About the Project

Active Ingredient Presents The Fantasy A-List Generator
Broadcast Yourself
13th June - 10th August 2008

Active Ingredient trawled You Tube looking for celebrity interviews. From these interviews they took the questions asked, rather than the answers. These questions form the basis of The Fantasy A-list Generator, the context is altered by re-asking them randomly to members of the public. How does the meaning of these questions change when asked outside of their original setting and interpreted from another persons point of view? Can we provide better answers than the celebrities?

The Fantasy A-list Generator is about both intimate and public space. In a private video booth with the option of adopting a disguise, an automated system asks you questions that range from global significance to fawning banality. Do we disclose things to camera, that we wouldnít in normal situations even when we know it has a public platform?

Broadcast Yourself was shown at the Hatton Gallery as part of the AV Festival 08

The context of the current work is rooted in Active Ingredients previous work with internet broadcast media.

History of MakeTV:

Moon Radio WebTV
Sarah Thom, 2000
To download broadcast click here,
you will need Real Player, to view this file.p

Active Ingredient have been working with streaming media since 1999. The first experiments took place in collaboration with the digital arts platform event, Trampoline. The two Nottingham based artist-led companies began to build up the necessary technology, trawled the net for ways and means and did their first test broadcast from Broadway Media Centre, in 1999. The excitement of seeing video of themselves transmitted from one side of the room to the other, via the server in America, echoed the excitement of the opportunity to broadcast to an audience of many - anywhere in the world, live, the potential for artists seemed endless.

These early experiments led to the two companies collaborating to set up Moon Radio webTV an artist broadcast channel that attempted to experiment with live broadcast, the emphasis being on the live elements but also enabling many of the filmmakers and artists working in this area to also distribute films via the web, pre-YouTube, using the real media format.

Moon Radio webTV went on to host several weekend events of broadcast, commission artists to explore LIVE broadcast on the internet and host events in real spaces alongside the Trampoline nights, at Broadway Media Centre in Nottingham, providing an opportunity for themselves as artists and other artists in the UK to experiment with this new medium.

Moon Radio webTV
Frank Abbott presents Drop Down Menu, 2004
To download broadcast click here,
you will need Real Player to view this file.

Moon Radio webTV ended with a season of work, curated by Kelli Dipple (now live streaming curator at the Tate). This programme commissioned UK based and international artists to make work that was interactive in a live broadcast context, so that the audiences could participate and interact with the artists live on the web, the programme included a live narrative performance from Mexico; a phone-in internet radio show with animated characters and a DJ; and a live cooking show where people could choose which visuals and audio they wanted to watch and chat live with the cooks and dinner guests.

The Internet broadcast revolution truly happened when Macromedia Flash developed the Flash Communication Server and a plug in and play solution became available. Developers could build websites that enabled a webcam to be plugged into the viewers computer to automatically pick up a live video image, that could then by broadcasted on the Internet. Active Ingredient built MakeTV out of this technology, finally being able to bring together all their ideas about what LIVE and INTERACTIVE broadcast could be.

Moon Radio webTV
Active Ingredient present Chemical Garden, 2004
To download broadcast click here,
you will need Real Player to view this file.

Merging live video with a social networking environment, MakeTV constructed a live programme of self moderated videos, 15 minutes of fame where every audience member could be a producer of content, and anyone anywhere could be the audience. Active Ingredient designed the time loop where 48 hour rotating live programme could be added to, viewed and recorded.

Active Ingredient hosted several events that used MakeTV as a new space for artists, which included the ongoing collaboration with Trampoline and the Radiator Festival, Sideshow (A Brit Art fringe event), Dislocate and Nottingham Trent University. The programme ncluded new works developed for MakeTV by artists who had worked with Active Ingredient through Moon Radio webTV, since 2000 including: Jordan McKenzie, Sophia Lycouris, Frank Abbott, Sarah Thom and Elyce Semenac, Gareth Howell and Jeanie Finlay.

MakeTV
Eye Candy for Sideshow, 2005
To view this broadcast click here.

Frank Abbott for Sideshow, 2005
To view this broadcast click here.

With the advent of YouTube, Skype and Live video conferencing online, everything changed and finally anyone could have access to online video. The Internet is now full of opportunities for artists making video work. MakeTV is no longer live, as Active Ingredient moved their focus and resources towards making their own work.

Still, the question of live broadcast, interactivity, how audience can experience time and liveness on the Internet are still questions and possibilities that remain to be fully exploited. Integrating live video into all that the Internet has to offer, and enabling online audiences to have meaningful interactions with artists work online remains a challenge to artists, film makers and content producers.


About Active Ingredient:

Moon Radio WebTV
Ambient TV presents AV Dinners, 2004

Active Ingredient is an artist led company that specialise in interactive media. They attempt to unlock everyday magic from the rigid systems of new media, their innovative approach to new technologies has led them to national and international success.

MakeTV
Screenplay, 2005

Since 2005 Active Ingredient have created innovative projects that merge location, social networking, bio-sensing and play.

Active Ingredient continue to research into new uses of interactive video. Their work in this area involves an interdisciplinary approach to film and video, exploring interactive video on mobile devices, the internet, video in performance and with artificial intelligence.