Ophelia (art) - digital painting of a doll by Barbara Agreste

Trampoline Platform Event: The Surveillance City

Trampoline Platform showcased work reflecting on themes such as surveillance, data protection and a loss of privacy.

Trampoline Platform Event: The Surveillance City

29th November 2007

Broadway Media Centre, Nottingham

Trampoline, the East Midlands’ platform event for new media art, celebrated its tenth anniversary in November at Broadway, Nottingham. The event offered an array of performances, video screenings, installations and other works that utilised the many spaces provided by the media centre.

Trampoline Platform was born in November 1997, initiated by Miles Chalcraft and Gareth Howell at a time when for many the Internet was still a recent innovation seeing a period of explosive growth. It gave artists working in new media the opportunity to test new ideas in front of a live audience. In this rapidly changing landscape Trampoline has undergone its own modifications over the years, moving from The Maze to Broadway, before then setting up a Berlin branch of operation and introducing the Radiator Festival.

Entitled Surveillence City, the anniversary celebration showcased work reflecting on themes such as surveillance, data protection and a loss of privacy. It was headlined by Heath Bunting’s The Status Project, which will apparently take another seven years to complete. This A-Z of the system maps the information he has been obliged to supply in order to use the services of shops, organisations and institutions. These entries, forming a database, consist of descriptors such as name, birth date and postal address linked to each other according to their overlaps and dependencies thereby forming a node in a vast networked system. Alongside maps that represent sections of this expanding network, a psycho-geographic walk led by Bunting demonstrated the conditions that must be fulfilled in order to engage with the services of Nottingham institutions, shops and public buildings, and what links them with other places on the way.

Another Trampoline focus is that of new media performances, where work combines the live presence of the performer with technology. These live interludes provide a welcome sense of uncertainty in a field that can often be dominated by screen-based work. Trampoline regular Frank Abbott supplied just such a moment with his restaging of a famous Woody Allen stand-up gag, involving a stunned moose, presumed dead and tied to the fender of a car. With Allen’s monologue removed it left only intermittent laughter and Aboott to fill the gaps in between. This demonstrated perfectly the ability of the live presence to cut through the general hubbub of the busy bar environment and deliver the punch line.

In a technological landscape that is dramatically altered from a decade ago, Trampoline will need to continue to change to retain the relevance of a new media art platform. It remains to be seen whether the transitional teenage years bring with them delinquency or the rapid formation of a new character, or perhaps both.

Niki Russell, www.nikirussell.com


 Trampoline Platform

Live Performance
Satellite Bureau – Join
Frank Abbott – Moose Memory
Michael Pinchbeck – The Christening
Cormac Faulkner – Fontechnique

Interactive Installation
Low Brow Trash – G.O.S.S.I.P. – Genuine Old School Schedule Information Point
Sean Clark – I See You

Video Works

Jo Kelly – Joe’s Womble-istic Gravity Defying Ball Bearing Run
Thilo Fröbel – Barricade
KH Jeron – The Surveillance City
Barbara Agreste – Chequered Tunnel
Rafael – 1+1=3
Marek Brandt – Strategic Resistance

Screening 1: Surveillance City
Caspar Below – Sensitive Building
Tilman Küntzel – Bodyguard
Rich Broomhall – Ether Songs
Rick Niebe – Zoo
Max Crow & Aaron Bradbury – Kontech
Johanna Reich – The City In The Skies
Blaffert & Wamhof – Its Hard to Believe the day could be this beautiful
Tilman Küntzel – Composition For Water
Caspar Below – Now available to the public

Trampoline Platform: The surveillance City

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Dolls - Ophelia (art, paintings) series by Barbara Agreste