Innovations and Adaptations in a Pandemic
Ooooooooo you know it... We've all juggled, pirouetted and back flipped when the pandemic hit, and became acrobats in a minute!
It's hard to appreciate the good, when caught in a whirlwind of change. But wisdom and research show that the best way to innovate is often through constraints. We are in a box, having to think outside of it to reinvent the box itself.
I started collecting links of interesting projects as they popped in the world and on my feed. Tickles and provocations. Some obvious, some clues, others radically imaginative.
Before moving on to our 'new normal', it may be worth looking back at these re-imaginings. As some may be more than temporary fixes, they could present new experiential models altogether.
Here is my curated collection. I've added ★★★★★ to denote my top picks.
Let me know how you reinvented yourself and industry and what your favorite activations were!
Physical World Activations
At the onset of 2020, my mission changed. It was time for a theatrical intervention. We needed to Scale Joy now! As the world began to zig onto digital platforms, I began to imagine how live entertainment could be produced safely and experienced immersively, and thought, "what if we created an absurdly epic car wash show?" and that is how CARABOOM came to be...
★★★★★ (you know i had to:)
CARABOOM The Greatest Carwashow on Earth! Imagine a car wash where no cars are washed, at least not literally. We are using atmospheric carwash mechanics as dynamics for drama! CARABOOM is a spectacle of silliness and physical poetry. Foam cannons, rain bars, bubble machines and human water fountains immerse participants and passengers in a splash filled adventure! There are honking concertos, microfiber dancing, awe-inspiring acts and a catharsis for everybody. https://www.caraboomlive.com
LIFE-SIZED 3D HOLOGRAMS
Virgin Media has opened a pair of dining pods for two days, one located in London and the other in Edinburgh allowing people to eat with loved ones as though they are sat in the same room. Evening Standard
A PLAY BY PHONE
Metaphysical Hotline is an intimate conversational performance about deep time and ecology, delivered as a 30-40 minute, one-on-one phone call from the comfort and privacy of your home.
How an $8 part from Walmart makes it safe for choirs to sing again Los Angeles Times
THE HOUSE IS FULL! PLANTS IN SEATS
BINAURAL IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES
SOCIALLY DISTANCED CONCERT
VIRTUAL EXHIBITION AND FILM CELEBRATING A CHAIR!
Berlin club Berghain reopens doors Yahoo News
DRIVE-IN CONCERT + VIDEO BILLBOARDS
Live Music Returns to the Shore: ‘It’s Like Getting Your Life Back’ The New York Times
KINKY DRIVE THRU
IMMERSIVE DRIVE-IN RAVES
AN EARLY (AND SMART) PIVOT
DRIVE-IN DANCE SHOW
"PARKED" a one-night, drive-in dance performance in a vacant Los Angeles parking lot. Directed by: Ivan Cash & Dan Addelson. Produced by Cash Studios & Jacob Jonas The Company
IMMERSIVE SONIC EXPERIENCES
Hot-yoga domes could be the new social-distancing fitness craze New York Post
SCISSOR LIFTED (interesting concept to explore)
At a Baptist church in Westerville, Ohio, the pastor recently climbed into a scissor lift and conducted a drive-in service while he was 25 feet off the ground Time Magazine
OUTDOOR WALKING MEETINGS
A Washington media strategist, has been holding “outdoor walking meetings” six feet from another person along predetermined, lightly populated routes. Washingtonian
TABLETOP ROLE-PLAYING GAME
Rules & Roberts is a D&D-like tabletop role-playing game. Instead of simply declaring their actions, however, players must propose motions that are then discussed, amended, and approved by the group as a whole.
★★★★★ (spotted back in 2015)
HOLOGRAMS FOR FREEDOM
For the first time in world’s history and without actually breaking the law, an army of holograms protested in front of the Spanish Parliament in an original effort to combat the drastic legislative decision. Branding News
Digital & Virtual Activations
AUGMENTED REALITY + THEATER + LIVE STREAMING
An AI-Powered Film/Game That’s Different Each Time You Watch (or Play?) Feeling a bit cooped up at home? We’ve got just the thing to help: a dynamic interactive film in which you play god to an evolving species of AI creatures known as “agents.”
ZOOM NIGHT CLUB
Eschaton is a surreal Zoom nightclub — and a theater for the age of social distancing. Wander this virtual nightclub where you can interact and find a new strange delight behind every doorway.
360-DEGREE INTERACTIVE ZOOM STUDIO
Tony Robbins' Unleash the Power Within 360-degree interactive Zoom studio sharing the week with 11,000 people from 67 countries tuned in
PARTICIPATING WITH YOUR PHONE DURING THE SHOW - NO APP NEEDED
INTERACTIVE ONLINE COCKTAIL MAKING DRAG SHOW
Sangria and Secrets with Drag Queens online experience by Drag Taste (This experience helped me reframe my world early on in the pandemic)
YOU'VE GOT MAIL (REAL MAIL)
Online artist’s community made to celebrate and showcase the work of the artists around the world during COVID-19
CONNECTING CULTURES & TIME ZONES LIVE
Gaping Void Virtual Backgrounds create more meaningful conversations, openly share ideas and encourage collaboration even at a distance. (great concept...there's more here...)
