Tag Archives: unesco

Digital Archaeology – building the future archives for the Arts

23 Aug
cc Big Data Water Wordscape by Marius B

cc Big Data Water Wordscape by Marius B

One of the key things I have been thinking about and working on is how the digital data of projects and work we have made will form part of the future of archaeology. How the data will relate to the spaces and the collective memories of artists, participants and audiences.

This has formed part of my thinking whilst working on the Unesco project for York, which was was recently designated the first City of Media Arts in the UK, as part of the global Creative Cities Network. Here the city joins a network of 68 other creative cities across the world with designations which include – music, film, design, food, literature, folk art and our own, media arts.

For me the definition of what constitutes media arts is broad and far reaching and it involves the integration of new media technologies into creative practice and social exchange. This includes disciplines such as video games, computer animation, digital and interactive art, sound art, film, television and theatre.

It is clear to many, that that there is a strong heritage and archaeological emphasis on York’s historical past within the City. For many visitors this is a key aspect of their visit – to see the Minster, the Jorvik Viking centre, the Roman foundations, the Mediaeval Walls or the National Railway Museum to name but a few.

But in this historical DNA of the City runs a bright seam of innovation, be they the Roman water systems, the railway engineering or more clearly the stained glass windows of York Minster. It is here we need to stop and think about those windows, and realise that they were of course the cinema, internet and television of their day. Their use of light, space, story was extraordinary and provided a shifting and colourful storytelling experience.

They were the media arts of their day.

Which is why I am keen to explore the future possibilities of how we can evolve the experiences and social interactions that the media arts can create. Sharing stories on and offline, in spaces and places can help to embed and build the future memories and narratives for us all. The data of these interactions through sharing of pictures, stories, images, vines, videos, all tagged and geo-located will help to form the future archives and provide rich digital archaeological seam for future generations to discover.

It is key that Artists and Arts organisations come to realise their role in the work that they make and how they can help to build these future archives digitally and make them available and accessible. It is their connection with audiences and participants to help to build and grow these vast connections with data, stories and memories of the work that has been made and what is has meant to be part of it.

I am not able to walk up the steps of my office at Pilot Theatre without the memory of the HD projection of our co-production of Blood + Chocolate onto the building back in 2013. I am going to add to the digital archaeological heritage of the city by tagging this picture of my office below.Blood+ChocolatePilotTheatre

Marcus Romer – Artistic Director – Pilot Theatre

 York City of Media Arts

Live from #Seoul to #Yorkbizweek

18 Nov

Here we are live from Seoul talking to the leader of the Council of the City of York, Cllr James Alexander, as part of the York Business week. We were reporting back about the business and trade meetings we had – as well as the report on the UNESCO conference.


We did go live, and we managed to speak, but  half way through the connection dropped. We restarted at our end and we were live again but unfortunately time was against them at the conference and we couldn’t re-join them. We got feedback though that people did see us and it helped with the new International Strategy that was being launched at the event  by James for the City Council – We were definitely putting into action the global reach and aspirations of the City in a meaningful and direct way.


Temples, Tranquility, Trains and Talks… #Seoul Searching

18 Nov

Today was  a day when we headed from the CEOX Centre and into town. We had a meeting at The Seoul Tourism Bureau, but before that we had time to visit the beautifullly tranquil temple across the busy highway near the hotel.


We went inside the first temple


and across the quiet courtyard


to the next one


until we reached our final destination at the top of the hill


A tranquil haven from the bustle of the City. Which we headed back into for our meeting via the underground subway train


Very busy, and very crowded…


But the view from our meeting gave us some fresh air and space.


Before we headed back to the hotel as it was getting dark


Past the street food vendors


And newly decorated stores with Christmas lights


To get back to the hotel to the Business Centre where we booked the skype call to speak to York Business week’s conference at FERA in York






A taste of today – #Seoul Food

18 Nov

Downtown in the old part of the City we caught up with the hustle and bustle of the street food stalls.


Been to a peaceful Temple this afternoon #Seoul

18 Nov

Been a busy day today – a trip to the tourism ministry, a skype live link to York Business week – and a live Radio York interview – from Korea

A time out in the Temple across the road from the hotel was a welcome breather


Breakfast choices…

18 Nov

Fascinating choice and array of food for breakfast here…

What do you think I went for…?




or possibly…


in actual fact I went for…


With some kimchi (pickled chilli vegetables) and kiwi juice.


And it was amazing. 

Sky lounge – 30 floors up #UNESCOconf

17 Nov

At the top of the hotel – is the sky lounge – it feels like you are flying – up in the air – there is no balcony – but that does mean one thing – people are smoking in an enclosed space – shame – it clouds the view – and my desire to want to stay up here – forgot how unusual it is to see someone smoking inside – not being judgemental – just how quickly I had got used to rooms being not smoky – Am here taking time out before the day tomorrow.

We will be visiting the tourism bureau and then skyping in to York Business week at FERA.

Both Kersten and I will be interviewed live by James Alexander before he gives his keynote. We have done the Skype test, and I am looking forward to chatting and taking questions from the floor – about how things are going here.

Today has gone really well. The promo video went down really well and we both delivered a really strong and punchy pitch. We had 32 slides in 8 minutes, which meant we had each slide for no more than 15 seconds – a great way to use it. For those of you who know me – I am not a big fan of death by PowerPoint. At all. Then we finished with the 2 minute edit of the film. So a good strong and clear narrative.

All the delegates got the full version of the movie, and the designed booklet by The Beautiful Meme, plus the city document in both English and Korean.

So basically. That part of the job has been done, and actually judging from the feedback, post the event, it was extremely positively received. People have told us that the pitch was strong and clear and made them want to visit York.

So as I mentioned, a break in the sky lounge and a view for half an hour, on my own, allowing me the time to reflect, think, and write this post.

Catching up on work emails has been great too – amazing reviews for Blackbird which opened on Tuesday at The Tron in Glasgow. Four stars all round from the Glasgow Herald and The Scotsman. So again – well done all team Pilot from across the world, once more. Makes me really proud to work for the company – and to be able to work with such talented and creative teams.

In other news I am falling in love just a little bit more with this city. Went out for a walk and this is what I found out –

Seoul is incredibly clean, well lit, large, full of very clean cars, expensive bars, and with lots of younger people out, eating and sitting in windows of brightly lit restaurants. Apparently there is about 6% growth here at the moment, and the creative and cultural sector and its spin off industries are driving this at the moment.

There is a buoyancy here which is invigorating. It gives you energy and quickens your pace. It certainly isn’t sluggish. People walk with purpose, quickly and with intention. People smile. They make eye contact. They are friendly.

I like this. Yes there is a definite heart in this Seoul…


Welcome to York – #Seoul #UNESCOconf

17 Nov


Testing the keynote in the space before we spoke

The hall was starting to fill up, but I just managed to check all the tech was working

We spoke
It did
It went down well
Very well

A great response after a long day of waiting we were next to last to go

But Kersten did the city proud – and I followed up, gave the pitch, told the story an then hit them with the video

Great response from fellow candidates including, Sapporo who are also working in the same field as us.

We have a meeting with the Mayor planned. Very exciting indeed for York.

Meanwhile I have to get back to the Q and A – But just wanted to update you on the talk.

More later


The #York brochure written in Korean #UNESCOconf

17 Nov

A great looking fully translated brochure about York, fully translated and printed in Korean.

We have distributed those all over the centre and to all the UNESCO Creative City Delegates

Live Station ‘Egg’ #breakfast #UNESCOconf

17 Nov

Excellent Eggs this morning. We like this Live Station 🙂