Monday, 15 March 2010

Documentation:The Crowdscripted Request Robot 12/03/10

I've got quite a lot to say about my second experiment with crowdscripted performance, which took place at the Cabaret Formerly Known as Bucket on the 12th of March, so I'm dividing it into at least two posts.

This first one is primarily a record of the requests I received, which you'll find below. I've differentiated the ones I received through Twitter from the SMS messages, which formed the bulk of the requests. The vast majority of the people who sent requests did so more than once. My iPhone automatically groups all messages from the same sender together, and also into approximate times. This means that I have the luxury of showing you when more than one message was received from the same source. I've marked each contributor by a letter of the alphabet, in the order in which I transcribed their messages, so you can follow the progression of their requests. In the case of tweeted requests, I've gone with the same system, so that the Twitter crowd can have the same anonymity as the SMS folks, on this blog anyway. You can also see all relevant Tweets, less anonymously, by searching Twitter for the hashtag RRobot.

The trouble with the way my phone stores message data, and with my choice to transcribe the tweets a couple of days after the fact is that I don't know exactly what time everything was received. I've put the messages in order by my best guess, but they've ended up bunched together more by who sent them than by when. Anybody with the geekery to help me order them properly is very welcome to make suggestions.

I wrote before that I would try to do everything requested, within certain parameters. I didn’t. Part of the reason for this was technical; quite a few tweets came in very late. Part of the reason was the relatively chaotic nature of the event and the details of the structuring of the act; I would get a lot of messages at once, often at a time when I wasn’t “on” and a few fell between the cracks. If you sent me a message, and it didn’t get acted on it was either because it was against the rules or for one of the reasons just given.

Some Context

The Cabaret Formerly Known as Bucket straddles the line between cabaret and experimental performance. Hosted by Bill Bucket (aka Gareth) at the Greenroom it can consist of satire, poetry, burlesque stripping, performance art, spoken word, comedy, puppetry, theatre, sleight of hand and all sorts of other entertainments, usually with a subversive bent. On this occasion CFKAB had a theme: “The Joy of Lies”, and the compère was more than a compère; he was an act. Bill Bucket was running for office, with his publicity manager (Chris Fitzsimmons in a gimp mask) and gofer (myself as Request Robot). In essence, the gimp did whatever Bill Bucket wanted, and I did whatever the audience wanted, unless I was needed for Bill Bucket’s act, or wasn’t on. At one point, around 10 PM, the gimp and the Robot were handcuffed together. The cabaret had three sections, with intervals in between. I was active during all the intervals, most of the Bill Bucket routines that framed them, and, by prearrangement, some of the acts. There is a taxi rank across the street, and a club called the Ritz. Both are visible from the Greenroom's plate glass windows.

The performance was preceded by my tweeting about it, then tweeting the rules (Laws of Crowdscripted Robotics) which I would endeavour to stick to. It was followed by a brief exchange on Twitter and a longer and much more heated one on Facebook. I’ll be posting about these later, but have decided to leave them out of this documentation, though they raise interesting points about the limits and limitations of the performance. Do note the SMS exchange I had with one audience member in the course of the performance, the texts I sent are marked (ME).

