- CONNECTION people with each other, their communities and their city
- PARTICIPATION getting people directly involved in the shaping of their festival, giving opportunities for them to tell their own stories of the city
- GREEN directing people to quieter spaces within and outside the city, perhaps on a directed trail? or treasure hunt?
- CONTRAST juxtaposing the more beautiful parts of the city with those that are more run down or neglected
- PLAY encouraging adults to adopt different views of their environment, though instruction or suggestion?
- IDENTITY finding a way for people to project their identity in the city, this could be in a literal sense or more abstract terms
- MYSTERY parts of the concept being hidden or secret, creating smaller personal experiences
Initial planning for concepts
“Visitors will have to stick their heads into a plastic glass sphere called the Videodome to experience the next exhibit which begins the interactive portion of the gallery.
Cameras are mounted all over the apparatus, designed by Garnet Hertz, which captures all angles of the head that is inside of it and projects the images on several screens mounted on the wall.”
In another part of the exhibiton is “what artist Golan Levin calls the Eyecode.. Guests will look into a camera that will capture clips of their eyes blinking and will add them to a collection of blinking eyes that have been collected throughout the day on a computer screen.”
“There’s this sort of humanity when you see everybody’s eye blinking and you almost can’t distinguish them,” Schwartzman said. “It seems so profound that our individuality, maybe in the end, isn’t so great. That we’re just a bunch of two eyes.”
Vince Ei – Spartandaily.com
Participation with the environment of the city is something I want to encourage through my ideas and proposal. The aspect of play and engaging with the city in a different way is also important. Rather than just using disused areas, and putting people at odds with complete unfamiliarity, regularly used settings could also be involved. During the summer most people have a park or specific green space they go to, whether it’s local or just their favourite place to go. Using interactive events or workshops in multiple parks across the city could work to create a connections within communities. They could feed into a larger event that connects communities from across Manchester. Placing unfamiliar experiences or objects within known spaces could also create links to lesser frequented areas.
Figment Project New York offers another playful aspect that could work well in a festival setting. Large temporary sculptures are built in the park over the sumemr and have a variety of interactive experiences that offer the chance to play, inspire and educate.
“Elevated Earth is a celebration of dirt and of the simple process of transforming raw earth into a building material that is strong, sustainable, and elegant. This sculpture is both a piece of earth construction in itself and a platform for people to try their hand at building with dirt. Atop pedestals of rammed earth, visitors are invited to collect loose dirt, press a brick in the hand-operated brick press, and add it to the sculpture’s form, building up its changing shape across the summer in a collective re-imagining of dirt’s material potential.”
For part of the festival concept I’m keen to involve video or still projection. This could be combined with contribution from the public. These images above from Aya Atoui & Manal Elias project across Dubai set against various buildings across the city are particularly inspiring. They are creative in their use of dilapidated or otherwise unmemorable locations. This is something that could work well in some form in Manchester.
“Atoui and Elias‘ inspiration came from the fact they lived in a place with no sense of identity – geography and personality-wise. The idea of the projections was about capturing temporary moments, where the faceless buildings and street corners are activated and given the chance to re-invent themselves.” (yellowtrace.com.au)
Re-inventing areas and buildings is something I’m keen to include within the festival concept.
“I am attracted to things that are capable of transcending their own banality and materiality to become something else, something more.”
This incredible installation emphasizes how materials can be recycled and transformed into something entirely different. How could everyday objects, found objects, used items be utilised in creating a festival experience?