BOM (Birmingham Open Media) is the world’s first curated hackspace, developing radical new practices at the intersection of art, technology and science with measurable social impact.
BOM is born from hacker culture. We take an activist role in proactively addressing barriers to cultural participation through creative programs, particularly for those at risk of exclusion.
We do this by making sustained investment in a community of creative practitioners (who we call Fellows), and brokering strategic partnerships to test pioneering ideas with our Fellows that investigate the transformative value of the arts across education, health and society.
Unlike other hackspaces that are filled with tools and operate on a membership model, ours foregrounds spaces for public engagement and production and is home to a curated community of practitioners who help us deliver our aims.
BOM’s 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 while its at R&D stage.
BOM is funded through a mixture of public and private partnerships. We ground our unique vision on an assertion of people, practice and participation:
Invest in People
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 creative practices that enable society to fully participate in culture.
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.
Find out more about the BOM Fellows here.
Find out more about our outreach work here.
Details on our public programmes & exhibitions and events here.
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 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 Assistant
Susan joined the team in May 2015 and is an artist, illustrator and maker. She looks after our gallery space, welcoming visitors and facilitating the day to day activities as well as helping us with our digital marketing. Susan has a keen eye for detail and a passion for our Fellows that money cannot buy. She studied fine art at York St John’s University graduating with a first in 2005. When she’s not at BOM, she can be found tinkering with an eclectic mix of materials including wind, rain, smoke, yarn, felt, blood, and more recently (since working at BOM…) digital media.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Simon Bolton (Chair)
Simon Bolton is an internationally acclaimed designer and innovation consultant, and also Associate Dean for Research and Enterprise at Birmingham City University. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art his work has been exhibited in the Design Museum London, Axis Gallery in Tokyo and the Pompidou Centre in Paris among others. He is a global thought leader for Procter and Gamble and BSkyB.
Heather Corcoran (CA/UK) is a curator and cultural producer with a specialism in technology, design and contemporary art. She leads Design & Technology Outreach for Kickstarter in the UK and Europe, based in London. Before that, she was the Executive Director of Rhizome, the influential digital art organisation based at the New Museum, New York, and its celebrated art-meets-tech conference, Seven on Seven. She was a curator at the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT), Liverpool, exhibition manager at Barbican Centre, and managed the media labs at places like Space Media Arts, London and Interaccess, Toronto. She is passionate about the role of artists and designers in shaping the future of digital culture, a topic she has been invited to speak on at Microsoft’s Social Computing Symposium, REMIX at Google NYC, the Armory Art Fair, Ars Electronica Festival and more.
Jonathan Shaw is an award-winning photographer and educator who makes use of science, technology and engineering, frequently designing, building and customising cameras to explore representations of space, time and movement. Jonathan is also Co-Director of Coventry University’s Disruptive Media Learning Lab and Associate Head of Department for Media (Innovation, Profile and Research) in the School of Art and Design, Coventry University where he led a team that pioneered free and open photography educational resources.
Michael 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.
Bill helps organisations to identify and manage the risks associated with the adoption and use of information technology. As a practising lawyer, he worked for many years with major corporate and non-profit clients, mostly in connection with the procurement, development, integration and use of new IT systems. This work embraced traditional development contracts, major outsourcing projects, and innovation such as the adoption of cloud based computing. From 1990 until 2008, Bill was a Partner at Wragge & Co LLP where he founded and led the IT practice. For a number of years he was Group Leader of the firm’s Commercial Group.