Museums & Galleries Qld

mervin Jarman – M&GSQ State Conference Speaker – iStreet Lab

Posted on: 15 June 2011

At the M&GSQ State Conference 2011 in Mackay from 11-13 August, mervin Jarman, community art activist and a founding member of the UK’s Mongrel Collective, will be presenting in the Plenary session Beyond the Walls… new media, public art and heritage interpretation. mervin will present, Repatriating Technology, a case study on the Container Project and the iStreet Lab.

In April this year, I attended the Low Fi Forum held by Arts Queensland at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, Brisbane. One of the short workshops I took part in was Digital platforms for social inclusion with Mick Byrne from The Edge at the State Library of Queensland. Mick presented examples designed for youths to interact with their communities and reduce crime and violence in high risk areas. One particular project that caught my attention was the development of the iStreet Lab.

“How can you change what is happening in the streets? How can we prevent youth crime and violence in our community? How can we make a difference?” iStreet Lab

The iStreet Lab is a behavioural change lab. It is designed to fit in a wheelie bin and be transported to any environment. It is aimed at young, unemployed men and women who hang out on the streets and aims to intervene in their petty criminal activities and give them the opportunity to develop new skills and interact with their community.

“If people really wanted to communicate with young people, I’d think they might consider going out to where young people hang out rather than trying to convince them to hang out elsewhere.” iStreet Lab

The wheelie bin contains computers, microphones, cameras, speakers, internet access and a variety of software to help explore the creativity of the youth on the streets. The structure of the bin/lab allows it to be powered for a continuous average of 4 hours at a location where there is no electricity. The lab will operate as a training and production unit covering a range of multimedia productions. It also has the ability to broadcast the activities being conducted during the workshop live locally on radio and on TV.

This project was developed in Jamaica by mervin Jarman and the first prototype was produced with the support of UNESCO Caribbean. The practice has been tested and proven to reduce crime and violence. At the Conference, mervin Jarman will discuss the iStreet Lab and the Container Project.

Leisha Lawrence

M&GSQ State Conference info:

iStreet Lab:

The Container Project:

Mongrel Collective:


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