Saturday, 21 December 2013

happy solstice

Hello to the world out there (all eight of you, or whatever). For anyone who doesn't know, I've been on medical leave since shortly after my last blog post, and will remain on leave until 1 April.

Here's to more sunshine!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

the whirlwind whirls on

That trip to Gateshead and Stockton was *amazing*. Claire and I ran through our show, Recalibrate, for ARC Stockton's chief exec, Annabel Turpin. What a lovely human being! Sharp, perceptive, and quick in her responses - and such a kind, calm, patient audience! I swear, I think we felt more relaxed with Annabel there than on our own. She gave us some great advice to think about, and then started talking schedules.


So be on the lookout for Recalibrate at ARC Stockton sometime in the spring, hopefully May-ish.

Of course it goes without saying that a few days working with Claire are always good for the soul. It should also go without saying that I was just across the river from the epicentre of all things festive. Sadly for my liver, we crossed the river... (Wow, is that a country song in the making, or what?) Which leads me to the moral of this blog post:

Never party with Geordies!

Or rather, party with them only when you can spare the inevitable damage to mind and body. I woke up very, very late the next morning, and found my toothbrush on the landing.

Can I just point out how remarkably unlike me that is? Ahem... But boy howdy, did I have a good time.

Then it was off to Barcelona for this year's conference of the International Federation of Theatre Researchers, where I found a fantastic home-away-from-home among the members of the Intermediality working group. Wow. Wow wow wow. I wasn't sure what to expect, and I was blown away by the depth and breadth of engagement with intermedial performance. So, so, so much to learn! But I also felt like I made a contribution. Best of all possible worlds.

Thus ends Jocelyn's Conference Tour 2013. But it's not over til the fat lady sings, and I'm off to Edinburgh in a week and a half to see shows at - and perform at - the Edinburgh Fringe! But that should get its own post.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

it was that good

I figure the only way to make up for my embarrassing silence over the past two and a half months is to say that THAT was how amazing CHI was, and Story4, and DS8, and I/O, and every other thing I've been dashing off to see or participate in. Now I'm off to Gateshead and Stockton to work some more on Recalibrate. Details to follow, I swear!

Sunday, 21 April 2013

a techy thing I learned today

Here's a word to those of you who might be embarking on a similar task to mine, and might be similarly clueless as to the inner workings of the localhost (which kinda sounds like the breeding ground for some Alien-inspired, inhuman, possibly undead parasite, coming to catastrophic maturity up in the attic, just a few feet away from your slumbering head...)

If you inherit your Funding Body's old laptop, and migrate the contents of your old one to the new one, you will turn on said new one with a gasp of joy! There is every last bit and byte of your old life, miraculously and painlessly appearing on the screen of a faster, bigger, cleaner machine!

Then, when you discover that Mountain Lion requires you to reconfigure your Apache server and all your associated PHP-y, SQL-y things, you sigh in annoyance. But never fear - the same guy who wrote the foolproof explanation of how to set it all up in Lion has also written a Mountain-Lion-specific version.

And it works! Like a dream! Until you try to run your own stuff on localhost, and it tells you it can't connect to your database.

Now, run with me here: you have migrated the entire contents of your old machine to the new one, yes? You've got all your browser history, all your preferences, even a full trash can.

What you don't have is any of your databases. You need to recreate them before you can do anything.

Do not ask me how long I struggled with this before figuring it out... and do not ask how I figured it out, because actually it was the Funding Body who had the idea - which I initially poo-poohed, before giving it a try.

(You can read between the lines of this post to guess why I haven't yet written about my fantastic experience at the Performing Documents conference in Bristol last weekend...)

Thursday, 21 March 2013

boing boing boing

Spring, it has sprung, or so they say. Right now things are all about forward movement--sussing out possibilities for after the PhD (what a glorious phrase!), visiting cities and countries I've never seen, trying out new skills.

