Archive for the ‘Talks’ Category

Celebrating 5 Years of G.Hack Project!


They say ‘time flies when you’re having fun’, and the past 5 years with G.Hack have certainly flown by! As our members were slowly finishing their PhD’s and starting their new adventures (in the¬†UK as well as worldwide), we decided to have one last event to celebrate all the exhibitions, conferences, talks, workshops and public engagement activities we did since establishing G.Hack in 2011. We also wanted to thank all the AWESOME PEEPS involved in G.Hack over the past 5 years as well as all the AWESOME PEEPS supporting G.Hack project in various ways (from funding our activities and inviting us to share our project with the general public to advising us and supporting us relentlessly!).

And what better way to do just that, than to invite everyone who contributed to the project to travel with us down the 5-year long memory lane, as we remember with fondness all the fun we had in G.Hack since 2011!

Nela taking us all 'down the memory lane' and presenting '5 Years of G.Hack'

For all these very special people on this very special occasion, we felt a special ‘THANK YOU’ present was a must, so Katja expertly designed Certificates of Awesomeness (yes, that’s right, AWESOMENESS!) and G.Hack mugs (with photos of different projects we did over the years) so we can give these out to everyone who was able to join us on that Wednesday afternoon (and of course, find a way to get it to the awesome peeps who were not able to come).

(Katja) Inspecting samples and doing final tweaks to mug designs

Web Audio API workshop 'work in process' looks particularly cool on a mug don't you think?

... as do the Certificates of Awesomeness (this one is going to Magda, when she is back in London for her VIVA!)

Katja is going down the list of peeps and writing names on mugs and certificates ...

... which erm ... took a while ūüôā

After the presentation, we continued catching up with everyone who came to the event over some very nice food and drinks courtesy of the School of EECS  (a BIG THANK YOU to the Head of School, Geraint Wiggins, for approving the expenditure for this!).

Catching up over food and drinks ūüôā

At the very last minute, we remembered to get the camera out and take a photo of the ‘last peeps standing’ so here it is …

Dan Stowell (who is a big fan of G.Hack) with G.Hackers: Becky, Katja, Tian & Mi


Pollie Barden, Ilze Black, Melissa Bliss, Nela Brown, Patricia Carlota, Tian Cheng, Magdalena Chudy, Alice Clifford, Ioana Dalca, Sam Duffy, Berit Greinke, Sara Heitlinger, Katja Knecht,Katerina Kosta, Nanda Khaorapapong, Antonella Mazzoni, Kavin Preethi Narasimhan, Laurel Smith Pardue, Nicola Plant, Rebecca Stewart, Mi Tian and Sonia Wilkie.


From the School of EECS: Mathieu Barthet, Isobel Bates, Ben Bengler, Geetha Bommireddy, Nick Bryan-Kinns, Sharon Cording, Hayley Cork, Paul Curzon, June Coster, Ho (Kok Ho Huen), Henrik Ekeus, Chris Harte, Pat Healey, Phil Jones, Tim Kay, Richard Kelly, Laura King, Tom King, Holger Kirchhoff, Julie Macdonald, Ursula Martin, Fiore Martin, Peter McOwan, Tony Stockman, Andrew McPherson, Fabrizio Smeraldi, Dave Meckin, Duncan Menzies, Colin Powell, Mark Plumbley, Claire Revell, Ella Rice, Mark Sandler, Jyoti Salhan, Bogdan Vera, Caroline Wardle, Graham White, Geraint Wiggins, Dave Wilkinson, Jonathan Winfield, Lukazs Zalewski, Melissa Yeo

From QMUL: Nicola Brebner, Michelle Clement, Hazel Covill, Lucie Dubinik, Sian Halkyard, Neha Okhandiar, Mike Watkinson

External supporters: Rebecca Hoyes, Joanna Morrison, Anne Marr (CSM), Emilie Giles & Sophie McDonald (MzTek), Irini-Mirena Papadimitriou (V&A), Ben Selby (Digital Shoreditch), Adele Fleming (Twinings), Gaetan Parseihian, Charles Gondre, Olivier Derrien & Richard Kronland-Martinet (LMA-CNRS), Andrew Dubber & Michaela Magas (MTF), Maggie Philbin (TeenTech), Anna Higueras (Sonar).

