Monthly Archives: September 2010
Mesmerising, stunning, breathtaking and wonderful were just some of the words the audience uttered after watching the world premiere of Akram Khan’s much anticipated ensemble work, Vertical Road, which took place at Leicester’s Curve Theatre. A lot commented about the intense and high energy performance from the eight dancers on stage as well as the brilliant music composed by Khan’s long-term collaborator Nitin Sawhney.
In Vertical Road, Khan draws inspiration from universal myths of angels that symbolise ‘ascension’ – the road between the earthly and the spiritual, the vertical road… this piece as he says on the video below, is very mythical.
(Thank you to IDFB for the video)
It was also good to see friends Salah El Brogy and Ahmed Khemis perform on stage. I met them during IDFB 2010 and it was great to see elements of their solo work come alive on stage once again. Both are very strong performers and wish them all the best in their two-year Vertical Road tour. Based on last night’s reception, this production is going to be well-received.
For tour dates, click here.
Director/choreographer: Akram Khan
Composer: Nitin Sawhney
Producer: Curve with ADACH, Sadlers Wells, Theatre de la Ville, Paris, National Arts Centre, Ottawa, and Mercat de les Flors, Barcelona
Eulalia Ayguade Farro, Konstandina Efthymiadou, Salah El Brogy, Ahmed Khemis, Young Jin Kim, Yen-Ching Lin, Andrej Petrovic, Paul Zivkovich
Running time: 1hr 10mins
Back in the day, surf competitions were not so much about winning stacks of cash, but more about a group of people getting together and sharing their love for the sport – and not forgetting the amazing parties too. On a quest to put a combination of light-hearted fun and a bit of healthy competition back into the sport, Red Bull invites surfers from all over the UK to rock up and battle it out – where the vibe is just as important as the trophy (well, almost!)…
Also, Red Bull is on the lookout for a talented filmmaker to capture all of the magic of this event. If you think that you’ve got the skills to create something spectacular, then what are you waiting for? Submit your best piece of work and tag it with ‘Red Bull Break 5’ for the chance to report from this incredible event, which will take place mid-September (location is still to be announced).
Here are some of the videos that I took during my time at Ars Electronica. It has been a fabulous experience and once again, I would like to thank Anna Douglas, Steve Manthorp and Jason Hall for this. Check out the Tweets too.
Asimo – walking and kicking
Asimo is made by Honda and the company regards it as the world’s most advanced humanoid robot.
Ryoichi Kurokawa – 5 Horizons – installation – Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica 2010 recipient for digital musics, sound and art.
“The term ‘rheo’ means river or stream; this work translates spatial and temporal transitions into audiovisual motion. A kind of landscape emerges ‘under observation’, a space in which sound movement, position and the relationship between the self and sound can be rediscovered. Kurokawa masterfully combines the language of electro-acoustic music with the idiom of the art video: he approaches sound using the strategy of an architect, while applying musical parameters to creating a video.”
Joichi Ito at Ars Electronica Festival 2010
Klangwolke – fireworks by the Danube
Thanks to @ravonski for taking this video
Armed with a Flip camera, I have captured elements of some of the various panel sessions and opening night at TMFA 2010, which was held at The Roundhouse in London.
Louise Benson at the opening night
Peter Bazalgette at the opening night
Will Gompertz – opening night Question Time
Jeremy Hunt, Culture Secretary
Old Money New Commissioning
Mark Thompson – Arts + TV + Internet = ? Panel
Today was the second and final day of The Media Festival Arts 2010. This morning was kicked off by Peter Bazalgette and it was followed by a talk on Project Canvas, which was led by its CTO Antony Rose, who said that the project is not just for the ‘big boys’.
Listen to a snippet of his speech.
For those of you who are not too familiar with Project Canvas, here’s a quick overview:
“Project Canvas is a proposed partnership between Arqiva, the BBC, BT, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV and Talk Talk to build an open internet-connected TV platform, subject to BBC Trust approval.
“The partners intend to form a venture to promote the platform to consumers and the content, service and developer community.
“Project Canvas intends to build, run and promote a platform that solves both problems: providing an upgrade for free-to-air TV, and an open platform of scale that will bring a wide range of internet services to the shared screen.”
With the advent of Project Canvas, the next discussion, entitled Arts + Internet + TV = ?, explored and questioned the opportunities for arts and film organisations (large and small) that will come up as a result of the internet and television converging.
The panel consisted of:
Mark Thompson, Director General, BBC
John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer, UK Film Council
John Wyvern, Illuminations
Kip Meek, Chair, Project Canvas
Honor Harger, Director, Lighthouse
Mike Stubbs, CEO, FACT
It was chaired by John Newbigin, Chair, Screen England and Culture 24.
