Monday, 27 September 2010

A Little Bird Told Me . . . at Emergency

A Little Bird Told Me…will be part of greenroom’s annual free festival of contemporary performance, Emergency

What constitutes eavesdropping when all utterances are public? How are statements changed by being spoken, or read, by being overheard, retold, retweeted? What is signal and what is noise? What would it be like if physical space were as full of words as digital space?

The idea behind this durational performance is twofold: One the one hand, we’re going to fill greenroom’s bar with spoken and written text, using any tweets about the event as our source material. So, if you tweet something like: “Enjoying the weird and wild performances at #emergencymcr, great stuff!” or “I don’t understand what’s going on at #emergencymcr, what kind of performances are these, anyway?”(or indeed any tweet with the #emergencymcr hashtag) your tweet will be spoken aloud in the bar and also written down on a twitter-bird-shaped piece of paper and used to decorate the bar. All tweets with the hashtag will also be on display as a Twitterfall on a computer monitor at one end of the bar. This part of the show is about translating the amount of digital utterances that we users of the social media fill our screens and brains with into physical space.

On the other hand, we’re going to be eavesdropping on the event’s audience, and tweeting what we overhear, minus people’s names and plus the hashtag, from the dedicated account @albirdtoldme. Of course, since we are using the hashtag, this means that anything we overhear will also be spoken and written down as part of our performance, and displayed in the bar. This bit is all about the different conceptions of public and private that operate online and in real life: People are happy to tweet or post their thoughts for everyone to read, are they equally happy to be eavesdropped on? Why/why not?

This will start at 12:00 PM on Saturday, last for most of the day and culminate at 8:30, when I hope you’ll join in, reading out your favourite tweets from the event, singing along to our favourite song, and generally helping us to create a digital, physical, cross-platform hullabaloo.

How to participate:

Attend Emergency

Use the #emergencymcr hashtag

Follow @albirdtoldme

Join us at the bar at 8:30PM on Saturday to read aloud, tweet, sing, even dance if you feel so inclined.

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