Rachel Jacobs

Rachel with the climate machine in her studio in Nottingham

Rachel Jacobs is an internationally renowned artist, curator and researcher based at Primary Studios in Nottingham.

She is currently working as an independent artist and research consultant and an Associate Researcher at Horizon Digital Economy/Mixed Reality Lab, University of Nottingham.

Her current projects are:
Performing the Future – an artist/research project looking at the future in response to environmental change

The Prediction Machine – a touring artwork and series of public workshop based on end-of-the-pier fortune telling machines. The machines predict the future impacted by climate change and invites you to make a promise in response

The Memory Machine (MeMa) – a research project taking place at Horizon (University of Nottingham) to create personalised digital souvenirs for end-of-life, interventions in dementia care and for accessing cultural heritage.

Rachel is 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’.

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. She has most recently published a chapter in a book: Digital Participation Through Artistic Intervention, Digital Participation through Social Living Labs Valuing Local Knowledge, Enhancing Engagement, (2017) and is working on another book chapter entitled ‘Walking with Apps: Ecological Readings of the Digital’. She was awarded Highest Ranking for her thesis abstract by Leonardo Peer Review Committee and was named an “Emerging Leonardo” author 2015-2017.

Through working with bio and environmental sensors, mobile, interactive and locative technologies Rachel seeks to address how these technologies can be used in society, for visceral, sensory and meaningful lived experience, and most recently for engaging with issues of environmental change – as 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 the award winning projects Such Tweet Sorrow, Chromaroma and a prototype mobile phone game - Cold Sun -as part of a Creative Exchange project with Mudlark and the University of Lancaster. A game that creates a future world controlled by weather and climate data:  http://thecreativeexchange.org/projects/cold-sun