< club confessional

a proposal by the Emergency Art Lab
for 'digital artists in clubs' - the Junction, Cambridge

Dave Everitt

Mike Quantrill

Plus collaborations as emergent conditions demand

contact address and main applicant:
Dave Everitt

A soundproof (as far as practical) 'confessional' booth situated within each event where clubbers can close the door and record short personal experiences with (possibly) short video clips. In collaboration with DJs extracts from participants' audio samples will then be treated and prepared by the Emergency Art Lab for mixing in with the music that same night - noting requests for voices to be disguised if required. The intention is to discuss a 'theme' for the confessional with the organisers of each event, so that it enhances the experience of a particular night. Over the period of the commission, this material will be built up into a digital 'library of club confessions' to be printed out for display and/or digital projection within the clubs themselves. At the initial event, confessions would be 'open', with the artists working with organisers and clubbers to select popular subsequent themes from this spontaneous material. As in a previous event at 'Wired and Dangerous', the Emergency Art Lab artists will dress in white lab coats, both to identify themselves to participants, and to lend a theatrical element to the entire process. The work is intended to highlight the contrast between the very public space of the club and the private thoughts, feelings, contacts and experiences of those who use and enjoy the space; one aim being to provide a means of breaking the barrier between these two facets of the club experience by making public (with - naturally - the consent and understanding of the participants) private experiences that people choose to offer as material. It goes without saying that the popularity of TV events like 'Big Brother' has prepared the ground for the acceptance of this collision of private and public, and the intention is to build on this cultural momentum while creating something more thoughtful, inclusive and immediate.

The white booth will be partitioned into:

1. a private, dimly-lit and windowless 'confessional' area with comfortable seat, separate microphone and camera;

2. a 'lab' area where the artists process confessions behind a glass screen (or possibly one-way mirror 'fishtank') where everyone outside the booth can see the artists at work, but the Lab artists can't see out.

The presence of this booth will be deliberately conspicuous and even odd in the context of the club. Connection between the DJs and the booth will enable the prepared confessions to be sent as audio files to the desk for mixing.

The Emergency Art Lab
Is a loose consortium (first formed for 'Wired and Dangerous' and including on that occasion Pip Greasley and Matt Rogalsky) and now intending to emerge wherever digital art needs to be done urgently, spontaneously or in unusual situations. The aim is also to originate art in public spaces or at public events, and to act as a window into the process of creating work using digital technology. Its two core members are artists at the Creativity and Cognition Studios (click 'studios') and Gallery of the Future (site under construction) at Loughborough University, a facility and organisation that exist to support and promote artists working with technology. Both artists have worked collaboratively and (at 'Wired and Dangerous') on the spot in a performance context. Dave is also a performing and recording musician, and has worked in many settings including the Glastonbury festival and in experimental community performances with members of the Royal Philharmonic. Mike also has extensive computer problem-solving experience.

The artists are familiar with the preparation of detailed budgets and schedules of work and, if accepted, will prepare and submit both, specific to this project.

Fiona Mitchell-Innes, Year of the Artist officer
Suzanne Alizart, digital arts officer
both at
East Midlands Arts Board, Mountfields House, Epinal Way, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 0QE
01509 218292

Ken Baynes, Gallery of the Future
Ernest Edmonds, Creativity and Cognition Studios, LUTCHI
both at:
Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leics., LE11 3TU