A Festival Showing at UCL

This week we presented a performance showing to mark the end of our time at UCL. We showed a first skeleton of the final scratch work (to be performed at BAC next week) for a group of the lovely people here at the Environment Institute at UCL who have been hosting us, and a few awesome friends who dropped by to help us out.

Coming to this showing we originally had around fifteen games that we had constructed that displayed aspects of the way the festival system operates. We narrowed it down to around eight of our best, wrote the beginnings of the story that will be embedded within the performance and drew up the (much simplified) flow chart of the festival (part script, part road map) to guide us through the show.

Among other things we wanted to see if this setting worked in our favour. We suspected that it might – a music festival is a pretty engaging environment, and planning one is a fairly common cool idea – but wondered if it would support the structure of a systems model and display the processes of systems management we interact with everyday. We also wanted to see the games we had come up with played with a large group of people; to see if our explanations for them were clear and concise enough, and if  they represented their sub system clearly whilst also being entertaining. On all accounts they seemed to be reasonably successful which is a huge relief. These are aspects we will continue to be looking at before and during the scratch performances, but it is nice to have an early indication of heading in the right direction.

The showing has indicated to us that we can get through what seemed like a lot of material in a much shorter time than we had previously thought. This is awesome because now we can think about which of the other games we can add in again. It showed us what we can simplify and where different techniques of explanation are required. The feedback from our audience also has indicated the sections where we weren’t as clear as we could have been and where we needed to stipulate some more conditions of play. We will also spend some time developing the stories of our characters in the festival a little further and giving them some more air time, interacting with one another, enjoying the festival and suffering the outcomes of some of the planning and management decisions our audiences make.

Thankyou so much to those who came along and made up our audience. You all did extremely well at managing your festival. Thanks also for all the valuable feedback and responses that you so kindly stayed around to give. They were all very much appreciated.

Here are some of our audience skilfully playing the festival curating game.

Bring on the Scratches!

– Nikki

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