Lots of interesting points had been raised about dominant players and execution of it. John Woodward said that Project Canvas will have a lot of advantages to the UK film industry. He said it will allow the ‘history of cinema’ to go into people’s homes. Films can be found and watched in the comfort of people’s own living rooms. But also, Project Canvas should be a lab to enable producers to experiment on new business models. Let it be that platform.
Project Canvas’ new chair, Kip Meek said that one of the big challenges he faces is how to meet the aspirations of a very big group of people outside White City.
“Project Canvas is a technology which you can use to access a bigger audience… but we need to find a way of dealing with a large community and this is certainly the challenge,” he said.
Then, at mid-morning, two streams covered:
Architecture of collaboration Two: More case studies covering the successes and failures of collaboration in the arts/film/media space
David Sabel, Head of Digital, National Theatre
Judith Dimant, Producer, Complicite
Lyn Goleby, Managing Director, City Screen
Here’s the trailer:
Chaired by: Peter Buckingham, Head of Distribution & Exhibition, UK Film Council.
This highlighted how important partnership is with collaborative work and how one has to let go of total control, because ownership is joint with other partners. The case studies featured also show that cross-disciplinary work can result in exciting and innovative projects extending audience reach and providing a much immersive experience.
Build Your Audience: Building community is the new digital marketing
Crucial insights from the digital experts
One of the speakers was Fred Bolza, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Sony Music. He shared insights about its customers – their passions, behaviours and buying habits.
The experts have shared their global learnings and expertise and offered some predictions for the future of digital engagement.
After lunch, it was time for Avant-gaming: What can the arts can learn from games? This session, chaired by iShed Director Clare Reddington, highlighted that game play and interactivity are more ubiquitous than ever and offer many opportunities to engage, educate and extend online and offline audiences. Delegates were presented with a showcase of the best case studies of when arts meets film meets games.
221B Baker Street
Margaret Robertson, Development Director, Hide&Seek
The Curfew Game
Alice Taylor, Commissioning Editor, Channel 4 Education
She talked us through The Curfew Game. The Guardian described it as:
“…an online game offering young adults a brilliantly constructed gameplay experience, and while thematically and stylistically it’s hugely different, in terms of core mechanics it is an adventure game in the classic form. There is pointing and clicking, characters to talk to, scenes to explore, and a narrative tangle to unravel.”
Tassos Stevens, Runner and Director, Coney
Contagious Magazine on Papa Sangre:
“Papa Sangre is solely about sound. It is the first time that genuine real-time, 3D, spatialised audio has been implemented on a mobile device. It’ll be different for every player, too; the pictures in your mind will be different from everyone else’s because audio can stimulate the imagination instead of replacing it,’ says Paul Bennun, director of digital, Somethin’ Else.
“With iPhone in hand and ear phones plugged into your lugs you can dive into this 90-minute psychological zombie thriller set in Papa Sangre’s evil mysterious palace, with the objective of saving the soul of the person you love. The game is set in complete darkness and the player has only sound to navigate through the story, aided by vibrations and movements. Guided by audio alone, the player must avoid man-eating monsters, navigating vast open spaces and small cramped holes. Objects and musical notes can be collected long the way – these can either help or hinder the player and add to the richness of the sonic landscape.”
Next was SP-ARK – building the world’s first interactive multimedia film archive. It stands for Sally Potter Archive and everything that had to do with her film Orlando, from production stills to contracts through to script and storyboards, had been digitised for public access. This was led by Christopher Sheppard, who runs Adventure Pictures.
“SP-ARK is pioneering an entirely new approach to the use of archive material as an educational resource. It is unique in allowing students, scholars and film fans to interact, not just with its database of thousands of multimedia materials relating to every aspect of filmmaking, but also with each other.
“SP-ARK tackles a problem that all traditional archives are facing: how to provide enhanced access to hard-to-find materials in the digital age?”
There was also an archive surgery in the afternoon chaired by the BBC’s Director of Archive Content Tony Ageh. Those who had questions or issues regarding archive, metadata, IP protection vs open access as well as investment choices were able to raise their issues on all this and more to the panel of archive experts:
Mark Duguid, BFI
Christopher Sheppard, Producer, Adventure Pictures
Clare Holden, Development and Outreach Coordinator, Adventure Pictures
Asha Oberoi, Managing Director, ITN Source
Peter McInerney, Producer, Sheridans
Where’s the money? Tapping into funds for innovation and development
This session was chaired by John Newbigin. The panel, Peter Buckingham, Head of Distribution and Exhibition, UK Film Council; Adrian Friedli, Director, Visual Arts and Literature, Arts Council England; Alex Stanhope, Lead Technologist, Creative Industries, Technology Strategy Board, discussed what different organisations are doing to support creative R&D and innovation in the digital arena.
And then it was time to end the 48 and a bit hours of TMFA 2010. Festival Chairman Peter Bazalgette conducted the wrap in which he asked the delegates what the biggest revelations or learnings have been over the Festival.
