‘We are looking for projects that engage the festival audience and artists in a participatory experiment in creating a new kind of artwork, a new form of participation, new understanding on art or technology, or a new and innovative way of presenting inspirational art. Proposals should experiment with the festival format, transforming the festival environment into a lab or experimental space.’
The internet has the best festivals – arty ones at that.
Should you click on the vipartfair.com link above you’ll get to the ‘VIP Art Fair’, which from one angle looks like a shop window for artworks. There’s more to it though, because there’s a virtual event element to it: just as an art fair (such as the Freeze Art Fair currently in London) exists for a short time, so this VIP event is time limited.
I know this because I heard it on the BBC’s ‘Digital Planet’ where the organiser was interviewed. During the interview he used the words ‘evaporative experience’ and ‘impending event’: capitalising on the unique nature of a time limited opportunity to focus attention… and I guess encourage spending by art lovers.
I’m a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, but I’ve talked about that before. Why am I a fellow… it’s partly to support work like this:
Have I mentioned how much I admire the work of David McCandless and the very idea of ‘Information is Beautiful’? You can get the book, a great Christmas present for the more cerebral – or visually stimulated – members of your family. You can follow the blog on their site. You should start with McCandless’s TED talk though, for insight and some lovely examples of their work.
Recently, in the past few weeks, I was informed that I’m a member of the Festival Fringe Society in Edinburgh. There are a couple of hundred members, with varying degrees of contribution to the society and festival it supports, and they are the folk who get to vote in trustee elections and so on. I knew I once was a member, but it seems no one’s taken my name of the list – literally, the Board have decided not to revoke memberships while they go through the current constitutional discussions.And so it came to pass that I found myself at The Hub last week listening and occasionally contributing to the detailed, wide ranging, sometimes repetitive discussion. I arrived late, thanks to teaching commitments, which also serves to restrict the number of questions one wishes to ask: maybe they’ve already been answered? It was really good to see a number of people who I usually only cross paths with when they’re working or we’re both drinking at the end of night on the festival tiles. The next occasion comes in a month, when a special meeting may vote on the final proposals put forward I believe. It’s not for me to comment here on what I think of the arguments, partly because a lot of it is about the balance between interest groups, yet the definitions of who falls into which group seem to lack… definition. At stake however is the future of the Fringe, whether it remains a festival to which 99% of shows subscribe to the Society and avail themselves of its services, or, not. The others at the meeting had much more at stake than I, so I kept my own counsel for much of the afternoon – after all, surely my questions had already been discussed, no?
As flagged a month or two back I recently took part in a workshop organised by Edinburgh Napier, or more specifically my colleagues at the university. The theme was ‘event technologies’, from planning and logistics software to virtual meeting spaces, and my contribution was focused on social media. I’m indebted to having attended similar workshops in the past – primarily aimed at an industry audience, this is an area where academia needs to catch up.