Arty Sciency Sporty Art (ASSA)
Dr John Hart (Centre for Sports Engineering Research)
Julie Westerman (Art & Design Research Centre)

The Arty Sciency Sporty Art (ASSA) initiative is a cross faculty project at Sheffield Hallam University, that intends to use Sport as a gateway into Art and a gateway into Science for the general public. Capitalising on the very different languages and visualisation used in sports, science, and art, it is intended that this interdisciplinary project will give a fresh and innovative insight into each of these different areas. ASSA ultimately intends to produce a series of art works to be exhibited in a prominent location in the London 2012 Olympic Games year. Riding on the back of the Cultural Olympiad and the fever for sport, and the understanding of sport, that such events always generate, these artworks would thus introduce the public to the art and science within sport.

For their first exhibit, 'Fly Birdie Fly' a series of short video and animation, ASSA have chosen to look at a single sport; Badminton. This theme was chosen as it links with a current research project within The Centre for Sports Engineering Research (CSER) investigating the design of the Badminton shuttle. This examines what makes a shuttle behave so uniquely in flight compared to projectiles used in other racket sports. ASSA has taken and built upon the substantial quantity of information into shuttle flight being generated by CSER and presents the data within a powerful and poetic narrative, striping the shuttle back to its origins, back to the original starting point, the source of the feathers. The film explores the story of the flight of the shuttle, from the flight of the goose, to the dynamics of the feather to the final flick smash and drop of the Birdie. The final film carries a soundscape that expands the narrative possibilities from the ringing of Tibetan singing bowls to gaggeling geese

'Fly Birdie Fly' was showcased at the Sheffield Institute of Arts gallery in January 2011. and the Badminton World Championships 2011