Life Unplugged

Through much of yesterday’s Hello Culture conference I fought my inner reactionary.

It’s probably no more than a verbal tic, but the first speaker made the elementary error of telling us how exciting various project were, leading Inner Reactionary grumbling, rather unfairly, “I’ll be a judge of that.” She closed by showing us video of an advertisement, breathlessly describing it as a cross-media/platform narrative (or similar), true the video depicts a fictional cross-media/platform event, but ultimately it’s merely a video; a slick video trying to flog a corporation. “Not a great way for a representative of the Arts Council to end her presentation” – the Inner Reactionary was getting up to speed now.

The second keynote was devoted to promoting a service that I’d have to look back at my notes to describe – in truth the Inner Reactionary had distracted me with the thought that other Inner Reactionaries may be externalising on Twitter. Surely at a technology type conference you are positively encouraged to tune out from the speaker and read what the naughty kids at the back of the classroom are whispering about.

Break out groups broke out, Craig and I fanned out, keeping close to the ground. I was lured to a discussion about technology in education out of respect for C&T and the chance to hear Paul Sutton describe their latest adventures.

Ultimately, gaining insight into some people’s philosophies proved more satisfying than hearing about other people’s projects (which gave me pause for thought about any future speaking engagements). We ‘broke out’ of a delicious lunch in Zelig’s spectacular penthouse to hear Jon Bounds muse around his interestes – he was excellent. Similarly Nikky Pugh was a refreshing voice giving us a great sense of what motivates her in her art.

“I hate the Inner Reactionary – but he’s a tough one to shake in a crowd. Does hating the fact you have an Inner Reactionary stop you actually being Reactionary, or is that just a cop out? Does… HELL LOOK AT THE TIME!”

Cycling through town was the greatest imersive experience of the day. Seeing a woman being patched up in the middle of the road, causing gridlock having come off her bike, was a salutary sight set against the cartoon violence of cross-platform adventures. Getting the zip on my cherished Weslyan fleece repaired in the market was the day’s best software solution.

Finally, Eve 6.5 shared some great content with me, The Shiver in the River, a book of poetry. The first poem was a section of the Witches’ spell from Macbeth (Act 4 vs 10-21). She loved it. She read it to me and read it again and again. I read it to her in my (not) excellent Witch’s voice and she loved that too and wanted to read it in a spooky voice too – pure joy.

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