Archive for Convergence

Flatpack 3 2009

How do you document a moving image festival that happens in the dark with copyrighted material? It’s easy, when it’s an engaged and creative festival like Flatpack 2009 from 7 Inch Cinema.

Assorted bloggers have been helping to fill the gaps in our memory:
> http://www.flatpackfestival.org/blog/flatpack-collective-memory/ and souvenir photos are making their way online:

> http://www.flickr.com/photos/7inchcinema/

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Nick Rothwell: cassiel.com

Nick Rothwell from cassiel.com gave a talk to the MA Media Arts students today, showing a brief roundup of the projects that he has been involved in, over the past few years. Nick introduced himself as being someone who works across many different art forms, creating compositions and interactive spaces for performance in many traditional locations such as stage, as well as site-specific work (like The Public, for example).

The discussion was wide ranging, from the difficulties of being involved with large projects involving funding from various sources, to how best to incorporate technology into dance performance. Where many producers want to see their dollars worth up there on the stage, letting the audience see what all the fuss is about, there’s often a balance between finding a mid-point. I personally, offered the suggestion that perhaps any stage-bound technology should be thought of in terms of stage design, and placed/dressed accordingly.

Nick’s creative practise moves beyond the performative/dance and includes work like, the intelligent lamppost that dreams and remembers events from the local pub nearby. Soon to be moved the Irish Museum of  Modern Art. A technically, complex piece of work that required the involvement of the council to install the work (digging and slicing the pavement, all in a day’s work for the council worker, less so for the media artist!).

Nick’s website is worth spending time on, and not just as a documentation of the projects he has been involved in. Digging down a bit you can uncover articles about everything from Max/MSP to the Roland D-50.

What’s valuable in Nick’s work, apart from the pleasure of the works themselves, is his obvious commitment to the documentation process. Always a good way of taking care of ‘housekeeping’ for an artists own practise, it’s also a good way to share things in the community more.

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Art criticism

Charlotte Frost is a media arts critic and PhD student (last I heard, she had just written up her PhD and was getting ready to defend it). She has been researching the way the arts are discussed and contextualised using contemporary technologies (mainly the Internet). She has worked with other writers on a number of projects such as Media Mates.

Although her blog at Furtherfield has a few good posts, it’s difficult to ascertain more about her research in any depth, from the posts.

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Convergence

Media Convergence, bringing together several strands of media that compliment one another and service the overall narrative or theme, offers an interesting way to model the idea of Ice Cubes as fulfilling some of the brand awareness aspects of the research brief.

It has been used with several TV programs, for example Lost, which exists primarily as a HBO show and also as various websites, that pull out strands and character backgrounds that might not be explored in the show itself.

By considering the use of multiple platforms as not just different transmission channels but as places where different strands of conversation take place, it might be possible to align this to the notion of how artists might want to use Ice Cubes for their own projects?

Instead of it being just a secondary function that ‘documents’ a performance or seminar, the use of web-based tools is factored into the event as a place where feedback or further additional narratives can occur. For example, in Lost, there were websites setup as though they were by the families of the survivors of the plane crash, or conspiracy theorists. These added to the sense of engagement with the program, as well as being a viral marketing tool. For a theatre performance, small snippets of action could be posted that aren’t in the final work but explore something beyond the moment of performance? Then discussions could take place in comments or video hosting websites or blogs?

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