Sleep Stories at Wellcome Collection: manifesting digitally submitted stories through an embroidered quilt and translating that back online
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Thursday, November 3, 2016 4:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Venue: Sheraton
Room: Napoleon A3
I’d like to explore the digital projects carried out at Wellcome Collection involving an analog input/output that is subsequently explored digitally. From illustrators interpreting visitors’ stories to us printing out and displaying their Instagram photos in an exhibition. After a short overview of previous examples, I’d then focus on a project currently running alongside one of our exhibitions.

Sleep Stories is a way to record and share people’s stories of what happens while they're asleep. Perhaps they burst into song? Maybe they've caught a sleepwalker baking cakes? Stories are submitted online (through our website/social media), then manifested in embroidery with public participants in our Reading Room, while they share and reflect on their own stories. Emphasis is on collaboration, inclusion, availability of different levels of participation and providing an open, relaxed space.

We are about to piece them together to create a beautiful quilt and will then present the quilt online for our audience to explore digitally. The project started in February and will finish over the summer.

I would discuss:

- CONTEXT: an overview of Wellcome Collection's participatory/experimental digital activities - CONCEPT: gathering digital submissions, turning them into something physical and translating that back online - COLLABORATION: working with our Events team and an external craftsperson to deliver a different kind of "digital" project - COLLECTION: how we went about gathering stories, both online and in person, including audio - COMMUNITY: working with existing/new audiences, including outreach at St. Mungo’s, a charity that helps homeless people - COMMUNICATION: presenting this unusual and labour-intensive piece of work in an engaging way online - CHALLENGES: collecting user-generated content, even when people overwhelmingly love your idea; including "at risk" people who might not have a stable situation; finding ways to present something physically tactile and textured to an online audience

Type of Session
Presentation
Speaker(s)
Session Leader : Russell Dornan, Web Editor, Wellcome Collection