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The Cube turns five!

What a year it has been! We can’t believe we’re already half a decade old.

The Cube just turned 5, and what better way to celebrate than taking a look at some of the highlights of the past year.  

Georgie Pinn’s Cube Residency

Cube Resident George Pinn brought a unique flare to The Cube, developing an immersive and interactive project entitled Echo. Echo used facial tracking technology, animation and sound to explore notions of empathy and shared identity.

Image © QUT. ECHO

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Exploring art and science over Summer

How was your summer? We spent ours exploring art and science with lots of new friends! Our Public Programs Officer, Kerry Turnbull takes us through the highlights of the 2018 Draw it. Code it. | QUT Summer Holiday Program at The Cube.

What a blast January was! We were thrilled to welcome over 5,000 visitors to The Cube from 6 to 14 January during the summer holiday break. Families, eager to break the school holiday boredom blues, brought along children excited to engage in the range of hands-on activities on offer at The Cube and QUT Art Museum.

Image © QUT. Code-A-Bot at Draw It Code It Holiday Program.

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Deconstructing Gosia Wlodarczak’s artist residency at QUT Art Museum

“One of the main rules which structure all my drawings is that I do not work from imagination. I draw my surrounding as I look at it in the very moment of mark making. Every line, every shape you see on the drawing belongs to the shape which is in my field of vision while I am drawing”. Gosia Wlodarczak

If you have visited QUT Art Museum during the Draw It. Code It. QUT Summer Holiday Program, you will have seen drawing artist Gosia Wlodarczak (pronounced “Vwodarchak”) hard at work drawing faces inside a closed, custom-built room. We thought we would shed some light on Gosia’s installation in order to demystify her work and inspire you to submit your own self-portrait to the artist!

Image © Longin Sarnecki

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Finding maths in movies – you just need to know where to look!

QUT’s resident pop-culture roboticist Professor Michael Milford (Science and Engineering Centre and Australian Centre for Robotic Vision) joined host Lee Constable for a quick-fire chat about maths in movies, as part of the Fast Five event at the 2018 Family Fun Day. Here’s a recap of their talk…

© QUT

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School teams battle it out at the 2017 FIRST® LEGO® League

This year’s FIRST® LEGO® League Tournament at QUT Gardens Point was a blast! 36 teams, coaches, and spectators arrived bright and early at The Cube on Saturday 18 November to take part in the annual robotics challenge for students aged 9–16 years.

Teams and spectators arriving at The Cube.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year’s HYDRO DYNAMICS theme delivered lots of learnings in relation to sourcing, transporting, and disposing of water. Students also applied their water solving skills to real-world problems in the Research Project Challenge eg. improving water fountains at their school or designing their own reusable watter bottle prototype. Read more

Creativity and empowerment through STEAM for Schools program

Leighann Ness Wilson reflects on one of The Cube’s STEAM for Schools programs ‘Prototyping towards an age friendly city: LittleBits’

A few weeks ago we met RoboDog: a robotic companion whose tail lights up and sends a signal for medical attention if it senses its owner is unwell.  We also met the founders of ICU productions who make bionic eyes for the visually impaired and heard a design pitch for a tech-enabled water collection system.

RoboDog

These were just three responses to the question: How might we prototype for an Age Friendly City? This was posed to a group of year 5 students from the Sunshine Coast region during our STEAM for Schools workshop at The Cube.

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Echo reverberates across The Cube

“Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.” Mohsin Hamid

Here we are, the final Echo reverberates across The Cube in hybrid glitch form.

The photo booth is installed, the virtual mirror throbs in anticipation and the Echo character maps across the space. She navigates us, “Come closer”  she says, you are now part of something bigger”.

The last month has seen many creative and technical developments, including the integration of the narratives. They began as fiction and ended as readymades. Real intimate stories from real people. Through the mirror our storytellers confide in you, the user, revealing moments of their lives where they have suffered or overcome hardship. As their narrative unfolds the features of your face slowly morph into their face. They operate you with their expressions and leave you placed firmly in their shoes. This intimate experience forces us to relate and connect with those outside of our normal social sphere. Narrative has long been a tool for empathy, awareness and social change, Echo intends to push this further still by immersing the viewer visually as well as through the imagination.

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STEM Girl Power Camp at The Cube

The Cube and QUT’s Design Lab teamed up in March to host an exciting workshop program at QUT Gardens Point campus as part of the second annual STEM Girl Power Camp. The workshop coincided with annual World Science Festival (WSF) activities held in Brisbane.

