Toggler – Youthworks Northamptonshire

Toggler is a website feature by Fermynwoods Contemporary Art allowing commissioned artists to explore, demonstrate and celebrate the potential of creativity in website design.

As websites become increasingly standardised to ensure familiarity and ease of use for online visitors, Toggler allows artists to champion the role of curiosity and creativity in exploring other possibilities for presenting content online.

Visitors are able to view our website through different lenses by toggling between styles developed by commissioned artists.

Alongside this year’s series of commissions, artist Stuart Moore has been working with students in mainstream and non-mainstream schools to develop their own Toggler styles.

The latest of these designs is by pupils from Youthworks Northamptonshire, a Charitable Incorporated Organisation that delivers education and support services to the young people of Northamptonshire – and comes with the following sound file.

The students brought a very uncompromising attitude to this Toggler. Anyone hoping for petty conveniences like being able to use the website are going to be out of luck!

The pulsating colours are a product of drawing with light. The students made small LED lights and a computer watched them draw in the air and got the digital equivalent of dazzled after-images. The upshot is a very immediate and kinetic experience that’s quite hard to plan and feels rather like stirring a liquid.

The fish in this digital liquid has scales that are made from a type of random noise. The fish was initially drawn by machine on paper. However, it was the layered chaos of superimposing one onto the other that suited the students mood. The soundtrack is based on a rap style that the students chose and know well, but has been distorted until its become something new.

I didn’t know what to expect from this group of students, so I came armed with a lot of different possibilities, which was just as well. There was very little room to negotiate! The message in this Toggler is “it’s our way, and there’s no option B”. It dominates the page and does only exactly what it’s chosen to.

This workshop challenged my attitudes and preconceptions. The students weren’t interested in doing things my way and I confess, it took a while to remember that’s a good thing!

Stuart Moore

Toggler screen grab – students from Youthworks Northamptonshire, 2021

To explore our website using code that resulted from this workshop select YOUTHWORKS NORTHAMPTONSHIRE from the drop down Toggler menu above. Please note Toggler will not affect your visiting experience of the home page. To return to the standard website design, please select DEFAULT from the menu.