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Links Round-Up: Holiday Spirit

I’ve had Christmas songs orbiting my brain for these past two weeks. It’s great, but it’s also sending me slightly loopy – lucky, then, that Christmas comes but once a year!*

In the meantime, I’m going to distract myself with some stuff you can really get your teeth into – and may I suggest that you might like to too, dear reader?

Firstly we have a couple of items to mark off on your calendar for 2011.

The Broadway are launching their Digital Innovation project, seeking proposals in the areas of digital culture and emerging artistic practices that engage with technology. From their press release:

We’re looking for innovative proposals for new work that reflects the current concerns for practitioners working in this area. We are keen to develop new work focused around emerging hybrid practice in digital culture and media arts. The project has been funded by Arts Council England, as part of wider investment in digital development to explore how digital media technologies are affecting the creation, distribution and consumption of the arts.
Broadway has invited associate thinkers, who are highly regarded in this field to each develop a speculative text about the possibilities for four distinct areas of current practice.
Applicants are encouraged to write their proposals in response to, but not limited to the below areas of focus:
  • Co creation / Online Space
  • Pervasive Gaming / Urban Screens
  • Re-imaging Redundant Systems
  • Live Cinema / 3D
Please read the guidelines for more information.
The programme will take place across the East Midlands from February- June 2011. Running alongside the commissioned projects will be a support programme, which will include Digital Forums, Mentoring and Workshops.
The call for proposals is open to emerging or established practitioners working in any of the creative industries, including (but not exclusively) new media, technology, film/video, the arts (music, literature, dance, drama, visual arts etc) and design (graphic, 3D, architecture, fashion, interaction).
Your proposal should demonstrate a clear interest in and commitment to delivering a research project which demonstrates new thinking about digital innovation.
We welcome applications from individuals, collaborators, groups and organisations from all sectors of the community. The lead practitioner must be based in the East Midlands region.
That sounds fairly wide-ranging, so if you have an inkling that this project could go somewhere for you, get working on your proposal – deadline for submissions is 5pm, Monday 17th January 2011, or for more information, see the Broadway’s Call for Proposals landing page.
Also coming up in the new year is a residential writing weekend with Alt.Fiction,  25th-27th February. This group hosts a series of events year-round, focussing specifically on horror, fantasy and science-fiction. At the residential weekend, you can expect guest speakers, workshops, feedback sessions and expert advice, all in the comfort of a listed property in the heart of Nottinghamshire. Cost £180, covering two nights’ accommodation plus all meals and soft drinks, as well as a full programme of writerly goodness. See the event page on the Writing East Midlands website for more.

Occasionally a link drops into our inbox which uncovers a deep vein of valuable material, ready to be mined and smelted into inspirational gold. This week, that linky-nugget takes us over to the Because It’s Good website, focus of a community of digital communicators in the charity sector. They post a couple of articles a week, and the most recent article, ‘Designing Backwards – Putting Your Users First’, links neatly into the most recent Nott Tuesday event, which covered the lean startup methodology. In each case, we are challenged to shift our focus, away from content or product, and towards the end user. What’s the point, the thinking goes, in designing a revolutionary new product or having a hugely important campaign, if no-one engages with it? Food for thought indeed…

Finally, if you’re getting a little anxious over neglecting your present-buying duties, the ever-dependable Nottingham Craft Mafia have your back, with not one, but two events over the next few days. Tonight at the design circus in West Bridgford, you can enjoy mince pies and mulled wine whilst shopping ’til late, and Saturday sees the Hopkinson Gallery hosting the third and final Christmas Craft and Vintage Fair. Phew.

*The exception, of course, being any of those poor souls working for the numerous ‘Christmas!!’ marquees that have sprung up around the country. These enormous big-tops host corporate Chirstmas party evenings that you may yourself be familiar with, usually starting around mid-November. It’s a novelty attending them as a punter, but next time you set foot inside one of these carefully orchestrated Winter Wonderlands, spare a thought for the staff; damned as they are to ring out Christmas every evening for 40+ evenings…