ReFocus - ReFrame - ReMix - ReFresh

Pilot Theatre's now annual arts, culture and converging technologies conference ShiftHappens took place on July 8th. Using the legacy tag #shifthappens and titled ShiftHappens V around 150 people attended this 2013 conference hosted by Marcus Romer.

After a cheeky email to secure a ticket in exchange for social media activity, receiving a wonderful response I really wanted to do something to follow the legacy of ShiftHappens.

I've followed the Shifthappens from the beginning since the first 2008 event while exploring the potential of 3D virtual spaces as Pilot Theatre's virtual stage manager in Second Life. Marcus Romer has always has a vision of how digital can complement art, and theatre in particular right back then and inspired be too. The Shifthappens conferences have influenced me hugely "converging arts and technology" is such a perfect phrase. Coming together and enhancing expression. These events are a showcase of Marcus's adventure, networking and project encounters, an insight to the best of theatre, arts and converging technology practitioner.

With my ticket secured I endeavoured to establish the expectation for my output. "Just be in the audience" was the response I got back from Marcus Romer, ShiftHappens instigator and Pilot Theatre's Artistic Director. I had 2 guidelines to keep me in check. No live streaming but tweet, snap and boo to my hearts content.
  • No Bambuser
  • YES Twitter (use #shifthappens)
  • YES Instagram (super easy to edit and share photos via twitter, Facebook and more)
  • YES AudioBoo (not the sessions)
I wasn't needed to moderate or manage just to make. Such a generous and freeing demand. It certainly changed the purpose and demand on me.

This then turned me on to thinking, "to who" and "for whom" am I making? If I wasn't explicitly projecting the event buzz to the event followers or managing the incoming dialogue. Where would the media I made be seen and would it be appropriate, welcome and engaging for that viewer? I know the answer would be yes for many of the followers across the accounts I maintain (@audienceseurope, @pcmprojects, @Equity_ITAC and of course @pcmcreative) but more frustrating than irrelevant content which can stream past on twitter or blocked/unfollowed if unwated, is great content you weren't expecting and on reading the well populated hashtag realise you would really have wanted to attend if only you'd have known. ShiftHappens if you work within the arts and culture industries is one of those events. I missed 2012 as my work commitments prevented me from attending but experiencing the frustration of a tantalising twitter stream. I really didn't want to miss this year.

My second Shifthappens in 2009 in association with Amb:IT:ion established 9 regional Arts Council England online networks, the Yorkshire network being ShiftHappens. and is still live.

I then missed a year before attending 2011's TEDxYork event (TEDx rules prevent cross promoting with established events) I haven't been able to be 'just audience' I had missed 2012 as my work commitments prevented me from attending but experiencing the frustration of a tantalising twitter stream.

Being Audience is a very self focused activity. Its about pure experiences and hence produces harsh criticism and high praise from those vocal about the time they spend 'being audience'. To have such an opinion and to reflect upon it with credibility attention should be paid. It is in this intention that boring becomes interminable and the engaging becomes transfixing.

Me Me Me
I decided not to tweet. At least not about the conference structure and timetable and unless I thought a tweet might add to the over all tagged stream I would 'just be audience'. I took photos and posted several Instagram pics. I confess I selected my seat to get a good photo angle on the speakers and general vista of the event. Also being 'in the audience' I did not worry about power or wifi. Post event when I read back the tweets I was please with my small contribution and began thinking about how I can blog about the experience without repeating others and with out making an 'on my holidays' school type event report.

Usually I'd create a Storify pulling together the event buzz including all the official media by me.

Watching the days following ShiftHappens V several excellently crafted Storifies appeared

A wonderful insight in to the demise of the every day. Archeology of the Future.

In the audiences too was Alexander Flemming who created a Storify I could only have copied so here I am. Sharing my day, sharing my experience. Could I create a photo blog? Well the official pictures from the the day were brilliant too. Pilot Theatre took great photos through out the day - Pilot Theatre Shifthappens V on Flickr

So this is my perspective. The select speakers who particularly resonated, cherry picked messages. The stuff I liked enough to blog about and share with you.

The day looked packed. The structure was immensely reasuring promising a journey to enable direct reflection on personal practice and application on the future. Refocus, Reframe, Remix. Simple strategy for frame working new knowledge is a path a practice myself with the PCM 7 Roads and most similarly for PCM projects Plan, Prepare, Deliver, Reflect, Report. I was ready.

As a dyslexic note taking which later made sense was always tricky but I now have my trusty LiveSribe pen it enable me to notate the audio and replay it to refresh my thinking. Here I am hungrily listening. I was here for me. (Top right with straw hat and a pen taking notes.

Shift Happens V

Make, Share, Do more is my 2013 motto and this August blog series is about realising that moving forward with my digital media practice. I have a month to blog and catch up with the best of my times.

My part 2 will reflect on the sessions that have stayed with me, the people I met and connections I'm following up.

The Shifthappens Legacy

The V was for 'visioning' but coincidentally was also event number 5.

2013 - ShiftHappend V
2012 - ShiftHappens - A New Hope

2011 - TEDxYork - STEAM (splice montage)
PCM Bambuser capture

2010 - ShiftHappens ALT/SHIFT

2009 - ShiftHappens 2.0
IT corner - LiveStreaming a rehearsed reading (include embed)
Pilot Theatre in Second Life

2008 - ShiftHappens (launch of ShiftHappens on Ning)
IT corner - the inception of practical web surgeries (demoing Second Life)

ISSUU shelf with Brochures