Pushing the boundaries of interactivity and digital engagement. This talk is from Artistic Director of Pilot Theatre and Shift Happens conference, Marcus Romer at the “Beyond The Stage” event in December 2012.
Held as part of part of SHPLive, the Arts Council England funded live stream programme based at South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell. Berkshire, the conference highlighted creative approaches to developing new work for live streaming to an online audience.
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Listen: Gene Pool#66: Beyond TheStage – Marcus Romer
During last Summer, I had a few brainwaves and drafted a proposal for a venue-based digital broadcasting scheme. At the heart of it is a research question to investigate whether medium scale producers of arts and cultural work can move beyond the tradition of the theatrical stage and reinvent themselves as part of an emerging content economy.
After a few twists and turns along the way, Arts Council England South East have accepted the project and offered to financially support it’s development with a grant of £141,000 over three years. In these times of austerity, when arts and culture organisations are being put under a great deal of stress with radical cuts to their public subsidy, this is a great sign that good progressive ideas can still gain some traction, and that ACE Still have the flexibility to recognise and support a development project that tackles emerging and somewhat untested approaches to audiences and technology.
With the background of my Gene Pool:Digital Culture podcast productions and several other unsuccessful applications to ACE for development support, my thinking on this topic has been bubbling away for some time – the title of a recent episode featuring artists that are exploring live steams, social media and viral marketing is the same as the one used for this blog post. Continue reading Beyond The Stage
I’ve been attending a few Culture industry conferences over the last couple of months, firstly the “Arts & Community Media” event organised by the Community Media Association and the “Building Digital Capacity for the Arts” in London, organised by our UK Arts Council England with the BBC Academy. More recently, Digital Futures In Dance at the lovely Pavilion Dance venue in Bournemouth. (beans on toast excellent, as reported to my Twitter friends)
A theme of all of these events was how the arts and culture industry can broaden it’s scope and reach by embracing the opportunity afforded by the current and evolving technology of broadcasting.
People who are exposed to my regular rants, will know I think it’s high time the funded arts sector woke up to these opportunities. After producing my Gene Pool podcast (and now radio show) online for over 5 years, it’s only been 12 months since my download statistics were accepted by ACE as valid evidence of there being real people listening via the internet. This number is now at 35,000 and I can still barely get anyone in the arts interested in addressing an online audience of that number.
The heart of the problem, in my opinion, is that we’re struggling with an industry populated by people with a very traditional Theatre-based thinking. Success for them being marked by bums on seats, footfall and Guardian reviews. There’s a prevailing comment, even from the National Theatre who are leading the way in the UK with live streamed performances, that the actual experience of being in those plush seats to see the performers in the flesh is simply better than anything else. I’ve yet to hear anyone attempt to define why that is, but the looming spectre which seems to hover over the shoulder of our traditionalists, is the thought that “Perhaps The Internet doesn’t care”
Continue reading Building Capacity – is the Internet bothered?