Rachel Jacobs

Rachel with the climate machine in her studio in Nottinghamwww.thepredictionmachine.org

Rachel Jacobs is an artist, curator, researcher and co-founder of the award winning artist-led company Active Ingredient.  Her role as Artistic Director has involved creating and managing a large portfolio of art games, interactive media projects, exhibitions and generative artworks.  Active Ingredient was the first international company to win the Nokia Mindtrek Ubimedia Award in 2007 for the internationally renowned project, Heartlands (‘Ere Be Dragons) a mobile phone game controlled by heart rate and GPS.

Rachel completed a PhD in 2014 entitled ‘The Artist’s Footprint: Investigating the distinct contributions of artists engaging the public with climate change’.  She is currently a part-time researcher at the Mixed Reality Lab/Horizon Digital Economy Research Hub at the University of Nottingham. Her area of interest is looking at how artists merge art, environmental science and technology through cross disciplinary collaboration and to ‘perform data’ as a member of the Performing Data research team: www.performingdata.org

Rachel’s current practice explores models for merging artistic practice and academic research. She is about to start a new artwork, Invisible with her long term collaborator Silvia Leal. her most recent work The Prediction Machine toured in the UK and a portable version was taken to Tropixel Festival in Ubatuba, Brazil. The Prediction Machine is an artwork that marks the ‘moments of climate change’ that we experience in our everyday lives – snow on a summers day, hurricanes and floods like we’ve never seen in places we would never expect, 3 months of drought, 2 months of rain in half an hour, the apple tree that blossoms and fruits at the same time. Ttracked and recorded by a machine that prints out predictions, based on end of the pier Victorian era fortune telling machines.

Rachel’s previous work has included leading the touring artwork A Conversation Between Trees, an international co-production between the UK and Brazil connecting forests in both countries through a series of artists residencies, exhibitions and public interventions that visualise environmental and climate data. Other recent projects include Exploding Places, an urban mobile phone game looking at communities, place and history. Both projects have been developed in collaboration with the Horizon Research Institute at the University of Nottingham and have linked into Rachel’s doctoral research.

Rachel’s work has been published in academic journals and books and presented at conferences, arts venues and festivals internationally and in the UK.  Through working with bio and environmental sensors, mobile and locative technologies Rachel seeks to address how these technologies can be used in society and specifically within the context of a digital economy – through playful, interactive and performative social and artistic interventions.

She is also co-founder of Mudlark Production Company working across platforms, online, offline, real world, virtual world, imaginary worlds, games and simulations and has worked with them as a consultant on Cold Sun – a new mobile phone game as part of a Creative Exchange project with Mudlark and the University of Lancaster – a future world controlled by weather and climate data:  http://thecreativeexchange.org/projects/cold-sun