KineTXT is story-telling and text messaging experiment by Novak and myself as *spark. You could say we’re taking the cinematic form but taking the precisely opposite production process: rather than a singular directors vision, the film is an emergent property of that specific audience, in that mood, in that context, at that time. If you put a question such as ‘what do you want’ up on the wall of a bar, and ten people in that bar have the means to reply, and any one of those replies catches the interest and participation of a further ten people, can you create a chain reaction of participatory entertainment? This area is what KineTXT explores.

At the heart of KineTXT is the act of interpretation, receiving short pieces of text from the audience and transforming them into an ongoing narrative that in turn inspires further input from the audience. As such, KineTXT is both an installation - of text messaging infrastructure, display screens, animation and so on - and act of performance - the live ‘herding’ of text messages into a linear flow, the annotation of that flow with handwritten prose developments and illustrations.

Implementing this creative environment for writers and illustrators, we have had a successful run in 2008: KineTXT was a self-commissioned pilot for the after-dark strand of av festival, and was hailed as one of the highlights of the whole festival. From this we were commissioned to realise that pilot for the reopening of the Tyneside Cinema, developing the relationship between the texts and debuting a full-screen interactive for the audience - effectively a mini-KineTXT for them to manipulate from which the results are fed to the main canvas. We ran KineTXT at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts, programmed into the Thinking Digital conference, and at the Designed and Made gallery to help launch their PRISM exhibition. The year was rounded off by being selected for ImageRadio, a festival of new media in public space in Eindhoven, Netherlands. For this we held a performance with local writers and illustrators as part of the opening gala, with the KineTXT system recording its state and then replaying this throughout the festival.

This video is an edit I made from footage shot at the pilot by Culture Lab, Newcastle University.

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