Here at Culturapedia, we have embraced the hybrid world. We have a small but growing gallery of digital art commissions on the Spot On website. ‘Hit the North’ by Matt Wilkinson explored Lancashire accents from different parts of the county through found poetry. 

We commissioned Elliot Flanagan just as Covid-19 hit. ‘Monument’ is a short film lamenting the social interaction we missed through coming together to share a cultural experience. 

 

A large building lit up by coloured projections
Monument by Elliot Flanagan, Blackburn Town Hall
A man and a woman sing into microphones on stage
Freeplay - On Music and Marriage

We worked with a group of young librarians from Lancashire to co-curate these commissions.  Hit the North toured to library and rural venues in the Autumn of 2019 and featured in the Burnley Literary Festival. Due to the pandemic, Monument couldn’t tour the same way but was projected onto Blackburn Town Hall over New Year 2021. We are currently planning another digital commission for 2022. 

In March 2020, the Spot On Spring season of live shows came to an abrupt halt. At this point, we came up with a plan that would give employment opportunities to underemployed artists (initially those that we’d cancelled) and keep Spot On in the public eye. 

Spot On Stories and Spot On Shorts are low-cost-self-capture videos by professional performers made freely available on Facebook and YouTube and targeted at library and rural audiences in Lancashire. 

Between April and July 2019, we put out two a week – one focused on children and families and the other on grown-ups. We will never compete with NTLive or commercial movies for production values without massive budgets. Most views have occurred on mobile phones, followed by tablets. People know and understand the difference between something they might see on the BBC and watching on YouTube. The difference in production values has not deterred YouTube viewing figures. Low-cost capture provides intimacy, immediacy and an audience connection that is not the intention with high-level productions. 

A woman faces the screen, a pile of books to the left of her
Ellen Renton - Coulter's Candy
A performer with red hair speaks into a microphone on stage
Rosie Garland - The Astronomical Menagerie

Our second season of Shorts and Stories was commissioned by The Space. We then followed up this project with Flash Fiction – even shorter stories featuring prompts to viewers for developing their own writing.

Our Shorts and Stories are analogue activities, recorded and shared digitally. Youtube and Facebook are our online gallery.

You can access our guide to low-cost self capture for artists on our resources page.

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