Curate the Campus 2013: I/O Inside Out
I/O Insides Out is an artwork in which the #Pat printer tells the chaotic story of its own co-design. #Pat was designed to bring order to the sometimes chaotic lives of homeless people, I/O Insides Out subverts this goal and reveals its difficult creation. Only interaction with the printer will encourage its story to spew forth, otherwise it is motionless and silent.
Background: #Pat is an RFID activated thermal printer that prints schedules of appointments for homeless people, and is a co-designed prototype made by the Catalyst project at Lancaster University (www.catalystproject.org.uk). It is used by Signposts, an information and advice centre in Morecambe, in order to assist homeless people in finding somewhere to live, to get benefits, find work, visit doctors and dentists. Homeless people often live day-to-day and hand to mouth, and their lives have been described as chaotic and filled with multiple exclusions and problems. When immediate and basic needs take priority it is hard to remember appointments for health and wellbeing that may be days or weeks in advance.
Working within the Catalyst team artist Jen Southern now turns the box I/O Insides Out as a subverted version of #Pat prints the story of its own production, revealing the complexity and chaos of the process of co-design. The new #Pat, instead of forming an anchor in peoples lives, now prints the chaos of its own construction and tells the stories of homelessness that were revealed along the way. Installed in an exhibition, tangled threads of printed paper trail onto the floor, fragments of text remixed by the way the paper falls.