Art and cyber again

I am thinking about art and cyber security again. Not only is this year’s Crafty Cyber Eyes well underway with over a dozen artists involved but the programme is getting international recognition. 

A paper submitted by the team from Sunderland University has been accepted for presentation at the 35th  International BCS Human-Computer Interaction Conference at Keele University. Lynne will be presenting ‘Cyber Eyes Wide Open: Creative Collaboration between Artists, Academics & Cybersecurity Practitioners’. How exciting! Unfortunately the dates clash with this year’s Northumbrian Water Group Innovation Festival otherwise I may have been tempted.

That aside I finally managed to meet up with the team at Newcastle College art and design project. I had wondered if the students would be interested in Cyber Eyes but the ship has sailed for this year. Next year looks a distinct possibility however. I met them as they were preparing for the end of year show at The Assembly House, at the bottom of the Westgate Road. The show looked amazing and understandably they were extremely busy.

But there is more, as usual, I had an ask. During the work we started last year on cyber security skills in the region the issue of imagery came up. When the media portrays the sector it is usually with an image of some white guy in a hoodie tapping away on a laptop. Occasionally there will be some Matrix-like characters in the background to emphasise the cliche. Such impressions are doing nothing to bring diversity to the industry. We need many more people with different experiences and cultures to come and work in cyber security and bombarding them with the same imagery is turning people off.

Who better to ask then other than the photography and graphic design students at Newcastle College? I put it to the person who leads on the relevant courses and she seemed interested. All I have to do now is to draw up a brief and meet up with the students.

I’m already excited to see where this might go. Perhaps another paper at BCS’ 36th conference!

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