Go G.Hack!


G.Hack at Leading Together in the Digital Economy event


In June of 2015, we received an invite to present G.Hack project at the ‘Leading Together in the Digital Economy’ event in London and join the panel of distinguished guests (Hamed Haddadi, Sarah Sharples,¬†Sarah Martindale and¬†Helen Thornham) chaired by Andrew Greenman, to discuss a variety of topics from ‘expectations and realities for early career academic in the Digital Economy’ to ‘succeeding in academic fields which are largely male dominated’. Needless to say, it was a very interesting debate!

Hammed Hadadi, Nela Brown and Sarah Sharples discussing work-life balance in academia

G.Hack at DS2015 Panel Talk: Hackathons-Grassroots Activism or Digital Sweatshops?


Digital Shoreditch 2015 opened up with a roaster of interesting exhibitions, workshops and talks on Monday 11 May including the panel talk:¬†Hackathons-Grassroots Activism or Digital Sweatshops? chaired by Becky Stewart (ex-QMUL G.Hack alumni, turned Codasign co-founder and book author!). The panel speakers included no less impressive, resourceful and full of amazing ideas: Ruth Catlow (Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Furtherfield¬†online community for arts, technology and social change since 1997, now also a public gallery in the heart of Finsbury Park, North London),¬†Gregor Engelmann (PhD student at University of Nottingham¬†and a UK leader for Major League Hacking, the official sanctioning body for the world’s largest student hackathon league – a very busy world traveller indeed), Gerard Briscoe (interdisciplinary researcher mixing computer science, art & humanities, business, social and natural sciences – in other words a man who can do research on just about anything!) and myself, Nela Brown (representing QMUL, CogSci and talking about G.Hack’s ‘grand plan’ of encouraging more women to join hackathons by teaching them how to hack through workshops like ‘Learn to Hack Web Audio API’ we did at Sonar,¬†and ¬†Music Tech Fest 2014 Paris¬†in 2014).

A lively discussion spurred by Becky’s thought-provoking questions covered a variety of topics from diversity and creche facilities at hackathons (Becky), alternatives to 24-hour tech hackathons being 24-day, 24-month or even 24-year art hackathons (Ruth) and applying hackathon model to devising theatre performances (Gerard) to amazing perks and prizes one can enjoy by attending a¬†BMW’s Car Hackathon¬†(Gregor).¬†As a follow up to G.Hack’s workshops at Sonar and MTF, I threw a spanner into works by mentioning the new EU funded project¬†#MusicBricks, organized by our friends at Sonar/UPF and MTF (amongst others),¬†which will aim to incubate the best hacks from Music Tech Fest and Barcelona Music Hack Day¬†and enable hackers to take their products to market! (If you haven’t already signed up for this, your first chance is MTF Scandi happening 29-31 May in Sweden¬†followed by Barcelona Music Hack Day 17-19 June).

Digital Shoreditch 2015 continues until Sunday 24 May and there is plenty to hear, learn and see especially in the basement of Shoreditch Town Hall where you can find the amazing installations conjured up by the QMUL Media & Arts Technology peeps (for which the entry is entirely free Рso really no excuse!).

