Harvey Herman, I'd Hide You at Sheffield Doc/Fest

(UK): June – July 2013

About Harvey

Harvey is a designer and film-maker, whose personal work tends to explore our emotional connection to spaces, in particular those that are lost or widely neglected. Before joining Blast Theory, Harvey studied Illustration at the University of Brighton, where he worked mostly with animation. His graduation films, which included ‘Meeting Place’, a bleak but humorous look at the social network, earned him a place on Wallpaper* magazine’s Graduate Directory. 

While studying in Brighton, Harvey became very interested in the relationships between art and networked technology, and it was through writing research papers both about the architecture of the web, and the history of internet-based artworks, that he became particularly interested in Blast Theory’s work. After helping in trials of Fixing Point and I’d Hide You in the summer of 2013, he then joined the team for a three-month volunteership.

Since leaving us, Harvey has continued to develop his own film making practice, while working in a range of art department roles, including production design positions for BBC films and 3DD productions. He is currently working in the editorial department for YCN magazine.

About the volunteership

Having the opportunity to join Blast Theory for three months was a hugely influential experience that will stick with me for a long time to come. With barely a minute to dwell on being a little star-struck, I was, once introduced, soon in the swing of things, accompanying the team to Sheffield Doc/fest to support the three day run of I’d Hide You. The artists, Matt, Ju, and Nick, quickly gave me a large amount of responsibility, managing the set up of the live streaming kits and helping to troubleshoot during performances. 

Being allowed to learn by doing, while building relationships with the team and the associate artists, meant this short trip was, perhaps, one of the highlights from twelve weeks full of opportunity and inspiration. 

Aside from supporting the practical aspects of Blast Theory’s work, I was also able to learn a huge amount about the administrative and production management side of an arts organisation. The Wellington Road studio is run incredibly well and it was eye opening and hugely beneficial to be able to support the office team with responsibilities such as social networking, research, and website user testing. 

Another valuable part of my experience was engaging with the additional features of the Blast Theory provide in their studio space, such as the artists residency. Getting to know resident artists like the hugely talented Ben Moren, was massively inspiring, as was helping with the delivery of studio based workshop, Ideas Camp. One of my most enjoyable experiences, though, was one of my final ones – compiling a highlights video of I’d Hide You at Doc/fest. Putting together this permanent record of what was a fantastic performance in Sheffield was a great book-end to my time with a group who still, a year on, feel like family.

My time at Blast Theory was a brilliant education, and, after being given a huge range of real responsibility and respect, I felt truly valued as a volunteer. And I’m pretty sure that would have still been the case even if I hadn’t fixed their coffee machine.