If you could send a message of advice to someone in the future or the past, what would you say? To whom and to when would you send it? Send your 20 seconds of wisdom through space-time using Skype Advice Portal. All you need is a device with a webcam, mic, and of course, Skype. Here is a step by step guide:
Sign into your own Skype account and make a video call to Advice Portal (username: adviceportal). ACCEPT incoming video.
You will be greeted by a portal resident, and asked to leave your message
make sure your head is in the oval frame
Leave your message after the beep – you only have 20 seconds – so choose your words wisely
watch your message back, then hang up
All messages sent through the Skype Advice Portal are collated and automatically (and randomly) re-presented within the FACT Connects exhibition space as a sci-fi inspired video installation.
Portal guardians reserve the right to remove or edit offensive or inappropriate messages, so please, respect this amazing space-time technology and use your words for good!
17th May is the public launch of a new exhibition by Re-Dock, showcasing the Advice Portal project. “Can You See Me? I Can Hear You!” shares our working methodology through video documentation and digital works created with the sheltered housing residents, alongside three new commissions created in response to the project, and developed in consultation with the residents themselves. I’ve been developing a Skype Advice Portal installation for the show, and it’s fair to say I’m pretty excited about it all!
This last week has been full on with testing new bits of equipment and processes for two projects – the Portal project with Re-Dock, and the Wonderous Place theatre show. Both projects open on the same day (15th May) and both are pretty tech heavy for myself and the other artists involved. For the last month I’ve been speccing tech setups for each show, trying to divvy up the equipment I currently have, and cobble together any extra peripherals needed.
In the midst of all this testing, I’ve been playing with the Vine app on my iPhone. Below you can see tech tests and demos for the Matrox TripleHead2Go (sending external display across 2 projectors), a chroma kit, a colour cctv cam, and Dave Lynch‘s laser sound device.
I’ve been working on a new Re-Dock project, called Portal, that is looking at the way we use technology as a device to send messages and transport ourselves through time and space. In collaboration with Tenantspin, we’ve been working with a group of sheltered housing residents, arming them with iPads, exploring new uses for common tools such as Skype, wikipedia, twitter and the video camera as a message recorder.
Simply turning the camera on transforms the iPad into a window, a portal by which the outside world can be framed, immediately placing the user in the role of author.
Having used video cameras for most of the last 10 years, it’s interesting to watch how other people engage with the screen, especially with a device like the iPad
The scale of the iPad image itself is not too far removed from the real world as viewed by our own eyes, creating an odd kind of harmony between the image and it’s surroundings. It was a remarkable scene, with 6 residents sat in a circle, all viewing each other through the iPad camera, looking slightly enchanted.
The value in immediately creating your own media is apparent, and the iPads fusion of the camera / screen make this incredibly accessible for older people.
There is something about it as a tool that is great for older people. I wish I could afford one for my dad!
The Portal project is leading to an exhibition in May, in FACT, where we will present the workshops and also 3 new commissions developed in response to the project, and tested by the residents. I am developing a new piece of work, based on the Gillfoot No. 2 piece. that aims to implement Skype as a recording device that allowing users to contribute to the video installation.
The closing words of a screening seen by a tiny audience of 28 in a packed out shop-space turned movie house. Once again A Small Cinema took over my life recently, this time in Widnes. Not just my life I suppose but also the lives of a few others, namely volunteers Karl, Steve and Mena who took on the roles of cinema staff with gusto. They brought a great perosnal character that made this cinema event unique – Karl with his local connections and natural authority; Steve with his own history and experience in working in a Widnes cinema (the Empire), along with his wife Mena who, having met Steve whilst working as an usherette back in the day, brought a sense of style to the presentation. We put on 12 screenings over two days – quite a marathon.
It was a really great weekend and we showed a hell of a lot of short films to a lot of people, young and old, from Widnes. Working to find the shop-space and get in ready for the event was intense, but worth it. I felt quite sad to pack it all up afterwards. More pictures (there are some crackers) can be seen on the A Small Cinema blog, along with Tim Brunsden’s film of Steve and Mena which was made specially for the event, plus a video document of the day.
A Small Cinema in Widnes was another project developed by Re-Dock. Thanks to Halton Borough Council for its financial support.
This Friday and Saturday, every hour from 11 till 5, Re-Dock presents:
A Small Cinema in WIDNES!
For the first time since 1983, Widnes will have it’s own movie theatre.
A family-friendly short film event in the guise of a traditional cinema experience.
A temporary picture-house installation in a small shop in Widnes town centre.
Each show lasts just over half an hour.
Kid’s Matinée – 11 and 12 o’clock
Classic cartoons and new shorts for kids. All adults must be accompanied by a child!
Eye Widnes – 2 and 3 o’clock
Archive films, new animations, familiar faces – Widnes as you’ve never seen it before.
Featuring new work by Owain Bentley and Tim Brunsden
Scrambled Eggs – 4 and 5 o’clock
An eclectic selection of bizarre short films for an Easter Saturday at the movies.
advertisements for local shops!
local memories of cinema!
classic trailers for films you love!
Local heroes – films by local film-makers!
Ushers to show you to your seat!
popcorn and ice-cream!
64 Albert Road, Widnes
(just next to Barclays bank, opposite the Imperial pub)
Liverpool’s most prolific documentarian Tim Brunsden, was in attendance, and as usual with camera in hand. This gives a really nice introduction to the Small Cinema experience. I heard Tim just got a new Sony Z5, so keep an eye out for his upcoming work!
Thanks you again to all those who created, collated, exhibited, contributed, supported and applauded the event. You can see some photos for the day on the A Small Cinema blog, and also the Re-Dock Flickr page.