Pervasive media

 1 February 2011

Katie Day spoke to Creative Choices about pervasive media, the current climate for public funding and the arts, and what she'll bring back from her Peach Placement.

Katie is on a year-long Cultural Leadership Programme Peach Placement as a producer for the Theatre Sandbox scheme at Watershed in Bristol, which commissions pervasive media projects.

Pervasive media uses new technology

"We've been making interactive performance that takes place outside of theatres, out in the real world."

"Based at the Pervasive Media Studio are academics, artists and technologists developing new projects in collaboration with each other, exploring this new field of technology which we call pervasive media.

"This means technology that's out and about in the world, mobile and wireless and interactive technologies.

"The idea with Theatre Sandbox is that we bring together theatre-makers and their established theatre practice with these new pervasive media technologies. To see what kind of projects they can dream up."

Using theatre as pervasive media

"One of the projects that we've commissioned is called 'Fortnight', by a company called Proto-type. They have been creating this really interesting piece of theatre which has been weaving through people's lives over a week, through text messages, through little tasks that you can take around the city, emails and Twitter.

"Tonight it kind of crystallises in a coming-together event, which is a soiree. It'll be an opportunity for all the people who've been taking part in the piece to come together to meet each other and explore what the experience has meant for them."

Theatre funding moving towards digital

"Before this, I was running my own theatre company, The Other Way Works, which is based in Birmingham, and I've been doing that since I graduated.

"Being a really good producer is an amazing skill. It's not the same as being an artist."

"We've been making interactive performance, performance that takes place outside of theatres in different kinds of spaces, out in the real world. We've been making that kind of performance for about six, seven years.

"From that I've moved here for one year to take up this placement to develop my skills as a producer and also to learn about pervasive media technology.

"I was interested in how the environment is slightly shifting within the theatre landscape so that there's a greater interest in digital now.

"It seems like the funders are becoming quite interested in digital and theatre, so that means there's potentially a future in starting to develop good and interesting work within that field. So I'm quite interested in the opportunities that creates."

Learning from other emerging leaders

"It was really fascinating to spend time with the other Peach Placements, just to learn about their backgrounds. Also it's been a real learning experience for me to step away from being 'the artist', into being 'the coordinator', just to find on the other side there's a lot of people who work as artists as well as administrators, coordinators, managers.

"I was inspired by how passionately some people in that field go about their work, that to be a really good producer is an amazing skill. It's not the same as being an artist, but they go about it with as much creativity.

"That's been a massive learning experience for me. I've had a bit of a weird snobbery around administrators and artists and it taught me to see that often they're the same people anyway, and that you can be quite creative as a producer."

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