Octorama Christmas Around The World

In December 2014 we ran an Octorama exhibition at Thornaby Academy. One of the screens featured submissions from Escola Estadval, Jacrei, Sau Paulo, Brazil – Miroslav Antic Elementary School Serbia and Peterson School Mexico City. Here is some of the content from the “International” screen.

Digital City 10th Anniversary

The 10th Anniversary of DigitalCity Event featured 3 Octorama Exhibitions called upon to exemplify community engagement and creativity. There were three community exhibitions featured in the Octorama. The first being “Melarama” representing 24 years of Middlesbrough Mela. Next was DigitalCity Fellows including some Ormesby Comprehensive content from 2008 plus “Voices of Aspiration” from Thornaby Academy. Finally we had “Iron Age to Digital Age” which was first seen in Loftus Town Hall in 2010 and opened on this occasion by Cllr Barry Hunt, Mayor of Loftus Town. You can see all the action in the movie below by Pete Russel.

The Octorama is now  portable so it can tour. Watch out for it at a venue near you. The next exhibition planned is “Winter Wonderland” in December at Thornaby Academy followed by “Tranquility” at My Place (Custom House) in Middlehaven, Middlesbrough. Thanks to Pete Russell for the Video below from the event.

The Digital Kitchen Fitter

Many thanks to Pete Russell for help in modifications to the Octorama Tower. We also cut up the black drape for the installation and when we were done there was enough left over for a poncho for us both.

Screen Test

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

A date is set for the first leg of the Octorama 2014 tour. More on this later. We’ve been testing a new material for the screens and as you can see it works. We erected this in the DigitalCity office and it worked a treat. All held up with the blocks sawn in two by Pete Russel so these heavy fellers are easier to carry. Well done Pete only seven more to saw.


To Celebrate 21 years of Middlesbrough Mela we will be launching an exhibition in Teesside University’s Constantine Gallery first week in November. This will feature the “Octorama” principle which consists of 8 screens and 8 sound sources. The screens will feature images and video (VHS) going back 21 years and the sounds will feature sounds recorded in Albert Park and peoples voices. There will also be posters and memorabilia from the past 21 years. We’d like to record as many peoples voices as possible for inclusion. We’re looking for a very short sound clip with your views and memories of the event. Your sound clip (in any language) could be:

  • How long you have been coming to the Mela
  • What is your favourite part of the Mela
  • What do you think was the best year
  • Do you go to other Mela’s
  • What new things would you like to see at the Mela
  • Anything else

Please use the drop box below to record or submit your audio file. Otherwise request a workshop with your group or school by emailing s.d.thompson@tees.ac.uk
Tell us
your story

Some Examples

with thanks to Saeed Iqbal of Emtep

Final Report

Last weekend saw a fantastic event at Loftus Town Hall. As part of Heritage Open Days the Town Hall played host to a range of exhibits from community history groups downstairs and the fabulous Octorama was housed upstairs. In the Council Chamber there was a presentation of the wonderful image archive from Loftus Digital Village. Overall the event had over 500 visitors with the public on Saturday and schools visits on Monday. The eight screens featured content from East Cleveland communities and 8 speakers delivered sounds and stories from local people recorded by Skinningrove History Group. On screen were images from the Skinningrove, Carlin How, Margrove Park, Moorsholme, Brotton, Loftus and Marske Digital Villages. This had been a culmination of over two months work by volunteers including most of Loftus Town Council to build a portable Octorama.

Directly following the exhibition the Octorama featured again at the “Inspiring Digital Engagement Festival” in Sheffield. See below.