CONNECTION / TIME live art documentation


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DANE: CONNECTION / TIME is an online tool that uses social media to document performances and events live. It came out the Whose Data? residency that Paul undertook last year at Knowle West Media Centre in South Bristol, where I’m lead artist-in-residence. We were interested to find ways of using social media to stream the ‘live data’ of performance events, and to find ways of integrating audience experience into documentation. With my interests and skills in digital media and Paul’s in performance, we developed a web interface that brings together live Twitter and Flickr feeds so that audiences (or documenters) can upload photos or tweet commentary during a performance.

And how has the tool developed?

PAUL: We’ve gone through a series of phases of development – using a prototype version in Whose Data? at KWMC last year, and then refining it through an ACE-funded phase called CONNECTION / TIME in the Spring. For that part of the project we used it in a few different contexts – in a workshop at Arnolfini, and in a series of collective durational performances (with Phil Owen, H.Ren, Soozy Roberts, Steve Robins, Clare Thornton, Caroline Wilkins, and guests from "> performance s p a c e [) on Bristol docks, at KWMC and at Performance Exchange, SITE Festival, Stroud. We had some brilliant documenters photographing and tweeting throughout the performances, creating really interesting and textured performance archives, but realised we wanted more interactivity, so that’s when we developed the annotate function. The most recent phase is taking place back in Knowle West, where I’ve been commissioned to make ‘Dances of Earthly Wonder’, a series of new performances exploring harvest and folk ritual. I’ve been working with different community groups who will both inform the making of the performances and be responsible for documenting them using the CONNECTION / TIME interface. These groups include a young people’s photography group, community allotment and food growers, and an over 50s bingo group, all of whom have been fantastic.

So how does CONNECTION / TIME fit in with both of your solo practices, it seems a bit different?

DANE: In ways it is a bit of a tangent – I’m an animator by training, and Paul’s a no-fi performance artist. But when we got talking about what it is we want to do with art and with people, we found rich common ground. Working with audiences that are unfamiliar with the experimental end of contemporary art, we wanted to find ways for individuals to create and articulate their own connections. We discovered that beneath our disciplinary differences, we share strong beliefs and passions about accessibility and empowerment in art. It’s been a lot of fun!

What’s been the inspiration for these recent performances?

PAUL: Knowle West is a really interesting place. It’s a working class residential suburb that on the one hand has seen its fair share of neglect and social problems over the years, but on the other has some fantastic grass roots initiatives and community pride - perhaps the latter has arisen out of the former. It has lots of green space (big gardens, allotments, a community farm, common ground where people graze horses and hunt rabbits) but still retains urban character. KWMC aims to develop cultural, social and economic regeneration, through digital and environmental projects, and media and arts programmes. The Dances of Earthly Wonder series respond to the theme of harvest – directly, in work that I’m doing with the community farm and allotment growers, and indirectly, in ideas I’m exploring around cycles of work and fruition. It’s both a bit of a departure from work I’ve been making over recent years, and a natural progression.

Further information:

Dances of Earthly Wonder continues until late November 2012. KWMC will be hosting a public event at 6pm on Wednesday the 7th November, where Paul will be performing one of his Dances of Earthly Wonder, and there’ll a chance to see documentation from all of the others and take part in an open discussion.

CONNECTION / TIME developed by
Dane Watkins with Paul Hurley
at Knowle West Media Center

2012-06-02 14:42:41

Reminding me of VHS or audio tape. Analogue feel.

2012-05-16 11:31:21

Website developed by Dane Watkins @ Knowle West Media Center