And so that concludes my time here at TMFA 2010. What is becoming more apparent is that we all realise the importance of collaborating with different sectors in the arts, film and media, but there really is a call for more action to be taken. There should be a move towards conducting funded small(er) projects that would test collaborative relationships that could potentially lead to the bigger innovative ones that will help build towards a solid and more sustainable arts, media, film and creative sectors.
Catch some of the Tweets here.
After two good keynotes, the morning carried on with the keynote panel chaired by Channel 4′s Acting Head of Cross Platform Matt Locke. The panel consisted of: Sally Potter, Director, Adventure Pictures; Paula le Dieu, Digital Director, BFI; Duncan Bird, Consultant; Eren Ozagir, Founder, The Founding Twenty and Hasan Bakshi, Research Director, NESTA.
They covered the following questions:
- How can the public cultural sector collaborate and partner with the digital media industry to unlock its cultural assets?
- How can maximum value be achieved in the age of ‘free’?
- How do you make choices about public access to publicly-funded data, and entrepreneurial commercial exploitation?
Then it was time for Jeremy Hunt (Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport). His session aimed to probe the thinking behind the Government’s strategy on its calls for a new age of philanthropy and major cuts to public funding of the arts.
The afternoon was divided into three parts or streams:
Old Money New Commissioning
Even in an age of austerity there is still some money available to make arts, film and cultural content. This session gathered some of the broadcasting arts commissioners who shared their commissioning strategies. It was good to hear about how to fund cross-platform arts content for broadcast and distribution as well.
The panel featured: Tabitha Jackson, Arts Commissioner, Channel 4; James Hunt, Head of Programming, Sky Arts; Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor, BBC Arts; Laurence Billiet, General Manager, UK Film Council; Gareth Evans, Producer; Tanya Seghatchian, Head of the Film Fund, UK Film Council. This was chaired by: Roy Ackerman, Managing Director, Fresh One Productions.
We cannot afford another bubble: how to make a sustainable digital culture?
Some would argue that the digital culture has burst its banks. Digital impacts everywhere – organisations, communities and sectors, and this is opening doors for digital creatives. Speakers shared their vision of the future of art and innovation emerging from digital culture, where artists and creative organisations are working in a more robust and entrepreneurial way across culture, RND, business and other sectors.
They also aimed to answer the following questions:
- How can arts and film organisations create flexible, sustainable businesses?
- How do cultural organisations become more entrepreneurial?
- What new funding models are available?
- Who and where are the new cultural philanthropists?
This panel was chaired by: Andrew Missingham and was joined by Toby Barnes, Founder, Mudlark; Drew Hemment, Founder, Future Everything; Amanda McDonald Crowley, Director, Eyebeam; and Marleen Stikker, Founder, Waag Society.
Archive session 1: What if?
If, tomorrow morning, the public were able to access their moving image heritage online, for free and in its totality (for any non-commercial use), what might happen? This session featured a collection of influential thinkers and sector representatives that imagined the impact, drawing on their own experiences/expertise. Chaired by Roly Keating, Head of Archive, BBC; JP Rangaswami, Founder, Confused of Calcutta; Paul Gerhardt, Director, Archives for Creativity; Matthew Postgate, Controller BBC Research & Development, BBC; and Chris Wild, aka The Retronaut.
Channel 4 pitching competition
Shortlisted delegates were given 5 minutes and 9 pictures to bag themselves a couple of grand of Channel 4 development money for a state of the art digital project. This was hosted by Stuart Cosgrove, Director of Nations and Regions, Channel 4 and was joined by Adam Gee, Cross-Platform Commissioner, Channel 4.
Know your audience: Presentations of media data analytics
Richard Ellis, Co-Founder, MTM London; Hasan Bakhshi, Research Director, NESTA; Martin Talks, Big Fish, Blue Barracuda.com and chair Jane Finnis, Director, Culture 24 covered the following questions:
- What are audiences doing online? What do we know about arts and film consumers and how can we capitalise on our insights?
- How do audiences engage, communicate and – crucially – transact online?
Doing business with the new gatekeepers – featuring digital giants Microsoft, You Tube and O2
This provided a unique insight into the evolving world of digital and where it is headed. It highlighted digital’s increasing relevance for engaging arts and entertainment audiences. It was interesting to hear how you can source partners that can enhance and extend your own content as well as managing audience relationships plus, how to interact effectively with digital audiences. Quite positive to hear of the digital opportunities for arts and entertainment in 2010 and beyond.
The panel were: Alex Woodford, Head of Digital; Jon Oliver, International Branded Entertainment Director, MSN; Ariane van de Ven, Future & Trend Insights, O2; and Donagh O’Malley, Head of Content Partnerships, YouTube UK and Tom Ollerton, Internet Advertising Bureau.
