Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Past, Present & Future

This is a presentation I have created to stimulate thinking about a different kind of arts festival to the one we have been used to. The Heads of Department in the Visual, Media and Performing Arts met before the holiday to discuss a more collaborative approach to the arts festival. We agreed that a more inter-disciplinary programme of activities that kept the best of our existing practice, but that also provided more ways for young people to engage in the commissioning process, was desirable. rather than having each department working on a separate event, we thought it would be more interesting to conceive of the festival as a sequence of artistic interventions that used the whole school site as a venue. Thus, we might have film projections on stairwells, dancing down corridors, live music accompanying a fashion show on the concourse and art work in lockers. We chose the theme of 'Past, Present & Future' because we want all the work to be site specific and respond to the social and cultural history of the school. We hope that our final arts festival on the current site next year wiull be an opportunity to fully celebrate the place and convey us into the new school with a strong sense of who we are, what we share and how we want to work together in the future. This year's festival is, therefore, a kind of dress rehearsal for a much larger set of events next year.

I'd be very keen to know what you think about all of this. The brief led process described in the Prezi above may not be relevant for younger students (this process works well for students on BTEC type courses). How could we engage younger students and those not on vocational courses to get involved? Do you think the Student Commissioning Group could have a role in helping to organise the art festival? Do you have any great ideas for projects/happening/installations that you would like to contribute? If we invited Tangled Feet to work with us again, what do you think we should ask them to help us achieve?

I look forward to an avalanche of great ideas soon and to discussing all this at our next meeting.

Here are all the ideas that the Heads of Department came up with at our planning meeting:

Showcase of product and process - explore unusual ways of presenting work

Audience participation - audience part of performance, therefore understand process of creation

Put on a show in 2 weeks - use different amounts of prep time depending on discipline and process (e.g briefs need longer)

Live multi arts event plus risky improvisation - happy accidents, some freedom, room for students to express themselves - interactive multi discipline promenade - analogue and digital arts
- mini performances

A huge tent - a total art environment that consumes the audience - keep some sense of the school building - tarpaulin over concourse - create corridor under links? - constructed environment actually and virtually - outside the norm - surprise, audience stumble upon work in unlikely locations, the unexpected

Students trained in doing front of house - need more student input, able to run an entire event - all ages involved, not just G&T - vertical grouping

Digital/keyboard orchestra - iPod touches, circuit bending, turntablism, samples etc.

Experiment with live creation, av, audio, performance art, in the moment - add to pre-recorded multi media content

2 week collapsed timetable - no negative criticism about students out of lessons - support from SLT - whole school involvement

Street artists, street party - food, outdoor gathering - food represented sculpturally - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Sensory equipment, using light, movement and sound together

Inclusion - parents, staff, professionals, family ...

Layered performance - more than one taking place simultaneously - involves all disciplines - engages staff from across the school

Celebration of school's work across disciplines - the social/cultural history of Tallis - past, present and future - taking us into the new building - continuum

Evidence of collaboration - organised and meaningful - chaos (?)


Big Top overarching circus theme - use professional artists, rig for trapeze, teach parents and students, a circus skills extravaganza

Keep best of current practice e.g. Fashion show, Restaurant, Midsummer, Motown, but with greater collaboration

Co-ordination? - need an artistic co-ordinator? Someone who could understand all the arts courses and disciplines

Brief driven work, written into the curriculum across VMPA

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