TechsmARTs: Interactive Media and Tech Savvy Audiences

Mark Gindick DramaTech Box OfLast week C4 Atlanta and the Office of Arts at Georgia Tech had the pleasure of sitting down with Mark Gindick to talk about his use of technology and social media in his one man show, Wingman, for our January TechsmARTs. During our discussion Mark spoke quite a lot about what it takes to integrate technology of this kind into live performance, and where the inspiration for his show came from.

 

 

 

If you missed our discussion you can listen full recording here:

 

 

DSCN2232Mark Gindick has been in residence with DramaTech for the last few months working in partnership with the students to find solutions and innovative ways to continue adding technology to Wingman‘s already tech-savvy experience. Their time with Mark was spent developing a new website which would be integrated into the audience’s experience watching Wingman.

The students were unable to join us Monday, January 25th for our TechsmARTs discussion, but they did send over some thoughts about their experience and time working with Mark and this new website.

Here’s what they had to say…

David Howard, DramaTech member & Technical Developer

Being able to track the activity of the website, I was honestly surprised at just how much it was used during the show. Not only was it used, but the audience was able to have fun with it without much prior knowledge beforehand. I think the more tech savvy audience members were able to more easily use it, but that only fueled the entertainment that went to the screen for everyone else. And while not every performance needs this kind of interactive element, this show proves the relatively untapped potential you can have with the interactive environment. On a personal note, it was a fun and slightly surreal experience being able to be in an audience using a product I helped developed. I do a lot of theoretical work and projects in the classrooms here, but I was never able to take our work into the live field until this show.

Christina Herd, DramaTech member & Web Designer

What stands out to me the most about working on this show is honestly the message the show presents to its audiences.  In this age, it seems that the digital version of yourself can be more important than your actual self, and Wingman points out (in the funniest, but heart breaking, way) that this is just not the case.  Knowing that this was the case made designing this site an amazing experience. David, Dennis, and I were designing a website for a show that promotes human interaction over digital interaction. In order to do this, we worked with Mark and Jason VERY closely during the lead up for the demo (early December) to make sure the site did what the show needed it to do. Final touches were completed in early January, and bam the website did (in my opinion) exactly what the show needed. Working with Mark and Jason was such a treat, and I am very honored to have had the small impact on this performance that I did. It is truly an experience I will not forget.  I feel the website makes the show seem Tech Savvy for an audience that may or may not have that quality. It was awesome to watch the young people who use twitter frequently interact with each other on screen, then see the older people being to pick up tweeting.  Being Tech Savvy is important in today’s day and age, and I think the way art is handling that is very interesting. I believe this is truly a transition period for theatre, and soon we will have some art incorporating audience smart phone use as easily as they do lights/sound/set/costume/props/etc.  Art reflects culture, and our culture has shifted to smart phones being the norm and social media being very important, and art will soon follow in that direction.

 

Thanks to everyone who showed up for this incredible conversation.

For more information regarding Mark Gindick and his work check out his website : http://www.wingmantheshow.com/

 

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