This is a short post about something that took a long time to make and a long time to look through the excessive documentation…. for just a few screen shots.
I wanted to push the idea of simultaneous broadcasting from the same site via Periscope. Providing, what I hoped were several witnesses to the same event… and play with that idea.
I invited 2 local amateur archaeologists and 2 friends. The theme for discussion was Hill forts… relating to the idea of Crouch Hill as a signalling post, using fires, to nearby Iron Age Hill forts such as Rainsborough Camp, which features in my research paper. Th planned action would also aim to illuminate the general militarisation of the area, now and in the past; the ‘multi-dimensional layering’ of action, social interaction, memory and physical landscape…. so combining the ideas of simultaneity and palimipsest.
Veronica had researched hill-forts and was to discuss them with Claire and other on-stream viewers, whilst Louise, Chris and I Periscoped the conversations at the same time. However, Veronica was sick and could’t lead.
Claire brought her local OS (Ordnance Survey) map (a good link to the Trig Point and geo-location ) using that as a guide, we discussed the local geography and historyand position of some nearby hill forts and ancient landmarks We tried to spot some of them in the distance and then drank elderflower cordial. We finished the broadcasts by all walking around the summit and showing the viewers the geographical context of the hill from all our points of view.
This was the first time viewers had been given a guided tour!
Challenges and thoughts
I had 2 phones with me , so in theory, a total of 5 different ‘witness ‘ broadcasts, (with another participant viewing from the via desktop app. )
Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a signal on one phone and the others have very few followers. so chat was limited…I had 43 viewers and the others a handful. I didn’t see much chat visible though apart from a few ( mild-ish) Trolls and could only see a handful of people hopping on…. not at all sure why that was…Generally no direct chat from me to the broadcast means very little from the network – unless people choose to chat between themselves.
This is what I’d hoped for. Chat within and between broadcasts and our group on the Hill.
The bright sun meant that none of us could see the screens properly without covering up the phone( and the cameras!)
We spent a long time faffing setting up, using up our data and batteries, I got several back-up packs jus in case) by which time most viewers had got bored and left, I think.
I could possibly have spent more time ‘training’ people to use Periscope and practising but I don’t like that idea of rehearsal and practice. The action and event is just something that happens… not theatre…the faff was just part of the process and was streamed too, as it evolved.
Essentially, it was what it was,
At that time, in that place
Although we didn’t create the sense of community and chat between Scopers I thought may occur, we did broadcast 4 different witnessings of the same action.We’d all used the same # to make it easier for viewers to track us ( at least one viewer did make the effort to find other Broadcasts).
The exercise didn’t really investigate simultaneity in different locations as we were all in the same ‘spot’ … but was more an attempt to explore and play with the idea of performer/participant/ audience/ viewer/ witness/ collaborator and these roles.
I had the original idea from looking at Trish Browns’ Roof Piece ( 1979), although that is different.There are different performers in different locations, performing the same action, simultaneously. This has probably been created already via a broadcast channels such as Periscope. But for global performance is a possibility for future development.
What we did do, was to record 4 different perspectives of the same action and relations within the space at the same time…and network them to a ( small) but global and local community.
See below for 3 different shots of a passing dog-walker (owner of Jasper; half-terrier, half- Springer) taken at, more or less…, the same time.
He wasn’t really keen on joining the chat… more concerned that my temporary occupation may continue to permanence…
I’d also brought a game of ( chocolate ) chess as a reference to the history of social hierarchy and capture ‘layered’ and hidden within the space. It was so hot the chocolate melted, leaving a mess resembling a battlefield on the board….