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Blog - Ivan Riches

Surroundings Blog 6

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My final ‘Surroundings’ installation/performance was installed on artist Susan Austin’s amazing 360°rig. It is a sculptural structure that provides a perfect platform for my 360°image projection, space for us musicians to perform in and accommodate the audience. A space the audience can walk into and around a good proportion of it’s outside circumference. This structure was set up at the Plough Art Centre, Torrington in North Devon.

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Part of Ivan Riches imagery on section of Susan Austin’s 360° rig & Dee Fry playing guitar. Photograph Jo-anne Cox

There were 4 scratch performances with musicians Dee Fry (guitar), Jo-Anne Cox (Cello), Zack De Santos (viola) and myself (keyboards & iPad). We did not have long to prepare for playing our instruments to the voice soundtrack and all the musicians performed admirably, providing a highly evocative background improvisation to accompany the voices, reflecting the nuances in what people were expressing in their powerful accounts of their lives and experiences, in relation to their surroundings.

The attending audiences were made aware that this was an R&D project and were asked to fill out a questionnaire, although no one was made to feel obliged to do so. Having briefly read through, as much as I can, the response are positive, which is highly encouraging. Therefore the outcome was far better than I could have hoped for, although from the onset, as an experiment I was not at all sure of the success of the outcome, having never worked with 360°technologies before. There were many desperate hours/days/weeks spent on editing the participant’s voice soundtrack together with my imagery, to fit into the appropriate 360° format.

I am currently working on stage 3 of my ‘Surroundings’ project; trying to work out how to upload and publish the original 360°artwork, as well as the 360°video clips of Plough Art Centre installation/performance, recorded by Sue Austin. Therefore devising and delivering this project has given me many sleepless nights, negotiating the extreme creative learning curve that I have given myself. But then, that was the intention, to push myself into uncharted creative territory. And it will take me some time to get the final product/s up online for 360°viewing, hopefully in the next few weeks. I will let you know how it has all transpired in my final ‘Surroundings’ R&D blog.

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