Read the whole article: http://www.wearesandpit.com/life-as-a-lego-piece-tea-uglow/
The very very wonderful Tea Uglow leads part of Google’s Creative Labspecialising in work with cultural organisations, artists and producers, experimenting with digital technology at the boundaries of traditional cultural practice – across theatre, literature, history, cinema, music, science and the circus.
We spoke to Tea in Sydney about her musings on art, technology, where ideas come from and speculative dystopic science fiction.
It might sound like something torn from the pages of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, but the quote above comes from Tea Uglow, the Google creative director and tech celebrity, who is sitting on the sofa at Semi Permanent’s offices in Sydney on a sunny autumn afternoon.
From a reed stylus to the digital pen, technology has always reinvented art. (The internet is no different.)
Imagine all of culture as a series of rock-pools. The tide comes in, it goes out, the water drains away. Occasionally a high tide catapults starfish, sea urchins and unusual ideas to cross-pollinate other pools. Sometimes the water is refreshed. Sometimes the tide doesn’t quite reach high enough.
The internet has been like a storm tide. So high that no one can even remember where those rock pools were, what they contained, or what made them special (except perhaps the more remote, drier puddles).
... Read More
This essay was written to promote the Art & the Connected Future: Symposium at the National Gallery of Victoria. April 2016
We’re doing a play. Again.
This time we are at the Adelaide Fringe where we’ve teamed up with Sandpit to deliver theatre with digital at the core. And once again I’m extremely excited about both the theatre that we create and what we will learn from the experience.
“In collaboration with Google’s Creative Lab, Sandpit’s intimate performance features two ghosts (the audience) revisiting the kitchen(s) where they grew up, fell in love and refurbished, over 50 years. Audiences of two will (digitally) tune in to the inner thoughts of a couple at three stages of their life.”Read More
This article appeared in Imperica
Why are we so obsessed with how children play? It is a rich topic certainly; the mind’s ear resonates with the innocent delight of shrieks and yells, it carries us back to (hopefully) carefree reveries, and also crystallises some modern-day anxieties. Perhaps our romantic notions show some of the shortcomings of urban life. From planning and preparation, the careful scheduling of naps, the chauffeuring between parks and wet-play, our rational fear of unsupervised unstructured bedlam out beyond a clear line of sight, up into the trees and out onto streets. Not to mention getting them off the iPad to begin with. Why can’t it be like it was when we were growing up? ‘Child-led play’ has moved from being the natural default to a new metric in our parental optimisation schedule. How well is the city adapted to these needs? This question seems to be undecided.Read More
AS THE creative director for Google’s Creative Lab in Sydney, Tom Uglow has a job many of us dream of, but what really goes on behind the colourful doors of one of the most innovative companies in the world?
Here, he shares what he has learned with The Collective magazine.
I THOUGHT THE INTERNET WAS AWFUL.Read More
One thought for today: Time doesn’t stand still.
What we see today as being huge and difficult and complex simply won’t be huge and complex for the next generation. Take phones for example. They seem so ubiquitous, yet smartphones are good at distribution of information because of convenience, not design. In itself a phone does improve on what other ’things’ used to do. Before the phone came the personal computer, and before the PC, surfing the net meant mainframes. Before that we had books, cameras, maps, newspaper - the phone has aggregated all of these in digital forms mainly because it is the easiest 'device' to connect to the internet. Perhaps we should have seen that coming?Read More
Head of Google’s Creative Labs in Asia, Tom Uglow, is about as far at the cutting edge of emerging technology, art and design as it’s possible to be. This year literature and books in all their forms are the focus of his attention. We asked Tom to tell us why and what he sees the future of reading and writing to be.Read More
I wanted to write an essay about books: physical, electronic and the new kinds of digital books. It is a subject that preoccupies me. The recent Economist essay on digital and physical publishing is an excellent read, with an attempt at making a ‘digital book’. However it didn’t really get to the heart of the problem for me, since, unsurprisingly, it headed for the wallet. So this is an accompaniment to that article. This is about the other future of literature, not the industry, but the form: why we love literature, and what literature might become, in a digital world.Read More
Google’s Creative Lab in Sydney are now recruiting for their first Five, a talent-finding initiative that has been running in NY and London for several years. The Five is an 11-month externship open to anyone with an Australian work visa and serious skills - whether that be as a designer, technologist, writer, developer, film-maker, hacker, gerbil-juggler or all of the above.
On top of the skills they are looking for collaborative, passionate, curious and creative souls. Applications are open through to the end of October at creativelab5.com with interviews in November/December and a start date in January.
This is a slightly longer version of this piece:
I wrote a letter because I think banner ads are billboards in disguise and that we've poisoned the well of digital advertising by insisting that we use them as direct response units rather than beautiful, ambiguous, brand moments...Read More
Ahead of the Remix conference in May 2014 - Mitch Parker at VICE wrote up a really interesting hour that we spent discussing the Lab in Sydney. He managed to distill an insightful essence of what my team does and how we self-organise down here in Sydney. It's pretty useful to have your own rhetoric read back to you sometimes.
Read the article on VICE: http://t.co/EmJ2C5wJlkRead More
Approach technology like a child. As if nothing came before it and everything can and will be better.
How does that sound? As I get older I'm noticing a historical comfort zone of unacknowledged technological acceptance. A golden age; when things 'just worked', values were upheld, and ideas had consistency.
Nostalgia is built on the moments of success that occur when we are open-minded enough to experience them and moments of failure that we are unlikely to be open-minded enough to experience again.
A time when we engaged in a playful way with every new idea. And there is always a new idea, something even scarier than Twitter,
and it is neither the world, nor technology, nor progress that causes that - the fault is a byproduct of time - t
here is never a 'right' solution, there is no perfect, nothing stops, and never did, there is only the next thing and the next thing.
You may influence this - you may even hold back the tide (or shift its course) - good for you, but... it is the tide.
In my personal practice of life I theoretically eschew a lot of contemporary technologies. I want books and breathing, and artefacts. My heart wants slow, un-integrated solutions. But my mind wants technological novelty. I acknowledge that for today's youngest there was never anything else and that there must be new technology, new words, new ideas. That everything interesting in the world is that way, their way, not my way.
(Ironically this is genuinely not new. I already feel 'old' in my industry but I look forward to re-reading this in my dotage with a wry grin.)
Yet it is a conundrum; when to restrain technological ambition and when aged skepticism obstructs optimism.
My daily meditation at the moment is to open my mind to this, not to overvalue experience, to enjoy the nostalgia, explore every possibility like a child, abandon pursuit of answers and enjoy the chaos of progress flowing through and around us. Most awesomely, I still get paid to practice this.
Great storytellers have always experimented with new formats, from Homer to Orson Welles to James Cameron; from the birth of the soap opera to 3D cinema. The ambition behind the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Midsummer Night’s Dreaming is grounded in this history of experimentation—a chance to tell a classic story, by the world’s greatest ever storyteller, in an exciting new way.Read More