Words about Modelling Play and You Are Here

Well it is December 11 and I am back in the Cancers, scrambling madly to catch up on the You Are Here Festival front. I’ve been back in Australia for a few days now, trying to get on top of jetlag and return to being some sort of productive human being.

From now until March 2013, the biggest thing on my plate is the third installment of You Are Here, the festival I co-founded in 2011 thanks to a commission from Centenary of Canberra Director Robyn Archer. Along with Yolande Norris, Hadley and a swathe of other geniuses, You Are Here has somehow survived two iterations to make to 2013, and I am once again producing and curating for it. This time, the team of curators has expanded to include Vanessa Wright, Sarah Kaur and Nick Delatovic, with Karmin Cooper in charge of Operations. The festival has been quietly gathering steam over the last few months, as different curators have locked away particular events, but now we’re all back in the city and focused entirely on March, things have just drastically ramped up.

So, but before I get too caught up in YAH (and Boho’s new show Word Play which I’m co-producing and Serious’ new show Pea! which I’m writing), I need to very quickly explain what I’ve been doing the last two and a half months.

After leaving Manila in mid-September I headed to London to join my fellow Boho compatriot Muttley (David Shaw) and three members of Applespiel (Nathan Harrison, Nikki Kennedy and Rachel Roberts). The five of us spent September, October and November in residence at University College London’s Environment Institute, developing a new interactive performance based on the science of climate and systems modelling. For five days a week over ten weeks, we researched, experimented, created and discarded a sizeable amount of performance content, before finally narrowing the work down into a 55-minute interactive performance for a playing audience of around 20.

Modelling Play is a Boho project feat. Applespiel, but while in London we were the very grateful guests of the charming folk from Coney, a theatre company which creates interactive performances of all kind. In our final week in London, we were also in residence at the Battersea Arts Centre, presenting a public scratch season of the work in progress.

We documented the development of the show very closely on our project blog, so I won’t try to rehash it here too much. The only thing to say is that from a starting point of climate and systems modelling, the show evolved to become a hands-on simulation of a music festival. Seated around a table, the audience are invited to curate, construct and then manage a three-day festival for 10,000 punters somewhere in the countryside. As well as coping with financial and sponsorship pressures, the audience must deal with flash floods, fence-jumpers, food poisoning, technical difficulties and artist tantrums, in their quest to pull off the most exciting and memorable festival in living memory.

Nathan wears a Kanye, Rachel wears Rihanna, Nikki wears the Rolling Stones and mine just says GIRLS ROCK

The work still has a long way to go, but the response we got to the public scratches from the UCL and Battersea Arts Centre audiences were really encouraging. So I think, on balance, we’ll go ahead with this project, and try to take it further. When and where and how, we’re not too sure of yet. So this is a watch this space kinda note.

Also it’s nearly christmas, and a few days ago Nickamc sat Chris and I down to explain that Finnigan and Brother will be releasing a christmas single. Not up for negotiation, it is what is happening.