The open data debate
This session aimed to answer the following questions:
- What happens when the public are given access to data?
- How do you plan for the unpredictable? How have organisations that allow unfettered access to data managed the outcomes and what have the benefits – and drawbacks – been?
Chaired by: Matt Locke, Acting Head of Cross Platform, Channel 4 and he was joined by Matthew Somerville, Web Developer, Dracos; Chris Thorpe, Technologist, Jaggeree; and Paula le Dieu, Digital Director, BFI.
Architecture of collaboration 1: New media partnerships between arts and industry
- What are the principles of successful collaboration?
- How do arts and media organisations marry public service requirements with private sector commercial pressures?
These warts and all case studies covered the successes – and failures – of cross platform new media partnerships, from the creative to the practical to the commercial. Chaired by Arts Consultant Sally Luton. Speakers were:
Stream 3 had more practical elements featuring Bill Thompson and Simon Terrington on Cultural Engagement in an Online World; Crowd Funding Workshop with Salette Gressett; Mint Digital; The Newspaper Club with Ben Terret and HackData Worskshop with Matthew Somerville.
It has been a packed but very inspiring Day 1… roll on Day 2.
The Roundhouse is packed this morning with folk from different disciplines across the arts, media and film. Festival Chairman Peter Bazalgette started off with some opening remarks and on to Dame Liz Forgan, Chair of the Arts Council. She left a really positive vision of the role Arts Council will play towards a world that is becoming more and more digital. She announced the new digital sharing initiative with the BBC here this morning.
In her keynote speech, she said:
“Our partnership with the BBC is about working together to maximise the public value of the arts. It’s about pooling our expertise to help create the arts leaders of the future and to help arts organisations broaden their skills.
“This joint initiative will enable arts organisations to produce high quality digital arts content that will reach new audiences in new ways, to prolong the life and extend the reach of their exciting, excellent art.”
Really enjoyed Newspaper Club Founder’s Russell Davies‘ keynote speech on Making money, art and society: The new digital culture. He discussed how to balance commercial enterprise with free public access to the arts in the digital age. He delivered it with humour and made the crowd laugh with his clips and slides.
Here’s a Boo of part of his intro:
I’m here at the Media Festival Arts in London and it’s all about making digital collaboration happen across arts, film and media. The Festival aims to bring these industries together to discuss potential for commercial and creative collaboration in the digital sphere. This evening, delegates from different disciplines across film, arts and media, heard from Festival Director Louise Benson and Festival Chairman Peter Bazalgette.
The opening night panel entitled Cuts, closures, reorganisation… what does it mean for the Arts? invited the audience to question the panel on how arts and commercial organisations might need to adapt in order to overcome the current environment of massive change and uncertainty, and what part digital will play.
The panel consisted of BBC Arts Correspondent Will Gompertz, who was chair; Sir Nicholas Kenyon (MD, Barbican Centre); Iwana Blazwick (Director, Whitechapel Gallery); Paddy Earnshaw (CRM Director, Travelex Global Business Payments); and Marcus Davey (Chief Executive, The Roundhouse).
Don’t forget there is the FutureEverything Online Forum. You can propose and debate questions here, and vote to decide which questions are presented to the panelists. The FutureEverything Online Forum will also host discussion and debate on the themes of the conference led by speakers and key figures from the digital scene.
Continuing on some of the cool things at Ars Electronica 2010…
AirDrawn – it’s an application allowing artists to do 3D drawings. The virtual paintbrush allows you to move the cursor on the screen and on the side of the screen is another screen that allows you to email the image.
There were quite a few panel sessions that took place over the past few days. I went to one about humans and robots living in harmony. I had not realised how much we are using robots at the moment, although I can see how if we ever, as a society, became dependent on these machines, there are some ethical issues that will come to the fore. For example, futurologists predict that robots will be used to care for our children. There is already a talking Hello Kitty robot that some high-powered mums use to keep their young ones company…
There were regular sessions at Deep Space showing some impressive 3D projections. I was in awe with the digitised version of The Last Supper as well as the projections of the Mayan ruins and outer space.
There is definitely a lot to absorb at Ars Electronica. Just hearing about what Futurelab did and does, already blew my mind. There were some interesting exhibitions from various artists from around the world. Some are quite obscure but some really did inspire me to think more outside the box.
The animation festival was one of my favourites. I loved Mobile, The Lady and the Reaper and Canadian Arev Manoukian’s Nuit Blanche.
Robots had a fair exposure during the festival. The main star was Honda’s Asimo, who moderated the Gala, where we saw all the Prix Ars Electronica Prize winners.
Here he is in action over at Deep Space:
These past few days have been quite overwhelming. Lots to see and lots to do. It was nice to be opened up to an event with different concepts featured and truly combining media, art and technology.