BOM (Birmingham Open Media) is forging a new model of radical practice at the intersection of art, technology and science with measurable social impact.
By making sustained investment in a community of Fellows and developing strategic projects and partnerships, we test pioneering ideas that investigate the transformative value of the arts across education, health and society.
BOM is proactively addressing barriers to cultural participation, by connecting world-class practitioners with activist research and communities.
We are born from hacker culture. But unlike other hackspaces that are filled with tools and operate on a membership model, our building foregrounds public engagement with a free gallery and events space, and supports a curated community of practitioners to deliver our aims.
BOM is funded through a mixture of public and private partnerships. Our gallery is an evolving space filled with residencies, exhibitions and shared learning. This provides a critical, collaborative environment and an open forum for debate with public audiences for developing work during the R&D stage.
We believe that the arts should value participation over all else, and that investing in the right people with the right support is key to developing transformational practices that enable society to fully participate in culture.
We ground our unique vision on an assertion of people, practice and participation:
Invest in People
Our community of Fellows is a group of artists, technologists, scientists, producers and researchers who all fuel (and are fuelled by) BOM’s ethos, and help us to deliver our vision.
Karen Newman, Director
Karen is the Founder and Director of BOM. She is responsible for BOM’s artistic vision, commercial operations and overall management. Previously she was Curator at Open Eye Gallery (2010-12) and FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) in Liverpool from 2005 – 2010, as well as a contributing curator to Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year in 2008 and the Liverpool Biennials 2006 – 2012. She is passionate about supporting practitioners’ creative development through experimental R&D, and has personal interests in digital activism, open culture and DIYbio.
Louise Latter, Head of Programme
Louise joined BOM in November 2015. She joins us from FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) in Liverpool where she managed the young people and learning programmes. Louise manages BOM’s programme from exhibitions through to school projects and public programmes. She is interested in the intersection between curatorial & learning environments, tools and structures. Other interests include mental health, technology, feminism and pop(ular) culture.
Susan Kruse, Gallery Supervisor
Susan joined the team in May 2015. She looks after our gallery space, welcoming visitors and facilitating day to day activities as well as helping us with digital marketing. Susan has a keen eye for detail and a passion for our Fellows that money cannot buy. When she’s not at BOM, she is busy making art with a range of unconventional materials and digital media. Read Susan’s latest blog post here about living (and working) with autism.
Our Board of Directors
We are proud to have a proactive and highly skilled board of directors who provide excellent legal, financial and business expertise as well as research and creative knowledge. The board also support our Fellows Incubator programme, providing strategic advice and guidance to our creative practitioners as they develop innovative ideas and business models.
Jonathan Shaw (Acting Chair)
Jonathan Shaw is Co-Director of Coventry University’s Disruptive Media Learning Lab, where he led a team that pioneered free and open educational resources. He is also a trustee of The Photographer’s Gallery, London and an award winning media practitioner who makes use of science, technology and engineering in his work.
Yinka Danmole is Talent Development Manager at Manchester International Festival. He is also Director of Studio Danmole, a multidisciplinary Art and Design studio based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Yinka is passionate about supporting creative practitioners and previously ran FUTURE CURIOUS, an open access development programme exploring future arts practices at Mac Arts Centre, Birmingham.
Dr. Karen Guldberg is Director of the Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER) at the School of Education, University of Birmingham. Her research interests are in the areas of Technology Enhanced Learning for children with autism; the training needs of practitioners in the field of autism and on notions of ‘good autism practice’. She applies social learning theory to her work, with a particular focus on communities of practice. She is also inspired and guided by theories around inter-subjectivity.
Bill Jones is a commercial and information technology lawyer whose primary focus has been helping organisations to identify and manage the risks associated with the adoption of information technology. He was a Partner at Wragge & Co LLP (now Gowlings WLG LLP) where he founded and led the IT practice. He continues his association with the firm as a consultant, particularly in respect of professional compliance requirements.
Immy Kaur is Co-Founder and Director of Impact Hub Birmingham, a network of citizens, entrepreneurs and activists committed to building a better Birmingham. Immy was voted UK Asian Business Women of the Year in 2016 and is regarded as “one of the most influential people in business lobbying within the West Midlands”. She is passionate about new models of collaboration and local change based on global innovations, networks and knowledge.
Michael Sutton qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in 1974, but has spent the majority of his working life in engineering companies in the Midlands, mainly in the aerospace industry. Multi national groups he has worked for include: Lucas plc, General Signal Corp., Pre Cast Corp., NCH and Williams Holdings plc. In addition to jobs as a Finance Director, he had a central role in an MBO from Williams Holdings plc., which was followed by a full listing on the LSE.