Live to Online: Beautiful Adaptations
ZOOM MUSIC VIDEO
ZOOM MUSIC VIDEO
Swan Lake Bath Ballet 27 elite ballet dancers from renowned dance companies across the globe perform a modern-day Swan Lake
VR / AR Activations
TenderClaws presents an intriguing multiplayer experience set between two worlds: a jaunty vaudeville stage and the harrowing survival narrative.
WAVE is an entertainment technology company and creator of the world’s first multi-channel virtual entertainment platform for live concerts. The new Wave harnesses cutting-edge broadcast technology that transforms artists into digital avatars in real-time, casting them onto a virtual stage built with stunning visuals and customized interactions that fit each artist’s unique style.
K-Pop Concert Streaming Service Launches With SuperM, WayV, NCT Dream And NCT 127
TRAVIS SCOTT & FORTNITE
Live streaming platforms:
Digital Readiness and Innovation in Museums, Knight Foundation Report
Rapid Fire Reflections
Performing arts centers and art institutions worldwide had it tough, as they lost all box office revenue and major sources of funding.
As an artist and producer, I, perhaps naively, imagined these institutions would implement a design thinking methodology to reinvent themselves and:
Reimagine the venue’s physical space: inside, outside, its meta role in society
Host PACathons: hackathons engaging the community to rethink what art institutions could be
Leverage Crowdsourcing- Crowdfunding- Crowdcreating
2020 is the year when Art thrived as a service.
REIMAGINING THE OUTSIDE of the building to engage the community, and activate happenings. The architecture as a canvas, billboard and platform.
Project and broadcast live performances or past ones. i.e: New World Symphony WallCast
To understand market desire and sentiment, transform surveying as an art activation, a civic interactive game (via mobile app) projected on the surface of the building.
Engage visuals artists, dancers, writers, performers and digital artists to create installations
3D mapping festival highlighting local artists
A building that plays music
Film Festival Stream, i.e: Screen Dance Festival
Engage visual artists to paint the Building. Take Art to the community.
Project Interviews highlighting members of the community
Deploy Podcasts (pay to hear?) i.e: Chaz Smith and Jane Elliott
Augmented Reality treasure hunts
REIMAGINING THE INSIDE/real estate of the building:
Peephole-cameras: watch from anywhere in the world- multiple artists/groups use the venue in time slots
24 hour performances available around the world- built in cameras- immersive theatre shows
Multi-use purpose: rethink the Performing Arts Center's space as a co-working, co-creating, pop-up, ghosts labs, space rental...
Interesting approach when building a new center> check out the world’s first fully demountable stadium
Who needed space? Who could have made use of the space?
REIMAGINING THE PLATFORM Revisiting and recalibrating the mission of a Performing Arts Center (PAC):
What if a PAC was not a building but a facilitator, a producer of creative innovations, artistic activations, curations, around the city. What if we stopped thinking of the venue as a the space where shows happen and as an incubator of work instead? Where the entire city becomes the stage:
Think of all the stores and restaurants that are closed as potential stages and partnerships
Swimming pools and decks
Roof tops (drone show)
Online and Social Media platforms: What if a show happened inside a Wikipedia page? Or inside a google search bar? Or..
PAC as studio facility for content creatio, i.e: Netflix/Hollywood
Partnership with Apple TV- Netflix? Documentaries?
Shows do not need to be physical. The reach can be global
Virtual artists exchange programs, Social Media artists exchange programs!
Hire humans of all cultures, colors and creeds
Diverse curation / programming
Look at online content makers (Youtube, Podcasts, Instagram, TikTok, etc) - don’t limit your programming to the physical
Diverse Programming voted by the community and tracked on a digital ledger?
Crazy idea: Can the public buy stock or invest in a new piece of art and get a return on investment if the work succeeds?
Dematerialize and Digitizing when possible
Send people (hand crafted?) masks ahead of time branded to the show
Hire artists to create DIY social media videos about safety protocols
LISTENING AND LEARNING:
Survey > Think of surveying as an art activation instead- a civic interactive game
Leverage Machine Learning and Human Intelligence as a prediction tool (Predicting Lockdown Lifts - When Will The U.S. Be "Open For Business?")
Consider door to door strategy, build a human rapport with the community. Door-to-door canvassing as an art project, a gift, an offering.
To be continued....
To be explored
To great re-imaginings!
Links and thoughts jolted down during the COVID-19 Pandemic.