The Requests

Do a little dance (F)
Scream (F)
Lob a tit out (F)
Lob it out again. (F)
Lick your elbow (F)
Repeat everything he says (F)
Repeat everything Gareth says (A)
Tweet: Sing the hills are alive with the sound of music at the top of your voice, but pretend you are crying while you do it. (R)
Robot hope you are still awake. Can you dance the cancan?
Slap Gareth (M)
Press yourself up against the window in front of those lads. (M)
Hit Gareth and then storks his face repeatedly . . . Then try to take away his banjo.(M)
Tweet:Do: Check Bill Bucket's bellybutton for fluff. Tell us what you're going to do with your extensive bellybutton fluff collection. (S)
Buy me a pint of beer (L)
Kiss the girl on the table furthest from you she is wearing a scarf and ginger hair.(L)
Pretend you are a frog (L)
Howl like a wolf please! Xx (N)
Bark like a dog please. Loudly! Xx (N)
Sing ‘Spice Girls’ – ‘If you wanna be my lover’. All verses and choruses please! (N)
Do pelvic thrusts at the crowd, then the poet please
Lick the window x (K)
Go outside and pole dance the lamppost directly opposite to where you’re standing now x (K)
Tweet:reboot system and startup in safe mode. (T)
Say “I want my pudding” into the microphone three times (K)
Fake an orgasm (A)
Hide in the bush in the corner (A)
Do a crab dance (F)
Down someone’s drink from their table (F)
Tweet:moonwalk (R, on behalf of someone else)
Get me a free beer (please) (J)
Burp the alphabet (R, on behalf of a second person)
Do the beyonce bum shake whilst singing ’if you like it then you should have put a ring on it’ ( J)
Pole dance on the comedian (F)
Don’t follow commands during poet (C)
Take the poets tie off and swing it like a cow girl (J)
Go outside and slide onto the bonnet of one of the taxis outside. And sing ‘let’s have some fun this beat is sick, I wanna take a ride on your disco’ ( J)
Shake it like a poloroid picture (G)
Tweet:Can't can (R, for a third person)
Back of the room. Run and take that guys grey cap and put it on Gareth. (M)
Please put a fake flower in his hat
Say down the mic. ‘this is simultaneously the worst and best night out of my life thank god for i robot’ (L)
Put on as many coats from back of chairs as you can fit. Thanks (D)
Lie on the stage and do the backstroke (E)
Tweet:Sing the sound of music at the top of your voice whilst pretending to cry. (R)
The stairs are mountains on the moon. Climb them (E)
In your best glaswegian accent say “oo ah that’s nice” into the microphone (P)
Be a lizard (P)
Tweet:Make sweet love to the banjo (T)
Do: deliver a short lecture on why people are so fucking stupid. On one leg. (B)
You gave me a kiss earlier, could I have a beer please? Many thanks (D)
Do: Recite asimov’s laws of robotics
Thank you for the beer. In return you can direct me to do something. Also, can you say into the mic, urgently (in style not time) ‘sarah hill, nonce, gimp, nonce, nonce, gimp, kady, munting munting,’ again and again until you get another request (J)
When back on, that is ( J)
ME: Next time you see me doing something for far longer than can possibly be fun, or comfortable, text “stop” and we’re even x
Okay! As long as you say those things into the mic :) ( J)
ME:It’s a deal, but you might have to wait until interval, my next bit is with Gareth and fairly planned out. (J)
Walk centre stage and shout “meat” as loud as you can ten times (K)
Shout “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts” (K)
Punch him. Punch him now. (M)
Tweet:shout "baby fish mouth” (T)
Thow dirt at Gareth (M)
Tweet:Respond to whoever's speaking on the microphone with increasingly hysterical exclamations of "WHAT?!". (S)
Slap him (C)
Eat what’s on the plate (C)

Say “I’ve lost 2 hours of my life” (A)
Star jump (N)
Do: simultaneously translate the other performers words into another European language (B)
VERY LOUDLY, REFUSE the next request…(eg ‘NO I WILL NOT…..!)
Shout the word bum hole (F)
Sing happy birthday. (F)
Try and Go into the ritz (L)
Lick bucket’s face
Pretend to be a choo choo train! Xx (N)
Don’t loose character (D)
Cheer up it was your idea (L)
You are a helicopter. Use the mic if U need to. Fly around the room. (E)
Tweet:SPOON ON NOSE! (interpret however your processing unit chooses) (R)
Sing the words ‘i like big butts and i cannot lie all you other brothers cant deny etc’ plus a bum shakey dance (i’m sorry) (O)
Please take the trilby hat from the guy at the bar. it doesn’t look’s for the best.keeep it for the entire evening. (O)
Can you try and seduce the guy sitting next to me by trying out your best and cheesiest chat up lines while standing on the table and doing an impression of a puffa fish. (I am the girl with glasses sitting on the table closest to the stage) (I)
Do eva peron on the balcony (F)
Hit the gimp with a brest (H)
Pretend to fist the gimp and laugh manically. Xx (H)
Shakespeare! (N)
Tweet:shut the fuck up
Stop. Dance westernt ( J)
Blow your nose on his hanky (G)
Take his glasses!!!
You find the guy on front row with glasses, far too sexy to resist
Do a cartwheel (or forward roll if you can’t) whilst saying SUPERMAN (J)
Get the boy sat on my table with a girl on his lap (longterm, no contention!) To dance with you . . . I’m thinking ballroom ( J)
Try and take all his clothes off (I)
Oink and act like a pig! Loudly. Shout it! (N)
Bring the table with the girl with the piercings the bottle of vodka! (N)
Pretend you’re a velociraptor (K)
Say ‘I don’t think we’ll ever get back to Kansas toto’ down the mic (L)
Go and kiss a bouncer across the street. (M)
Guy back left take his cap outside and dance with it on (M)
Get me a beer please. Near the guy u took cap from (M)
Ask drunken chorus –is that your real beard? (O)
Sing happy birthday to nate (P)
Clap the gimps hands (P)
Sing and dance mchammer can’t touch this (P)
Pretend there is a llama in the room and you have to chase it (P)
Bring on the trumpets! (P)
Throw the flowers over your head like you just got married (P)
Show us your box (Q)
Show us your box again, for longer! (Q)
Show us the inside of your box again. That was amazing! (Q)
Show us someone else’s box, bored of yours now. (Q)
Show us your other box. (Q)
Meow once for every sentence the man on stage says. (P)
Say into the microphone the answer to life the universe and everything. (P)
Start a Mexican wave (P)
Play the bongos on bill bucket’s belly (P)

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