This time we are at the Adelaide Fringe where we’ve teamed up with Sandpit to deliver theatre with digital at the core. And once again I’m extremely excited about both the theatre that we create and what we will learn from the experience.
“In collaboration with Google’s Creative Lab, Sandpit’s intimate performance features two ghosts (the audience) revisiting the kitchen(s) where they grew up, fell in love and refurbished, over 50 years. Audiences of two will (digitally) tune in to the inner thoughts of a couple at three stages of their life.”
Why are we so obsessed with how children play? It is a rich topic certainly; the mind’s ear resonates with the innocent delight of shrieks and yells, it carries us back to (hopefully) carefree reveries, and also crystallises some modern-day anxieties. Perhaps our romantic notions show some of the shortcomings of urban life. From planning and preparation, the careful scheduling of naps, the chauffeuring between parks and wet-play, our rational fear of unsupervised unstructured bedlam out beyond a clear line of sight, up into the trees and out onto streets. Not to mention getting them off the iPad to begin with. Why can’t it be like it was when we were growing up? ‘Child-led play’ has moved from being the natural default to a new metric in our parental optimisation schedule. How well is the city adapted to these needs? This question seems to be undecided.
AS THE creative director for Google’s Creative Lab in Sydney, Tom Uglow has a job many of us dream of, but what really goes on behind the colourful doors of one of the most innovative companies in the world?
Here, he shares what he has learned with The Collective magazine.
What we see today as being huge and difficult and complex simply won’t be huge and complex for the next generation. Take phones for example. They seem so ubiquitous, yet smartphones are good at distribution of information because of convenience, not design. In itself a phone does improve on what other ’things’ used to do. Before the phone came the personal computer, and before the PC, surfing the net meant mainframes. Before that we had books, cameras, maps, newspaper - the phone has aggregated all of these in digital forms mainly because it is the easiest 'device' to connect to the internet. Perhaps we should have seen that coming?
Head of Google’s Creative Labs in Asia, Tom Uglow, is about as far at the cutting edge of emerging technology, art and design as it’s possible to be. This year literature and books in all their forms are the focus of his attention. We asked Tom to tell us why and what he sees the future of reading and writing to be.
I wanted to write an essay about books: physical, electronic and the new kinds of digital books. It is a subject that preoccupies me. The recent Economist essay on digital and physical publishing is an excellent read, with an attempt at making a ‘digital book’. However it didn’t really get to the heart of the problem for me, since, unsurprisingly, it headed for the wallet. So this is an accompaniment to that article. This is about the other future of literature, not the industry, but the form: why we love literature, and what literature might become, in a digital world.