Friday, February 29, 2008


AV Festival 2008

Going Live

We have had a couple of very long days setting up. But it was all worth while, last night
approximately 250 people turned up for the launch at the Hatton Gallery and The Fantasy A-List Generator went down a storm. Once the wine started flowing people piled into the booth, put wigs and disguises on and got broadcasting. The only hiccup was when someone switched the microphone off (which was caught on camera).

The launch went on to several other venues, we finally made out of the gallery and to the Discovery Museum, where we happily discovered Yuko, who we had met and spent several drunken nights with in Tokyo. Neither of us knew the others were showing work at the same festival. Her work was an interesting lo-fi hi-fi installation, that reminded me of 60s gallery happenings with printers. We went on to Alt gallery with a great installation in a cool little gallery space at the back of a very cool record shop. four turntables made sound created by little remote control vans and the walls were covered in radios. (see pictures) then went on to the castle for a video/sound installation that didn't quite do it for me although it had choral music in old castle ruins which is always good.

We then were all quite worse for wear and desperate for food, missed the VIP pizza party with DJs so found our way to an amazing Japanese restaurant with Sarah, Laura and Pete and ate and ate, Matt was pleased with his beef in a box.

Today we are just tweaking things and feeling a bit hungover, more events tonight.
Watch the A-List on
Favourite moments so far are the little girl, the full band and the security gaurd who did a secret broadcast before the gallery opened this morning, although tragically it was before we discovered the mike had been switched off so know one will ever know what he said.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

First day in the windy city

Big winds in Newcastle, lucky we got here last night as they closed all the bridges and trucks have been turning over. I had fun shopping for last minute props, the wind caught a bag and broke a picture frame, not quite as scary as a truck turning over mind you

Set up today started frustrating, the internet wasn't working (as ever on at least one day of a set up) the microphone doesn't work on the computers that we are using... but by the afternoon most things were sorted out, the webcam and Matt's special red button are now all fitted thanks to Jem and Pete, the video booth looks nice and cosy, with a particularly fetching Wilkos curtain on the back wall and most importantly the interface works fine (only a little bit of tweaking required tomorrow) although Robin is unwell in bed in Nottingham and we are still in need for the uptodate live player, hope he's better tomorrow!

It will all go live Thursday afternoon in time for the launch.

Left the gallery about 7pm and got locked out the flat so waited for Matt in a bar, we are staying in China Town which is great until this time of night when hoards of drunken Jordies swarm past the bedroom window, shouting and puking. It's a great area despite this, really old cobbled streets. Although confirms all my doubts about this contemporary modern living thing.

Went on to a Chinese restuarant with huge portions, i ordered a strawberry pearl for experiment sake, it's a strawberry milkshake with sweets in the bottom that, as you suck through the straw shoot like bullets into your mouth. I enjoyed it very much.

last night we met Sarah the curator and got whisked off to a bar and then Wagamama's where we met most of the AV festival team, was nice to meet everyone some familiar faces and many new, should be a good festival.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

AI off to Newcastle

The Fantasy A-List Generator
Broadcast Yourself, AV Festival 08
Watch Live Online at:
Hatton Gallery, Newcastle
28th Feb - 8th March
Active Ingredient have been commissioned to bring back MakeTV (the live broadcasting project) for the AV Festival.
They have created the Fantasy A-List Generator, a live video booth were members of the public are invited to take on the personality of a randomly generated celebrity and be interviewed live on the internet.
We all have answers to the big questions in our heads. Now is the time to take over from the world's celebrities and go live on the Internet with your own answers.
Broadcast Yourself will also be showing at the Cornerhouse, Manchester 13th June - 10th August.

We are off to Newcastle tomorrow to set up for the AV Festival. It's a great opportunity to be able to revisit an old project that I suppose we thought was thrown out by YouTube. Broadcast Yourself is celebrating artists contribution to internet video and so it is very exciting that Sarah Cook and Kathy Rae Huffman (the curators) wanted to include us because of Moon Radio webTV and MakeTV.

We have 6 days in Newcastle, they are putting us up in a flat which will be nice, the launch is on Thursday evening. AV Festival looks massive, a huge programme around broadcast.

Friday, February 08, 2008

AI in Cologne (Koln)

Yesterday night we got back from a brief visit to Cologne. We were invited to present our work with mobile technology and do a demonstration of Heartlands (as a single player game) to the students of the Mobile Animation Content programme at IFS (a film school).

Thursday night coincidently our Gob Squad friends happened to also be there, staying around the corner developing one of their shows so we met up at a traditional German brewery that replaced Kulch the local beer with one beer after an other until you put the beer mat over your empty glass. They were only small glasses (slightly unnerving to be drinking German beer from a glass your gran would use for a small tipple) but it all adds up and we didn't know about the beer matt rule until it was too late. The brewery served traditional German fare which involved many types of pig and large sausages for Matt, strange looking cheese and the largest gherkin I ever did see for me... to our delight!

Great to catch up with old college friends who now live in Germany and meet some of the additions to the Gob Squad and their friend Christian a genuine resident of Cologne.

We then went on to a trendy kitch bar with a statue of the Virgin Mary surrounded by a mound of spirit bottles. I forgot about the German Gin portions and accidently had a massive gin and tonic to top the night off, which didn't help my ability to do a demonstration the next day.

Heard a presentation by an expert on Pervasive Games from Fraunhofer Insititute and then Matt presented our work. After lunch I presented Heartlands in more detail and ran a couple of games with the students. A really interesting mix of people.

We had an hour to wander into Cologne, and see the Cathedral, which glowed golden as the sun went down, walked down to the Rhine, to see a new European river that we had never seen before. Matt bought some of the unnervingly small Kulsch glasses and I looked for presents for my neice-to-be but could only find art books and thought would be not suitable for a baby not yet born, plenty of time for that.

The journey home was hell. Dusseldorf airport security is the most idiotic thing I have ever seen at an airport. Then getting back from Birmingham involved a long time in the pub waiting and a very long journey for a not so long distance...