A day at Frequency 2015

Posted by: Jason Silverain / Category: , , ,

While not in the best of health I took a trip into Lincoln city centre with some friends on the 25th after hearing about the Frequency Festival, this is the third Frequency event and will be running until the 1st of November. 

If you are unfamiliar with the Frequency Festival it is a mixture of unusual art exhibitions, interactive performances, and workshops, each festival has a different theme and this year it is Liberation.

I've never had the chance to attend the past events due to other engagements so even in my ill state I was eager to explore what was on offer.
Now there are over 30 events occurring over the next week so I'm going to boil this list down to a few of my favourites.


co_LAB is the Collaboration Laboratory Research Network at the University of Lincoln and in their own words " bringing together people from different fields, disciplines and contexts to collaborate on innovative trans-media projects."
Now this is more of a series of activities than the traditional art that makes up the Frequency Festival
the first activity is called Blind Data and was one of most thought producing events to myself.

In Blind Date you are given a choice of several files each containing portfolio's of three individuals, these portfolios have within them the same sort of information that the NSA would be able to collect on each person. Examples include search terms, email keywords, illegal activity and recent purchases and from this information you have to decide who if any you would investigate further. 
It is an interesting thought study and the students running the stall in the Waterside Centre are eager to hear feedback from participants. I have also been advised that anyone who tries this should look up information about PRISM to learn more.   

Caught In The Web was unfortunately not available during my trip as someone accidentally deleted the program but the students pulled an all nighter and managed to remake the experience using the last build they had created so should be available for everyone. This Oculus Rift virtual experience aims to challenge public apathy towards the mass surveillance of our digital lives by creating a 3D web browser and exploring the history of the internet. You can watch the developments that changed the digital world and the restrictions which increasingly limit the online experience.

The third event by co_labs is WWW25 which is a serious piece that in effect is a simple concept: What is the internet you want?

Statements would come up on the display screen some serious..

Some not so serious and well thought out...

Each orb grew with its total number of votes and I believe there was some significance to their location but unfortunately I didn't get the chance to enquire.
These were the votes when I last checked:

James Brown

Another interactive experience is James Brown's Taphobos: An Immersive Coffin Experience.
This 2 person experience is a virtual reality scenario of been buried alive, running out of oxygen and the only hope of escape is to work together with a complete stranger. Using clues from their surroundings the person in the coffin needs to relay information to the other person who uses this information to figure out the location of the coffin.

Nick Driftwood

The Road was a surprisingly calming visual experience, this was long clips of travel across various roads of America and through it I could understand the appeal of various motorcycle groups and road trips and the feeling of freedom and wonder the open road could have. This may not have been exactly what the artist was trying to convey but it was my personal experience of it.

The Stan Project

Pynchon's Wall seems to give me mixed feelings personally, on casual observation it is slow, dull and unattractive but under the right circumstance it comes alive. The various panels of the wall react to certain keywords that when tweeted cause them to move.

Shun Ito

Cosmic Birds impresses on a number of levels, whilst a simple concept it is visually interesting not just from the light show produced by the controlled falling and movement of the various parts but also on a mechanical level as the full working of each machine are on display.


This was a small side piece but I found it both thought provoking and a statement on our usual laziness and just how easily people will sign rights away without realising it.
Presented as a "free" Iphone charge station it gives you instructions on how to use it and by doing so you agree to the terms and conditions.

Presented in its glass case it is immediately obvious to someone with a hint of computer awareness or those who are genre savvy about the reoccurring themes that this is no simple charger.

The terms and conditions written on the glass explain (without going into too much legal jargon) that by using the charger you are allowing the charger owners to download all pictures from your phone, have total rights to them and that they can distribute them at will. I suddenly realised the connection with the projection on the wall behind and that these were all photos taken from peoples phones who had used the chargers without reading first.


In spite of the strange name Squidsoup has produced a beautiful and memorable piece again simple but hugely effective. The piece called Enlightenment is a walk-through array of responsive LED lights these lights ripple and change colour each person entering a pebble in the pond so to speak.

Finally if you do go please take 5 minutes to fill in the feedback form at one of the events, this helps the festival grow and gain funding for the future.

To learn more see the Frequency Schedule and Venues.
If you would like to read more experiences the Lincolnshire Echo chosen their top things to see, reactions to the event and a gallery of photos.


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