Projects 2010 > Living Film Set > Journal
So here we are at the end of what we hope to be the first in many phases on this project. the last three months have gone by ridiculously quickly but with that strange contradictory feeling of having worked on a project for an inordinate amount of time. While at times we realised we had perhaps bitten off more than we could chew, we were really excited by the outcome.
For fear of turning this into an acceptance speech, this feels like it also would be a perfect opportunity to say how enormously grateful we are to all those who played such a big role in helping us out: Katie, Claire, Dan, Tarim, Kenton, Kate and everyone at the Junction to name but a few.
As we tend to do, rather than opt for something simple we went for a slightly (over) ambitious route. We were keen to explore the opportunities of the surface table but because we were unsure of the logistics of borrowing the hardware, we got on with another area of interest, planning and investigating arduinos. The result was that we had two forms of pervasive media to integrate.
There were many moments when we questioned the order with which we approached this project and it is still not clear as to whether we got that right. However, looking back I do not see how we could have started with the pervasive media seeing as it was in the final weeks where we really got to grips with that language. And in fact now we do have a better understanding of that, it is exciting to see where else we could go with this project. We have barely scratched the surface.
One of us had the bright idea that we would perform the show every half an hour with half hour intervals during the course of the day on 29th September. We realised our mistake when our first performance ran over by half an hour and it began to dawn on us that we were facing back to back performances with less and less time for any respite or interviews in between. This was particularly difficult for Liam as it meant he was performing particularly difficult material again and again with few breaks – just one of the performances proved a challenge with such personal material and in such an intimate setting.
However, this oversight aisde, it is fair to say that the day seemed to go well and we got some incredibly valuable feedback. While we may have been a little over-ambitious we were able to collate feedback from a wide variety of audiences which we have only just begun to sift through but in turn will help us shape this piece to give it a future life.
As is often the case it was in the week running up to the show where everything began to come together. Working within the large theatre space at the Junction and within the miniature dollshouse rooms of our models was a sometimes dizzying experience. The fantastic technical team at the Junction were securing lights in the rig while the technical wizard that is Tarim was creating a similar effect in a dollshouse lounge.
Everything changed right up to and including the day of the test where each guinea pig would shape the project’s adaptations for the next: Less instructions, more distinction, clearer sound, less explanation, longer moments of silence, more engagement, less engagement etc. There were certain areas which were agreed by all and some where every opinion was different and consequently it became clear the changes the piece would need for any future development.
Where do we go from here?
That said there remains questions about where the piece should go creatively from here. It is interesting to see the strength of feeling felt by participants about what they would want to see from the piece, what they wanted more and less of, but as always it becomes complicated that many rally for opposing ideas.
The biggest question that still towers above the performance is whether it is something for one or more people. While many argued for a solo experience others were keen to maintain the pleasure of sharing the experience with others. I think we will need to spend more time with our findings before we make this decision.
From some early conversations, it looks like there may be some legs for this project beyond this first phase which is really exciting for we are keen to develop it further based on the feedback and our own attachment to the project.
In the immediate future we simply need time to digest and reflect on the feedback we have had and work out where we want to go next with the project. Having had the opportunity to get to this stage, we appreciate that the integration between the theatre and the pervasive media as it stands is just the tip of a larger, more exciting iceburg. There is so much more we can do to develop this project further.