Almost Perfect; almost possible

As I outlined in yesterday’s post, Emergent Game is going great guns at the moment with us going to Japan to do workshops as part of Dislocate08 and alongside project space hanare. These then feed into a weekend of intercontinental play and exploration as part of igfest.

And that’s only the stuff that’s happening next month…

Meanwhile, I’ve been approached by the Banff New Media Institute, Canada to apply for their Almost Perfect co-production residency that runs throughout November.

Apart from the obvious excitement of potentially being able to develop work at the Banff Centre, I’m regarding this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with the timing within the evolution of the Emergent Game series being spot-on and the peer advisers guiding the residency being incredibly relevant to my practice.

I’ve submitted a proposal to develop prototype hardware/software that can be placed in the game area that allows your average mobile phone to start interfacing with protocols such as Twitter, Flickr and GPS.

Our experience with Emergent Game so far has shown us a) that it’s a great framework for motivating groups of people to interact creatively but also that b) the extent to which people can use methods of engagement that are technically possible are limited by what features are available with their mobile phone. In the first iteration of Emergent Game we noticed a completely different style of play from a Ludens with an iPhone compared to the majority of participants using older, mid-range phones.

Using GPS and being able to access the internet whilst on the move are towards one end of spectrum that even has something like MMS at the other. Picture messaging may be possible, but cost often makes it prohibitively expensive. We need to overcome some of these hurdles in order to open up the accessibility and make Emergent Game more viable for larger-scale projects.

Before I can get to tackling these projects though, there’s another hurdle to get over: finding the funding to get me to Canada.

Coming so soon after the activities in Japan (I’ll be there for 4 weeks in total) it’s not going to be possible for me to self-fund the trip to Banff. I estimate I need about £3000 to cover airfare, accommodation, food etc.

Arts Council
have generously contributed to the funding of mine and Ana’s work in Japan, so for various, entirely understandable reasons they’re reluctant for me to simply put in another application to them. However, we’ve negotiated that I can put in a second application, but this could really only be for a maximum of half of the total budget and I need to match that with cash contributions from elsewhere (NB cash rather than support in kind).

The timing is incredibly tight, so logistically I need to submit any Arts Council application by the start of next week. That means I also need some ideas of where to get the match funding over the next few days.

So, this is a crowd-sourcing post: has anyone any suggestions for sourcing about £1500?