You can also follow the panel speakers:

Becky Stewart @theleadingzero

Ruth Catlow @furtherfield

Gregor Engelmann @UniofNottingham

Gerard Briscoe @gerardbriscoe

Nela Brown¬†¬†(not big on tweeting & very slow on email due to writing thesis/ pls send a message via a pidgeon or pick up the phone ūüôā

Nela Brown, Gerard Briscoe, Gregor Engelmann and Ruth Catlow (and Becky Stewart's funky shoe) at Digital Shoreditch 2015 panel talk

Watch it on YouTube:


G.Hack at SoundSoftware 2014


After returning from Sonar 2014, G.Hack team were invited to do a talk about preparation and delivery of their Sonar 2014 workshop ‘Learn to Hack Web Audio API with G.Hack’¬†at the¬†SoundSoftware 2014:¬†Third Workshop on Software and Data for Audio and Music Research.

Two types of questions emerged at the end of the talk: the ones about the code stability and the usefulness of Web Audio API and the ones about the ‘women only’ hack workshop. We had time to answer a few of them after the talk and the rest were discussed over a few beers at a local pub ūüôā

Nela and Katerina presenting at SoundSoftware 2014


G.Hack presents: Hack Workshop & Women Hackers panel at Sonar 2014!


After noticing the low number of female hackers at¬†Music Hack Days,¬†G.Hack troops Patrizia, Magda, Katerina and Nela decided to put together some fun activities for¬†S√≥nar+D¬†(Barcelona’s 21st International Festival of Advanced Music and New Media Art)¬†festival including¬†Learn to Hack Web Audio API with G.Hack¬†workshop (to teach female attendees of¬†some hacking skills and encourage them to participate in future Music Hack Days!) and¬†Women Hackers¬†panel with inspirational women founders, leaders, researchers and advocates of cyberfeminism, hacktivism, open culture and free tech education (more info and¬†photos below!).

Workshop: Learn to Hack Web Audio API with G.Hack

In the workshop, participants will learn about the culture of software and hardware hacking through short demos and examples, before moving on to using Web Audio API straight through their web browser! The Web Audio API is a high-level JavaScript API for processing and synthesizing audio in web applications. It includes capabilities found in modern game audio engines and some mixing, processing and filtering tasks found in modern desktop audio production applications. Participants will use this API to build simple synths and combine them with other musical feature extraction APIs to make some cool hacks! (The workshop is aimed at women beginners with no previous programming experience, though all levels are welcome).

Talk: Women Hackers

Panel speakers:
  • Nela Brown, Chair of G.Hack
  • Alex Hach√©, member of Dones Tech a group of Social Research dedicated to creating digital content, media production and communication. Hach√© is doctor of economy, cyberfeminist, hacktivist, developer of technopolitical projects, researcher of ICT for public good.
  • Klau Kinki, part of¬†Pechblenda LAB,¬†an experimental laboratory where learning arises from raw experimentation and the self-formation where free knowledge emerges.
  • Am√©lie Anglade, member of¬†OpenTechSchool¬†a movement aiming to offer free tech education. Co-founder of¬†Hackership, a full-time 3-month hacker school programme located in Berlin and based on the values of OpenTechSchool. Her work focuses on supporting hackers of all backgrounds to learn and grow, and also she does music information retrieval and recommendation for a living. She presents herself as a music hacker at heart.
ps Amélie is also ex-QML PhD student (C4DM research group) as well as one of the WISE@QMUL founding committee members, so a super woman indeed !!!

Nela Brown, Pechblenda LAB, Amélie Anglade & Alex Haché

G.Hack team brainstorming workshop structure at QMUL ūüôā

Katerina and Magdalena discussing mathematical models and how best to teach the coding part of the workshop

Day before the workshop: Patricia, Magdalena and Katerina with G.Hack poster

G.Hack Sonar 2014 Workshop poster

Nela delivering Part 1 of the workshop ...

Magda helping participants resolve 'soundmap' issues ūüôā

Workshop participants helping each other download all the 'tools'

Nela chairing Women Hackers panel with Alex Haché, Amélie Anglade, Julito and Klau Kinki

Nela, Magdalena and Patrizia celebrating the end of a loooooong day at Sonar 2014 with gazpacho soup and sangria (whilst Katerina continues hacking with the rest of QMUL troops at Sonar Music Hack Day ūüôā