Sixty regional high-achieving Year 10 girls and 10 teachers discovered the power of design in science, technology and enterprise innovation through workshops and presentations from STEAM leaders and experts in their field.

The STEM Girl Power Camp is an important initiative of Advancing education: An action plan for education in Queensland to address the lower participation rates of girls in STEM subjects and careers.

Program co-ordinators Natalie Wright (QUT Design Lab) and Jacina Leong (QUT The Cube) said they embraced the opportunity to provide such a diverse workshop program, revealing design’s critical role in STEM education. It also showcased the city campus and the varied opportunities available for regional girls to study at QUT.

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The Cube turns 4

Happy Birthday to us!!! The Cube just turned 4 and like all birthdays we’ve been celebrating our achievements and thinking about what’s to come in 2017 …

2016 was a big one for us with the Dino Zoo Holiday Program attracting over 24,000 visitors in January 2016. For all you dinosaur lovers, you can still catch Dino Zoo on our screens, check Cube Screens for dates/times.

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Lauren McCarthy completed the TRANSMIT³ Residency, The Changing Room, which explored the potential of The Cube as a “smart social environment,” responsive to the mood and activity of the people that inhabit it. The Changing Rooms was a custom software installation and performance that allowed participants to select one of hundreds of emotions, evoking that emotion in them and everyone in the space through a layered environment of light, visuals, sound, text, and interaction exhibited over a multi-level, many-sided display. Dealing with themes of surveillant architectures, social technologies, and smart homes, the piece simultaneously invades and cares for the emotions of passersby. Read more about Lauren’s final performance.

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Physics Observatory launched in September school holidays and a very successful holiday program and Physics Fun Day followed in January 2017. At the moment our public programs team are busily preparing for the Easter Holiday Program which we can reveal involves a QUT exclusive from Street Science. Sign up to the holiday eNews to be the first to hear about bookings.

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Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands visited QUT to launch a flood management tool and summit that could help protect their country and Queensland. The Dutch royals, making their first visit to Australia since taking the throne, were shown the Smart Scanner for Water Resilient Cities, developed by QUT’s Dutch collaborators Deltares and HydroNET, during their visit to QUT’s Gardens Point campus. Translated on to The Cube’s screens, QUT researchers demonstrated the tool’s ability to predict likely flood impacts from a mix of different local measures and contrasting weather events. Read more about this in QUT’s news story.

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What’s coming up in 2017?

The Cube Studio are busily developing their new screen project Code-A-Bot for launch at Robotronica 2017. Code-A-Bot will allow people to work together to run a recycling factory as efficiently as possible. You will need to attach parts to your own robot and then code the robot on the screen in order to perform tasks. This will be a great introduction to coding and will showcase QUT’s robotics initiatives, while also inspiring group collaboration and a greater understanding of resource management.

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Georgie Pinn’s residency Echo is underway and we are excited to see what comes of her research project which uses interactive facial detection technology, combined with animation and sound. Read more about Georgie in her first blog post.

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Welcome Georgie

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Ello!

I’m a multimedia artist completing a residency at The Cube for the next three months.
I studied Vis Arts at QUT way back in the 90’s and since then I have been travelling across Europe and Australia making audio visual work for both stage and screen. 17 years later I’m back and with my geek on…

Here’s a link to my Showreel if you’re interested: https://vimeo.com/159136216

My creative practice has, for many years, used technology to explore notions of physical and emotional empathy. Here and now I’ll be developing a project called Echo. Over the next few months I’ll be designing elements and software for an interactive installation that is a morphing virtual mirror. The viewer will be able to customise an interchangeable avatar and fragment and mix their own face with the features of other people and animals, creating a range of morphing hybrid personalities. We’re also developing a real time facial tracking application that copies your expressions as you wear anothers face or multiple faces.

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I want to explore how we respond to our face being fragmented and manipulated by others and if it is possible to build community by developing a truly ‘shared’ identity? Does a combined identity extend the parts of us or dilute us? What can we learn about narcism and empathy through this experience? And what can we learn about micro expressions?

Two weeks in and already progress is being made within Unity, the game engine we are using to build the software. I’m also loving getting lost in transmission chaos land of animated glitch fragments! Here’s a video link to some animation tests I’ve been playing with: https://vimeo.com/203231463

In April the installation will run and the animated portraits will be installed into The Cube with an event that showcases the application as a live tool for Public performance.
Will tune in again soon, hope to face mosh with you…

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