Minecraft: A Shift in Learning – Tuesday 6th December 2016

Minecraft is fast becoming one of the world’s most popular computer games, especially amongst children, allowing them to freely express, share and celebrate their inherent creativity.

Derek Robertson from the Poster image used University of Dundee will explore the wondrous simplicity and complexity of the game, and discuss the challenges of introducing games like Minecraft into the formal world of the classroom. Will the rich learning continue, or is there a danger that the Minecraft phenomena
will collapse?

Everyone is welcome. This event is free and non-bookable. Places are limited so please arrive early to avoid disappointment. Doors open at 5pm.

Creating Comics: A Celebration of H.G. Wells – Tuesday 1st November 2016

H.G. Wells is one of the most influential science fiction writers of all time. Among his many works are The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, and The ImageInvisible Man, which brought futuristic, new ideas to life and showed us glimpses of today’s, and tomorrow’s, World.

Prof Chris Murray, University of Dundee, will explore the adaptations of H. G. Wells’ stories in comics, and will give an insight into the creative process behind comics. There will also be an opportunity to have a sneak peak of the new comic featuring adaptation of H.G.Wells’ stories being created at the University of Dundee. The talk and discussion will finish at 7pm. This event will be followed by a 30 minute special  session demonstrating how to create your very own comic strip (no drawing skills necessary).

This event is part of ‘H G Wells at 150: Hope and Fear’, a series of events that celebrate the great writer’s 150th birthday and is supported by the University of Dundee as the Scottish hub of the national Being Human festival (17th – 25th November).

Everyone is welcome. This event is free and non-bookable. Places are limited so please arrive early to avoid disappointment. Doors open at 5pm.

Memories of Food in Dundee – Tuesday 4th October 2016

Food plays an essential part in our everyday life, but is much more than a necessity, as we create culture and places where food takes centre stage. From trusted food shops that visit time after time, to our favourite eating places where we spend time with friends and family, our experiences and memories of food help us build a sense of belonging to the places we live in and call home.

This talk explored the social, space and time aspects of food and show how food acts as a trigger for memories, focusing on the city of Dundee and its people.

Jackie Malcolm, University of Dundee, discussed her research with elderly people who lived in sheltered housing across the city. Their shared memories provide insights into Dundee life, past and present, and the relationships formed through food.

Hosted at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum this fascinating talk reached out to new visitors to Dundee Arts Cafe from our local communities.

 

Games Consoles – A New Voice in Music – Tuesday 6th September 2016

Gameboy music 4 cropComputer gaming and games design are one of Dundee’s modern success stories, with the city shaping some of the World’s most successful games (Lemmings, Grand Theft Auto and Minecraft to name a few). New games were designed for the latest game consoles and the explosion in gaming culture led to gaming growing in to an industry that brings in more money than the music and film industries. With games console technology moving fast, some of our favourite consoles, like millions of Nintendo’s much-loved Game Boy, were left behind.

However, a new life beckons for some old consoles. Musicians are reusing Game Boys to create lo-fi electronic music (chip tunes) and other consoles are being rediscovered, reused and recycled in all manners of different ways.

Over 50 people came to see Dr Kenny McAlpine (Abertay University) for this discussion on the chip tunes movement and other creative ways to recycle electronics, as Dundee Arts Cafe returned for a new series at The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum.

Summer break

2014 Dundee Arts Cafe logoA big thank you to all who came along to our Dundee Arts Cafe series 2015/2016.

The Dundee Arts Cafe team are taking a well earned rest over the summer holidays, as well as planning an exciting new series starting on Tuesday 6th September 2016, at our usual venue of the McManus cafe.

Sign up for our mailing list to find out more about upcoming talks and events by emailing dundeeartscafe@dundee.ac.uk with ‘Subscribe’ in the subject box.

Have a lovely Summer!

Power to the People – What Happens When The Lights Go Out – Tuesday 7th June, 6pm

Poster image usedDuring the winter of 2014 the UK was hit by an exceptional run of winter storms, leading to serious coastal damage and widespread flooding. This extreme weather caused disruption to electricity supply across the country, with over 100,000 people facing several days without power.

The loss of power affected remote and urban communities, with vulnerable people considered to be at a greater risk. The companies responsible for maintaining and repairing the electricity infrastructure asked themselves how they could improve their support communities before, during and after power cuts.

