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Prayers to the Tech Gods / 15 March 2013

Just four weeks to go now until my Bedding Out performance gets underway and the nerves are definitely kicking in.

Last week, thanks to the wonders of Skype, I directed the technical fit of the installation from my bed, and technology is looming large in this project in ways I never predicted when it started out.

Last autumn, at a previous version of the work, several people got in touch, really excited that it was making them more visible, but unable to attend in person because of their own bed-lives. This time, Bedding Out is using social media in a big way to bring absent people into the performance.

First of all, the 48 hours of the performance will be livestreamed throughout (such a great idea when I thought of it, but never having felt an urge to be in the Big Brother house, my trepidation is increasing by the day!)

As part of the performance, I hold a series of Bedside Conversations, with people gathered round the bed to talk about the work, its background and its politics. Previous conversations ranged far and wide across benefits, newspaper propaganda, hate crime, art as activism, and much more, with people going surprisingly deep and trustingly into the issues. This time, the conversations will be livestreamed with audio, British Sign Language interpretation and live captioning.

The second social media element is the #beddingout twitter feed that is already well underway. I’m working with the wonderfully creative Dawn Willis as ‘tweetmeister’, using twitter not just to publicise the work but to bring people into the bigger conversation and encourage them to make the project their own. One of the Bedside Conversations this time will be solely twitter-based, with over 50 people already signed up to take part. The twitter feed will continue in the lead up to the performance and throughout the 48 hours, feeding into the other Bedside Conversations and displayed live in the arts centre alongside the performance.

This is such an experiment, something that makes my heart soar and my stomach lurch in equal measure. It’s a prayer to the tech gods and a fervent hope that people do pitch in and make the work do something.

I’m beginning to hear from individuals and groups internationally making plans like these:

• To pitch in to the twitter feed: to give their response to the work, talk about the issues raised and join in the twitter Bedside Conversation
• To stream the work at their event or conference
• To watch the performance in a disabled people’s organisation, campaigning group, student seminar, etc: to tweet it, blog it, and keep the conversation going
• To use the work as a trigger to produce their own art-activism.

So here’s how you can join in:

Via the web: You can watch Bedding Out throughout its 48 hours at www.roaring-girl.com.

Bedside Conversations (duration 40 minutes) will be live streamed with audio, BSL interpretation and live subtitles: Wed 10 Apr 2.00pm and 6.00pm, Thu 11 Apr noon (via twitter) and 3.15pm, Fri 12 Apr 10.15am.

On Twitter (@RGPLIzCrow #beddingout):
You can follow the work – and join in! Tweets will include live updates on the performance, audience reactions and Bedside Conversations, as well as responses to individual tweets. Tweets will be fed into conversations and there will be an all-twitter conversation on the Thursday at noon.

Anyone not on twitter can text us: 07784 899514 (outside the UK take away the 0 and add +44) and we can upload what they say to twitter. Typing ‘MySecret’ before the text, means we will tweet messages anonymously.

www.roaring-girl.com/productions/bedding-in-bedding-out
@RGPLizCrow   #beddingout   07784 899514