City is wired for sound for a unique performance
The digital age gives a contemporary edge to live performance when Devon-based art collective Blind Ditch invite audiences to be Here, Now and participate in a unique event.
For five nights – as part of the new Unexpected festival in Exeter – Blind Ditch will complete their contemporary portrait of Exeter with a series of networked performances in an empty office space.
This City's Centre 3 combines live video streaming from city centre homes, live performance in the space and on the city's streets, and interaction with an online audience.
It invites us to discover more about how daily life in a British provincial city shapes us, our behaviour and our dreams for change.
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Featuring five professional performers (all locally based), six local residents and four Exeter College students, Here, Now will combine ground-breaking use of digital technology.
Video feeds from Exeter homes will be collected and mixed in real time using software developed by digital architect Stavros Didakis specifically for this project. The results will be projected across three screens in the performance space, accompanied by a soundscape composed by John Levack Drever of participant interviews, field recordings from the city centre and live music by Exeter band The Big V, pictured below. They describe their sound as "a swirl of dangerous riffs, stomping propulsion and careful harmony".
Director Paula Crutchlow says: "Whilst the audience is gathered in the city centre space, the performers move between the office, the streets and the homes of the residents taking part, so we experience a performance happening across a number of places at the same time in the city centre.
"The local residents are both performers and cinematographers – using the views from their windows as a kind of film set."
Here, Now is the final piece of This City's Centre, a digital arts project in three distinct yet inter-related parts: installation, city walk and live performance.
Paula says that, if a city is made up of the people who live in it, if it can be shaped and brought to communal life by local opinions and actions, then local people can contribute to shaping this artistic performance.
Here, Now is showing from September 17-21 as part of Unexpected 2013, Exeter's brand new arts festival.