By Jamie Gledhill, commissioned by Collusion
Over the Summer of 2020, we’ve been working with artist Jamie Gledhill as part of an R&D project to devise a new work: The Multitude, a playable interactive artwork, presented in an immersive environment where two socially distanced ‘players’ work together to ‘save the world’.
The Multitude’s narrative draws upon familiar mythos and pathos, allegorical to the current pandemic, while maintaining an element of humour and contemporary social commentary.
We’ve just finished the R&D stage of the project and have a plan to create a fully-fledged public installation, which we will test in arts and non-arts settings to gauge its potential for touring. We’ll also share insights with and run events to gather feedback from artists, producers and students in the creative sector to support the project’s development.
The Multitude came about a a result of an award to Collusion by Cambridge Junction as part of their Vison Mixers producer development scheme. Due to Government restrictions to reduce the impact of Covid-19, we’ve had to adapt our plans quite a few times…! However, it was great to be able to get together in real life in August for a week long residency in Cambridge Junction’s J3. This was the first time our team had been able to met up in person – everything up to this point had been discussed and developed via Zoom, Slack and Google docs. The residency enabled us to test the set up and the basic concept, including the beta software. During the residency we explored the narrative and user experience. On the final day, we transferred to Sook Cambridge, the main space where we hope to eventually exhibit the work.
Sook Cambridge is a modified shopping centre space that’s equipped with high-tech screen, sound and lighting technology. It’s bookable by the hour by anyone who wants to use it. Sook is currently rolling out their model to other empty shop space across the UK, presenting a potentially interesting opportunity for the arts. Could spaces such as these be used to show art work and facilitate UK tours? We want to find out.
Watch this space for more news on the next steps for The Multitude.
Jamie Gledhill // Lead artist
Jamie Gledhill is an East Anglia based artist working at the intersection of audiovisual experimentation and interaction design. Fascinated by the power of play to transcend norms of behaviour, he constructs experiences that encourage participants to enter a ‘magic circle’ of their own making. He is also a lecturer at Norwich University of the Arts. He’s previously exhibited at venues including FACT, Firstsite, Metal, the Gibberd Gallery Harlow, Ipswich Town Hall and the Forum Norwich. Commissions include Peterborough Presents, converting an outdoor sculpture into an interactive audio installation, an Augmented Reality project ‘The Talking Trees of Chalkwell Park’ in Southend for Metal, and ENAS resulting in an interactive text installation featuring collected stories of journeys to and from Harwich.
Anna Brownsted // Script + dramaturgy
Anna works across a wide range of media including sound, installation, performance and participation. She holds an MA in Performance Practice as Research from Central School of Speech and Drama, and her process is often collaborative, involving interdisciplinary exchanges that directly inform the development of her work. Anna’s work has been shown in museums, galleries, theatres and public spaces including the British Museum, Kettle’s Yard, the Roundhouse, UCL, Fermynwoods Contemporary Art, Battersea Art Centre, Home Manchester and Cambridge Junction, where she is currently an Associate Artist.