From Home Project
What is From Home?
From Home is a project to capture the experience of home as it is lived and articulated by a broad range of individuals, presenting those experiences with digital technologies that are both reflective and illuminating.
Wherever it is shown, From Home invites and encourages those members of the public who experience the piece to contribute their own thoughts on home, so that the artwork becomes ever more layered, reflecting the rich complexity embedded in that single word home.
The story so far
The project began before lockdown, with a wealth of pre-pandemic material already gathered. From March 2020, we documented the various stages of lockdown at home as a piece of living archive, or social history in action. We asked the public to send in short videos of their experiences of home at this time, with great and varied responses coming in from all around the world.
Contributions ranged from people talking of self-isolating in a garden shed, to writing messages in pebbles on a beach and singing songs of hope in Montreal, Canada; of domestic violence in lockdown from India, to giving birth in lockdown in Margate; from a displaced Romanian performance poet’s expression of her body as home, to a man’s moving story of mourning his father.
You can watch some of the videos here
We also made a short film, Homecoming, that we shot during lockdown with the actor Samuel West. Read more about Homecoming here
Our first event
Our first event at the 2021 Brighton Digital Festival, supported by Wired Sussex’s innovation lab FuseBox, placed our extensive audio and visual content at the heart of an immersive VR experience. The event – which was presented a prototype of the larger project – was programmed by Lighthouse, and supported through Digital Democracies, a programme led by Threshold Studios.
In the virtual environment, viewable with a 360 headset, visitors made their own way through a series of rooms – scanned from real-life locations, including participant’s homes, together with performance spaces such as the Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts – and interacted at their own pace to experience the embedded sound art and videos.
After the experience, they were invited to be interviewed about their personal ideas of home while filmed in front of a green screen, creating content that will itself be used in the virtual world, as the project develops.
A launch party saw the live element of From Home brought to the fore, with some of the performers who had submitted material to the project entertaining the audience.
From Home – where next?
We’re building on the prototype event to move towards larger exhibitions, with ideas ranging from photo-style booths that could show the virtual experience and also collect people’s responses to the idea of Home, through touring tents that could appear at Festivals, to a combination of digital and live presentations called ‘Performing Home’. You can read more about these below.
We invite feedback and also welcome any suggestions for those we should approach to include more voices on the subject of home. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who we are
In 2019, Tom Ottway, of Language Umbrella Media, met Lucy Nordberg and Marc Green at an event held by their company Moving Pictures Theatre at Brighton Digital Festival. Tom had researched ‘home’ and stories of home at the University of Sussex for many years, and we all felt that the subject was ideal for a piece of immersive theatre or interactive media.
We are supported by the team at FuseBox innovation lab in Brighton, where we held our first event, with Chris Chowen and Chandler Dagg creating the VR experience that hosts our content.
Moving Pictures Theatre (MPT) was formed to create quality film productions using both traditional and innovative techniques, including 360 capture. The company has a focus on using interesting locations that inform the story.
Language Umbrella was formed with the aim of helping to tell stories and inspire learning, and since then has worked with prestigious clients, such as Oxford University Press, Pearson Education, Harper Collins and Santillana Publishing.