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Puncture The Screen - Chronic Insanity - Mulling IT Over 2

Chronic Insanity is a Nottingham based theatre company.

I met Chronic Insanity’s Artistic Director & Creative Producer Joe Strickland during the Pandemic on a video meet up organised by Jen Toksvig, founder of The Larder, imaginiarium artist behind the Twitter restaurant Toksvigs who delightfully defies easy classification. Jen is a director, facilitator and creative producer I greatly admire. It was a meet up of Fairy Godparents that facilitated the crossing of our paths.

It’s the ‘support in kind’, ‘beyond the call of duty’, extending consciousness, making magic even when off the clock, all these are within the FairyGodparents remit!

Joe, on examining of his online profiles was not only a digital theatre producer (my current career pursuit trajectory) but Nottingham based too. ‘In the flesh’, ‘on the ground’ encounters are weightier in cognition than cloud, digital and online encounters I find. They can be lonely affairs. The physical encounters however I find unpredictable not to mention logistically, attentionally and geographically challenging.

But the truth is Ground or Cloud both require the commitment of time and attention. Anything having resources consumed in the form of human input comes at a cost. A cost encompassing food, life expenses to rent need return, and time given needs reward so nothing Ground or Cloud is free and consequently shouldn’t be free.

If on a rare occasion a show is fully funded with no expectation of profit the funders still require documentation in terms of an audience. Art and audience are intertwined where value for money and funders are concerned.

Puncture The Screen is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

Joe and Chronic Insanity are ‘opening’ Puncture The Screen on July 29th between 12 noon and 8pm then on July 30th between 12 noon and 7pm
11 events with 2 at the end of each day being live.

I spoke to Joe to find out more

PCM is offering PCM Adventures 3 festival passes which will be paid for by PCM. A gift from me. Message me on Facebook.

All the Puncture The Screen info.

Puncture The Screen is a data driven digital art and performance festival run by Chronic Insanity, consisting of digital art and performance, workshops, panel discussions, and educational opportunities for creatives and audiences alike.

The festival will run 29/07/21-30/07/21 and will be available on demand for at least two weeks afterwards.

They want this festival to show the full innovative strength of digital art and performance and to show off its accessibility, its sustainability, and its affordability for both creatives and audiences alike.

Full Festival Pass - £10 (3 FREE passes available to PCM Adventures)
Individual Event Pass - £5
Upgrade an Event Pass to a Festival Pass- £5

Available here (For a PCM Adventurers pass email me at [email protected])

The festival organisers, Chronic Insanity, are a theatre company from Nottingham that creates and facilitates live performance and experiences in traditional, found, and digital spaces. They are currently in the middle of completing their second 12 shows in 12 months challenge.

Find out more about them here!


Day 1 - July 29th

12:00 - The Next Best Thing by Emily Holyoake

14:00 - Introduction to Digital Theatre by Kill The Cat

14:00 - Introduction to Animating by Edalia Day

16:00 - Augmented Art by Tom Shennan

18:00 - Working with Isadora by Imitating The Dog (Live Event)

20:00 - Larkhall (Live Event)

Day 2 - July 30th

12:00 - The Ashes: World Tour by Naomi Westerman

14:00 - Introduction to Creative Captioning using Isadora by Tim Kelly

16:00 - Displacement Native by Michael-Jon Mizra

18:00 - Creative Infinity: How Digital Will The Future Be? (Live Event)

19:00 - message not sent by YESYESNONO (Live Event)

Unboxing #DinoHack - Mulling IT Over 2

Being away is giving me the literal space for my dyslexic brain to embrace the spatial freedom being out in the back of beyond affords my soul. I never feel I fit anywhere except alone and backstage. The control box, prompt desk (cue / QLab station) or sound desk give me places to straddle worlds. The world inhabited by the audience. It should be no shock to me that when not working in theatre I gravitated to event management. My first self produced events were a series of MediaCamps followed by a TEDx in 2012. The Nottingham MediaCamps were MediaCamps, Barcamp, Open-Space, Unconference hybrids.

I guess I know what these are but to get a grip on my upcoming event DinoHack there are a few premises to understand.

BarCamp is an international network of user-generated conferences primarily focused around technology and the web. They are open, participatory workshop-events, the content of which is provided by participants. The first BarCamps focused on early-stage web applications, and were related to open source technologies, social software, and open data formats.

