The Independents Day in Brum – Digital Footprint

, As my previous blog entry on cricket commentary might of indicated I’m avidly following the way that sport has begun engaging with digital technologies (especially in games like cricket) which is resulting in a whole new way in which people are both ‘experiencing’ and ‘recording’ events.

Not surprisingly thats led to some thinking about how that might be applied to creative events – and in particular in my case live lit events. So I was interested to hear about Stan’s Cafe recent ventures in this area.

In their new space (see below) the company had arranged a 24 hour scale electrix race – which they commentated on – broadcasting the results online. Around 200 people tuned in – with the average listening time being a frankly amazing five hours. The results were ‘strangely compelling’, ‘infuriating’ and ‘addictive’.

Now those two same commentators have been booked for two future events – a live commentary of a gallery opening on the 6th November and of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty on 6th March. Find out more on the web site of stans cafe – http://www.stanscafe.co.uk.

In the meantime I’ve been thinking about how these same technologies might apply – to say – a live lit night. Here’s some notes from a draft project proposal…

so London and Exeter run events simultaneously. Comperes at the two venues are able to interact with each other, Exeter takes a live web cast of – say – Salena Godden performing in London whilst London takes a live web cast of – say – Murray Lachlan Young performing in Derby, audiences across the two venues interact (an audience member from derby instructs the camera in London, tweets between the two are displayed etc etc), online ‘live’ text based commentary is tested with online audiences encouraged to e mail, text, tweet in with their thoughts and responses becoming part of the live show. In advance audience members are identified who will live stream the event from their mobile phones using QIK (or similar).

Ultimately the aim is to test different digital interactions without losing the intimacy of a spoken word event in a small (sub 100) room. But a room which then reaches a wider audience – through its link to a partner venue, through its live online audience and through its digital footprint- the online record of the event which is left behind.

As I mentioned in the cricketing blog the online experience will be very different from the live experience, not less valid, just different. It leaves a permanent (alternative) record of the event and has the potential to reach a much wider audience than just a single live event.

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