Happenstance is a 12 week project funded by Nesta, Arts Council England and the AHRC Digital R&D for Arts and Culture fund. Technologists were parachuted into three UK arts organisations, and the goal was simply to 'see what happens'. One of those organisations is Site Gallery in Sheffield, where the two technology residents are Leila Johnston & James Jefferies.
Leila is currently a technologist-in-residence on the Happenstance Project, at the Site Gallery in Sheffield, and is particularly interested in the place where art intersects with technology, and the subversions that can arise as a result. She frequently contributes pieces about hacking for WIRED UK, has written two books, speaks at and runs a number of events, and co-creates a popular geek culture podcast called Shift Run Stop. She’s editor-at-large of Imperica magazine and last year edited the newspaper Hackers!, broadly about doing things you're not supposed to.
James has spent most of the last 17 years as a software engineer, problem solver and developer. The first website he ever worked on was www.barclays.co.uk back in 1995. Since then he has worked for Yorkshire Electricity and the Sheffield based digital agency Technophobia. Last year he turned freelance with his own company, ShedCode, and is now able to work on the kind of projects he always dreamt about. The first of those projects is Happenstance (www.happenstanceproject.com) and he is currently Technologist in Residence at Site Gallery, Sheffield.