Home Arts & Culture ‘We Have A Situation In Coventry’ – Cyberformance To Focus On One Of Coventry’s Hottest Topics

‘We Have A Situation In Coventry’ – Cyberformance To Focus On One Of Coventry’s Hottest Topics

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Coventrians will later this week have an opportunity to participate in an innovative contemporary arts project focusing on one of the city’s hottest topics – and they won’t even have to leave the comfort of their living rooms!

On Thursday 24th November, Coventry University’s Disruptive Media Learning Lab will present a ‘cyberformance’ entitled We Have a Situation Coventry at the Shopfront Theatre in City Arcade. And as its subject it takes the sometimes fraught relationship between the rapidly-expanding Coventry University and the historic city that is its home. The public can observe/take part in the cyberformance either in person at Shopfront Theatre or remotely, via a live-stream to their computer (browser must be equipped with a Flash Player Plug-In).

Helen Varley Jamieson, Inaugural International Artist In Residence at the Disruptive Media Learning Lab, said there is a perceived lack of integration between the temporary student community and the permanent community who now have to co-exist with each other, and thinking is often dominated by stereotypes and preconceptions. She explained that in preparation for We Have a Situation Coventry, the opinions of university members and local people have been sought, and the outcome will reflect the views of both groups.

Lasting for about half-an-hour, webcams will be used to create a collage of real-time digital images which could include real people, animated puppets, the written word and drawings. The right-hand-side of the screen will contain a chat window with an input field at the bottom where viewers can type in their impressions – anonymously if they wish. Following this, there will be a discussion of issues raised by the cyberformance, also interactive and live-streamed.

Ms Jamieson said “unusual performances give opportunities to think about things in new ways, creating space to shift perceptions” and added “the performance is a provocation for discussion. We are trying to open up a conversation space that includes a variety of perspectives from Coventry and other places. The core purpose is to see whether this cyberformance can be a useful way to facilitate local and global conversations to open up the discussion in a new way”.

Asked why people should participate in We Have a Situation Coventry, she said “we are interested to hear from them, and involve them in the conversation”. Katherine Wimpenny, co-lead researcher at Disruptive Media Learning Lab added that it’s important to challenge misunderstandings that can exist, to explore and celebrate our differences, and to promote active citizenship and responsibility.

We Have a Situation Coventry is at Shopfront Theatre, City Arcade, Coventry CV1 3HX (licensed bar will be open) at 7pm on Thursday 24th November. Live-streaming of the event can be accessed via http://www.wehaveasituation.net/?page_id=1414

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