It all makes me feel very, very springy. It makes me want to hurry the daffodils into full bloom. Right now, the vanguard is looking floppy and straggly, mostly likely due to southern England's return to damp and cold. (Note to readers who don't know me well: this about sums up my understanding of all plant life.) It makes me want to leap off the train and snuggle a frolicking lamb. (And then eat it.) Apparently, it also makes me want to ramble like a big weirdo to anyone who will listen...

Next stop: Luxembourg! My lovely funding body and I will be at the airport this time tomorrow, on our way to a long weekend in Luxembourg and nearby bits of France. I'm trying to convince myself that Luxembourg will show itself off at its most charming in the sleet, wind and rain that are forecast for the weekend. I'm sure that no matter what, though, the weather will be more than offset by the charms of our host, Carine. So excited to feel out my fantasy of living in France, even just for a few days!

The following weekend might involve four days of cycle camping with our friends Stephen and Miki. Then again, the way the weather is looking, it might not. Two years out of four, our Easter weekend cycle camping efforts have ended in sleet and snow and beating a hasty retreat--or not hasty enough, since both times we toughed it out for a night in the tent before slinking home on the train.

Then I'll have another meeting of the minds with my fantastic collaborator Claire Murphy-Morgan, fresh from a week's run of her show Editor at The Albany theatre in London. Onward ho, Recalibrate!

Then I'll be giving a paper at the Performing Documents conference in Bristol--which will involve me introducing myself shamelessly to just about fabulous person I've read about over the past two and a half years. Very exciting! I'm already having nightmares about being fed lots of parsley and poppy seeds and looking like a freak when I speak to them. (By 'having nightmares' I mean 'it just occured to me', but I'm sure I could conjure up a nightmare on the topic.)

And then, at last, I'll have a free weekend...

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

February HA HA HA

Oh, more comedy and yet more comedy! I was worried about posting only once a month - back in November!

/wipes tear from eye/

Did someone mention that I'm in my final year? Or perhaps that I'm finally in my final year, as I've decided to officially push back my deadline for a first full draft from 1 October 2013 to Christmas 2013. Why, you ask?

The answer is: the Spence World Tour 2013! Well, to be honest, it's more of a European tour with my friend Eli's wedding in New York thrown in for good measure. For those of you who don't know Eli, which I assume is most of you, his wedding is the surest sign yet of the impending apocalypse. But only in the best possible way! I refer purely to the chances of snowballs in hell, not to hell per se. We love Lisa!!!

My second and third Bright Club performances have come and gone. They were fantastic! I don't think I could have had a better time. If you search YouTube for 'Jocelyn Spence Bright Club' you'll find the first two. Not sure of the fate of the third one.

My piece with the fabulous Claire Murphy-Morgan, Recalibrate, is coming along super promisingly, and right according to schedule. This has the terrifying side effect that we're close to being ready to show it to people. Guess that means I'd better finish typing up the latest changes, and then, like, memorise it or something... Actual dates and places TBA.

Before that happens, I'll be giving a paper at the Performing Documents conference in Bristol in mid-April.

Then at the end of April it's off to Paris for CHI, where I'll be part of the fantastic-sounding Crafting Interactive Systems workshop, and then giving an alt.chi paper on Performative Experience Design.

Then in May it's Prague to give a paper at the 4th Global Conference on Storytelling, followed by a weekend in Berlin to check out some of the action at the Month of Performance Art. Not performing, sadly, but watching avidly.

Then in July it's Barcelona to give a paper at the IFTR conference. Never been to it - can't wait to see what it's like.

And between New York and Bristol, Ian and I will be spending a long weekend in France and Luxembourg with my lovely friend Carine!

Somewhere in there, I'm supposed to be doing a thesis. MORE COMEDY HIJINKS. I mean, seriously, when is this supposed to happen??? More to the point, I'm at the stage of needing to test my application. Yes, my foray into web design which started just in October/November is now over, and not unsuccessfully. So now I need guinea pigs! Anyone who's interested in finding out more, please ping me!

So that's why I've been incommunicado - deadlines upon deadlines upon deadlines. Now, not so much in the way of deadlines, more in the way of slogging. Therefore, I anticipate more in the way of procrastinatory blog-writing in the near future!