Artists are intrigued by the possibilities of social media, a fascination that they share with commercial enterprises, institutions, marketing strategists and your old granny. In 2010-2011 the share of the U.S. over-55's on Facebook quadrupled to 9.5%, because of a more than nine-fold increase in the numbers, to just under 10 million creaky Facebook boomers.
It's no surprise that Austin with its happily volatile mixture of knowledge industries and creatives is exploring that fuzzy junction of social tech and art.Beth Burns and collaborators at her Hidden Room Theatre, particularly the gifted actor and technological practitioner Robert Matney, have cobbled together with London's Look Left Look Right theatre an alluring trans-Atlantic theatre experiment. Adjusting themselves both to time zone differences and to the disynchronous switches to daylight savings time, the companies convene again this weekend on Saturday and Sunday for You Wouldn't Know Him/Her, etc. You can 't get a ticket, by the way, at least not in Austin, for all twenty-five places in the east Austin loft apartment are filled for the 3 p.m. sessions on Saturday and Sunday. Promoters had announced the venture for all four weekends in March but have for unspecified reasons curtailed to only two.
But you can join in directly, on-line, thanks to some crafty engineering via the Round House Theatre in London, venue for the UK participants. The theatre's live feed will feature both Skype video feeds as well as a edited and controlled Twitter feed of comments you and others generate using the tag #TexasLondon.
Austin principals in person and London principals in remote will engage SXSW media visitors tomorrow, Saturday, March 12, with a discussion of the experiment.