Join us for a talk from Dr Irena Connon and Dr Ed Hall from the University of Dundee, who will discuss stories of vulnerability and resilience collected from four very different communities. Irena and Ed’s research will help energy companies to plan and respond effectively when future storms reach our shores.

Everyone is welcome. Free. Non-bookable. Places are limited so please arrive early to avoid disappointment. Doors open at 5pm.

The Animation of Movement – Tuesday 3rd May 2016, 6pm

For the last 15 years Brendan Body has
been a computer animator working in film
and television. Image usedHe has worked on popular films such as Harry Potter, The Amazing Spider-man, Pacific Rim, and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Brendan is now teaching the next generation of Scottish animators as a lecturer and researcher at Duncan of
Jordanstone College of Art and Design at the University of Dundee.

In his talk Brendan will discuss his career in animation and give some insights into the world of films and visual effects. He will also talk about his current research; where he will share his knowledge of animal and human anatomy, plus biomechanics, gained throughout his career, and how he will apply this to his latest project – producing some animation for the Natural History Museum’s most recent significant acquisition; a Stegosaurus fossil named ‘Sophie’.

Everyone is welcome. Free. Non-bookable. Places are limited so please arrive early to avoid disappointment. Doors open at 5pm.

Eco Design and Low Energy Buildings – Tuesday 1st March 2016, 6pm

Mind the Gap
When Volkswagen were caught out cheating emissions tests, the gap between performance promised by manufacturers and the reality was substantial, causing uproar.

Hayshed Copyright Kirsty Maguire

But quietly, bubbling away under the surface and hidden under piles of paperwork are the predictions for every buildings performance. Just like buying a new fridge, all buildings have an energy rating A – E. But what is conveniently ignored is that these predictions are rarely worth the paper they are written on. The gap between prediction and reality can be enormous.

Why is this acceptable and how can we change this? Buildings can be complex but it is certainly possible to create warm and comfortable buildings that do what they say on the tin, costing next to nothing to run in the process. They can remove the building occupants from the volatile energy markets and take households out of fuel poverty. A shocking 29% of Scottish households are classed as being in fuel poverty.

New buildings can achieve this type of good performance right now. We don’t need fancy technologies or costly new solution.

Kirsty Maguire, award-winning architect, talks about her own projects in Scotland and around the world plus some examples of other leading UK practices to show how good design can perform, inspire – and even change the world – one step at a time.

The event lasts one hour, and speakers talk passionately about their work for 30 minutes before the floor is opened up to an informal discussion with the audience. All talks take place in The McManus Café, Albert Square, Dundee.

Everyone is welcome. Free. Non-bookable. Places are limited so please arrive early to avoid disappointment. Doors open at 5pm.

Do Politicians Really Represent Us? Tuesday 2nd February 2016, 6pm

What does it mean to be represented in
a political system where Lego Leaders Debatepoliticians are elected by individuals but are expected to toe their party line on policy? How has devolution changed people’s perceptions of being represented at different levels of government? Did it really matter that three of the seven party leaders debating with each other in the 2015 election debates were women?

Dr Carvalho will examine the myriad ways in which the idea of political representation has been understood in political studies. She will also reflect on what this idea means to ordinary people by evaluating data gathered from talking to people across England, Scotland and Wales during the 2010 and 2015 UK general elections.

The event lasts one hour, and speakers talk passionately about their work for 30 minutes before the floor is opened up to an informal discussion with the audience. All talks take place in The McManus Café, Albert Square, Dundee.

Everyone is welcome. Free. Non-bookable. Places are limited so please arrive early to avoid disappointment. Doors open at 5pm.

Clearances and Land Reform in Scotland – Tuesday 1st December 2015, 6pm

Image for poster
As Scottish politicians grapple with a new Land Reform bill, Dr Annie Tindley will explore the historical background of this contentious issue, from the Highland clearances, the Land War of the 1880s, and how perceptions of these events have, and continue to, shape legislation and public opinion.

Annie will cover important questions about what kind of nation Scotland wants to be – how is its landscape to be managed, or for whose benefit? She will examine the nature of power and conflict in rural Scotland, and how its history and traditions have affected Scottish culture and continue to set the political agenda today.

The event lasts one hour, and speakers talk passionately about their work for 30 minutes before the floor is opened up to an informal discussion with the audience. All talks take place in The McManus Café, Albert Square, Dundee.

Everyone is welcome. Free. Non-bookable. Places are limited so please arrive early to avoid disappointment. Doors open at 5pm.