MediaCamps were inspired by Warner Bros. Media Camp, an accelerator program that educated entrepreneurs to build innovative media businesses. Key features of Media Camp include presentations and workshops focused on media technology, formal mentorship from media industry experts, community events and knowledgesharing, as well as direct investments including partnerships and vendor relationships.

An unconference is a participant-driven meeting. The term "unconference" has been applied, or self-applied, to a wide range of gatherings that try to avoid hierarchical aspects of a conventional conference, such as sponsored presentations and top-down organization.

The final format I hold in my Disruptor’s of the Mundane tool bag is the Open Space event, (Open Space Technology) championed by Theatre Company Improbable in their Devoted and Disgruntled events.

Open Space Technology (OST) is a method for organizing and running a meeting or multi-day conference, where participants have been invited in order to focus on a specific, important task or purpose.

Writing this post I ask myself how familiar with these event formats. They are the foundation that gives DinoHack its potential and makes it special. I strive to produce events that welcome and engage whoever attends. Each attendee to have the best experience.

What will DinoHack be?
It’s primarily about making something cool, fun, educational, useful/informative for Dinosaur and all thing paleontological fans… Uber fans… geeks even.

A hackathon is an event where people take a subject, accept the challenge to look at it from a different perspective, apply creative thinking and computer smarts to the subject to make or generated ideas for a solution to the set challenge.

We are looking at dinosaurs, the time of the dinosaurs, looking at prehistory. The organisers setting the challenge tend to supply the data.

I once took part in a hackathon where attendees were challenged to make it easier to get around Edinburgh during the annual theatre festival. There were thinkers, coders, designers, data engineers, transport admins, festival organiser representatives, festival fans, IT staff from the city council and the hackathon organisers. I recall the teams took transport data and the festival programme to producer by combining a variety of data sets so being traffic related to create a working prototype of an app that found the best route between festival performances and suggested shows that would conveniently nest together to optimise a day where a start and end show was specified. Genius.

Hackathon is inviting and hotly anticipates that a wide selection of people may come together with a passion for Dinosaurs to come up with ideas for Dinosaur games, toys, apps, that can be picked up by host company Kids-IZ as a prize and support a winning team or involve the winning team in the development of their DinoHack idea.

My task is to find 40 likeminded Dino enthusiasts with a wide variety of skills to collect together for 2 days to consider what doesn’t yet exist but could given the data, talents and collective considerations of a groups to hack the theme.

So what is a hack? Like hack feature big on YouTube and TickTock. Combining everyday objects and repurposing items that solve a problem in a surprising and easy to replicate way. Using a clothes peg to secure an opened pack of sugar or to decorate the peg to make a gift that secures the top of opened food packs.

Dampening your fingers to give purchase to a new bin liner to separate with a Rubina of the fingers to open a stubbornly closed opening. Looping together safety pins using a safety pin. Folding socks into a roll tucked over to form a compact ball for minimising space in luggage for travel. These tips and tricks …. Hacks, they unconventional with the mundane.

A Merriam’s Dictionary puts it… a clever tip or technique for doing or improving something.

That word ‘improving’ is the key. Take what is already around…
Data about dinosaur researched and documents by academics, tasty Dino data, where fossils were found, who discovered them, the size, the bones the distance in the past, the shifting tectonic plates, and find a new way of interpreting, presenting, combining or reinterpreting the information to create a new something.

Mechanics, engineers, computer coders, get under the hood of toys and games. Illustrators, marketers, product developers, storytellers, theatre makers, educators all have a critical eye and creative imaginations to feed into the technical process that manifests new approaches.

Does that give a better view of DinoHack?

Mulling IT Over 2 - starting in Oban a 3wk unboxing


Over next few weeks I’m unpicking and sharing my mobile media capture, making, production and publishing process.

I use what I have to hand in the budget I can afford. Low cost is key for first timers too. Its the output practice. The workflow.

The journey to get here is the beginning. This annual holiday is about the unraveling and release of my internal dialogue. I get to examine my media making kit, I review my assistive tech. I try and make media I don’t get the chance to when doing projects for others. I try and write the eBooks that complete projects but never were required to sign off on the deliverable that got me paid. I let my mind roan the ponder.

I’ve got a body cam I’m experimenting with. This blog via email process. I have a box of tech which I thought essential to this vacation.

Let’s see.