this back to the studio with me as a possibility.  Some of the staff commented that they weren`t creative, and this conversation lead to learning about what they liked.  Two of the woman mentioned textiles, and I am having a think about how this could shape the next activity for the staff room. 

During the second visit, I installed a comment box and envelope with images, connecting both to the bottom of the collage (see photo) so that they couldn`t disappear.  The collage had grown again, and looked nearly finished.

This week I also did another live link from my studio.  I had the video part of the link working again.  I first had some conversations with my colleague Siobhan in Beaumont, about how to plan the activity.  

I constructed a set of an island, using fabric, and paper, and card.  On the island there was a tree and a sun. I was trying to think of ways to make this interactive when engaging with the children over the link.  An idea was that the set could only be animated with the participation of the children on the other end of the link.  For instance.  Big tree would only drop it`s fruit when the children `spoke it`s language`, and the cloud would uncover the sun when the children spoke its language, etc.

This worked to a certain extent.  However, the link, which was mainly with Beaumont, engaged a Slovakian girl with little English, and so the activity took on an improvised nature, working with her level and her interests. I have attached a very small bit of the exchange with her, but the sound is unfortunately only one way, and only the puppet can be heard.  One of the interesting things was that she tickled my puppet`s image on her screen. (See video.)  My puppet reacted with a giggle.  Also, she was very interested in counting to eleven, so this became the key to animating the tree, and the fruit falling.

I was very excited by the image I was able to create with the web cam framing the island scene.  It was also very interesting to see how the children engaged with the puppet character, remotely.  My plan for the next hospital visit is to bring to the children this experience of setting a scene using a box and a web cam.

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