Active Ingredient heading for 20 years old next year!!

August 8th, 2015


Rachel and Matt in Amsterdam (probably about 2005)

Rachel and Matt in Amsterdam (probably about 2005)

Aside from the horror of how old the team must be after running an arts collective for 20 years - Active Ingredient are preparing for our 20th birthday on January 6th 2016…

To do this we are looking back at the interactive work we have made, reviewing and tracking down the traces of artworks and interactive experiences that may or may not be art and were mostly ephemeral, and live, and so live on as crazy and beautiful photographs, bad quality and tiny yet exciting real media files, documents, sketches, glitchy flash files and stunning generative contributions from our audiences, visitors and participants (including an archive of 100s of drawings by anonymous web users from our AI World website in the early 2000s – many of which involve pictures you’d expect to see on toilet walls, much to our delight).

Through doing this we hope to recompile some of the key works we made and reflect on them from the perspective of a world where smart phones, GPS, video streaming and mobile gaming is now common place. We are very excited to revisit the work and see how some things have not moved on at all, yet others are very much embedded now in the world. We are also keen to reflect on if our dreams of magic, communication and moving beyond the screen have come true and consider why we made work in this way,, what we and others might learn and where to go next…

We will be blogging and reviewing as this happens over the next six months – whilst deciding how to celebrate our 20th birthday and what to do with the things we discover.

Keep Watching…


The Prediction Machine

August 8th, 2015

The Prediction Machine, the Promises Machine and information exhibited at Nottingham Contemporary

Since developing The Prediction Machine in Loughborough in 2014 the project has gone from strength to strength, touring to Nottingham Contemporary in March, Mayfest in May (obviously) and FACT, Liverpool in July.  To find out more about the project, the participatory activities and the research going alongside it visit the website:

Alongside this new touring artwork Rachel has been involved in a research project with the Mixed Reality Lab/Horizon Digital Research Institute where she is based part time looking at the concept of ‘performing data’ and contributing to the development of toolkit for artists sensing environmental and physiological data – for more information visit the research website:

The Prediction Machine going live in Loughborough

September 28th, 2014

the oak and stainless steel machine, with lights and a hand crank and a screen

The Prediction Machine will be exhibited from Wednesday 1st – Sunday 26th October 2014 at the following venues:
Pilkington Library Cafe, University of Loughborough
Wednesday 1st October to Wednesday 15th October

Loughborough Library, Granby Street, Loughborough
Saturday 18th October to Saturday 25th October

The Prediction Machine is a new interactive artwork that has travelled through time, space and all weather to mark ‘moments of climate change’ in our everyday lives. It uses meteorological data to print out climate fortunes based on the weather now and predictions for the future.

The Prediction Machine is created by the artist Rachel Jacobs in collaboration with Matt Little, Ian Jones (Sherwood Wood), Matthew Gates, Robin Shackford, Juliet Robson, Dr Candice Howarth, Dr Carlo Buontempo and the participants of a series of workshops that took place in Loughborough.

The artwork was developed with researchers alongside a wider research project at Horizon Digital Economy Hub and The Mixed Reality Lab, University of Nottingham.  Commissioned by Radar, LU Arts as part of the Nowcasting Programme, with support from the Geography Department, Loughborough University. With support from Frank Abbott, Ravi Abbott, Matt Watkins and Joelle Chess.

Funded by the Arts Council of England, Radar LU Arts and Horizon Digital Economy Research, RCUK

The Prediction Machine’s Climate-Change-Harvest-Festival
University of Loughborough
Sunday 26th October

Come along for some seasonal food, a procession to the weather station led by the artist and an opportunity to write your own predictions, actions and wishes for the future as part of an alternative Harvest Festival.  Times and venue tbc.
More information coming soon… including artist talks and guides to the machine and accessibility information