Shift Happens 2010

Image of my gormless face taken by and shared with the permission of @documentally

The beginning of my week was spent at Shift Happens 2010, where I had the very awesome and slightly scary opportunity of giving a 10 minute talk on where I think theatre and digital tech are going. A brilliant couple of days, with inspiration abound, and some really lovely little pieces of performance woven in. I’m still not really up to long bouts of typing yet (the cast comes off in T-minus 12 days), so have embedded a couple of things here to give you a taste of what I took to the event, mostly in flash though, apologies for that.

The first a slideshare version of my talk – with me actually talking (apologies for the pops in the audio) through my ideas on it, and the second is a phlog done by a local community radio station talking to me and Babba Israel from Contact Theatre in Manchester. I’ve also put on Contact’s weekly video blog, the second half of which covers Shift Happens, which should at least give those of you on iPhones a sense of it. You can also download a pdf of the talk here, and for links to other presentations and sources mentioned, check out this very useful post by Matthew Linley.

It will be interesting to see where the next Shift goes. There was much less dissent this year, which although at least means the arts industry is catching up, perhaps means we now need to be pushing further, aiming to (as Andy Field had it)

“dream stupid, impossibly grand visions of what the future might look like”.

Do we now need an arts and tech conference which is more than just entry level? And that also challenge the conventions of a conference? I’m doing a joint paper with my supervisor for the TaPRA 2010 Conference which seeks to interrogate the failings of the top-down conference form in properly communicating the wholeness of performance and academic thought. To move the arts/tech world on do we need to find something that falls somewhere between festival, workshop, conference and digital and performative playground? What do you think?

Finally, I’ve got something exciting and performance-y to announce this weekend, which will be happening in Manchester on the 17th of July, so keep your feeds peeled, and watch out for the hashtag #rainreminds on Twitter.

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