The Curzon Memories project was a collaboration between me, Dr Charlotte Crofts (UWE) and the Curzon Community Cinema, Clevedon. Between July 2010-April 2012 I worked closely with the cinema to explore how location-based media might be used to enhance their exhibition of the Curzon Collection, a collection of projectors and other cinema-related articles, and the cinema’s permanent Living History exhibition which is on display throughout the cinema building and was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund). In collaboration with Education Officer, Cathy Poole, I gathered digital video memories for the Curzon Memories project which have been used in educational films and screened in front of the main feature. I also piloted a number of digital technologies (a variety of “context aware” platforms such as GPS, QR codes, mobile phone applications, mobile internet, arduino circuits) with the aim to enhance the exhibition, enabling visitors to gain further insight into the history of the building and the equipment.
The outcome of this research is the award-winning Curzon Memories App, a mobile phone application which provides a tour of the inside and outside of the building triggering dramatisations and oral memories about the history of the building in the exact locations where they actually happened. The App was launched in March 2012 at a cream tea in the Oak Room cafe, just in time for the Curzon’s centenary celebrations.
The app was originally released for both Android and iOS in 2013. You can still download Android version. If you are experiencing the app remotely, click here to access a map of the QR Codes (please note that they may no longer be in situ at the Curzon).
The Projection Hero installation operates either as part of the App, or as a stand alone exhibit. It is a miniature cinema (about the size of a small rabbit hutch), with a laptop screen serving as the cinema screen, operational curtains and lights that can be controlled by a mobile internet interface triggered by a QR code on the cinema screen, situating you as the projectionist. The default programme of screenings consists of short films about the art of projection, but the films shown on the cinema screen can also be programmed, e.g. The Watershed’s 30th Birthday. I am currently developing a smaller version of this installation called The Fleapit which is more portable and easier to transport.
If you are interested in inviting me to come and talking about my work, or in hiring the The Fleapit installation for an event or festival then please contact me. I love talking about my research and am keen to reach as wide an audience as possible.
Thanks to Cathy Poole, Gareth Negus, Maurice Thornton, Jacqui Bressington, Lyndsay Davies and the Board of Trustees at the Curzon Community Cinema, Clevedon; Paul Gough, Richard Bond, Neil Phillips, Jane Arthurs and colleagues at Univeresity of the West England; Jo Reid and Tom Melamed at Calvium / AppFurnace; Tarim at Media Playgrounds; Jon Dovey, Constance Fleuriot, Sam Kinsley, Nick Triggs, Jess Linnington at the Digital Cultures Research Centre; Sy Taffel for video documentation; Simon Dorgan at Urbi et Orbi for building the Projection Hero box and hand carving the seats and all at the Pervasive Media Centre and beyond who helped test the various iterations.