Something about me

PhoneWhoI’ve recently completed my PhD at the Institute for Performance Research at Manchester Metropolitan University working in the intersections of Technology, Intimacy and Performance.

My early background is in the sciences, graduating with a Bachelors degree in Chemistry (University of Manchester) and a Masters in Instrumentation (UMIST) back in the 1980s. This particular science inclination was a result of being forced out of the Arts pre-sixth form when I wasn’t allowed to mix up humanities, art and science because it would have exploded the curriculum.

I broke out of the academic world  at the turn of the 80s – firstly producing the large outdoor site specific work of Dogs of Heaven. This company was initially conceived and birthed by full-time Artist Michael Mayhew, later becoming a loose-knit collaboration of the living. Half co-operative, half lunatic family gathering at Christmas and mainly a rush of creative energy that never quite knew where or how it was going to earth itself. More often amazing than not.

After a hiatus of occasional theatrics and mainly technology, design and other hi-jinks; I wrote and produced my first bit of studio theatre Remember Me. Initially as part of exceptional theatre festival 24:7, then out on its own and on tour. This brought me into collaboration with the excellent Sarah Myott-Meadows (and incidentally brought her in touch with her now-husband the talented Mr Myott-Meadows).

From 2008 I worked on dramaturgy with nascent Manchester based writers in the theatre development group Scriptworks. During 2012 I helped flesh out the theatrical vision of exceptional site-specific theatre company Happystorm – fiddling with language, logistics and technology (The Crypt: New Depths, 2012; Borderline Vultures, 2012). In 2013 I had the most brilliant time with superstar Hannah Walker and the inquisitive ball of energy that is Chris Thorpe – the pair of whom blessed me by letting me fiddle a little with their 2013 production I Wish I Was Lonely.

Working with the technical team at Contact, Manchester i’ve helped design and create telepresence projects embracing simultaneous performance, dance and music with artists and participants across the globe – mainly with like-minded technical art freak Jesse Ricke and moustachioed art-preneur  Billy Clark over at Culturehub. A rich vein of collaboration continues. My role at Contact typically combines both strategic input in the theatre’s digital strategy and various technical specialisms in live-streaming, telepresence, networks and multimedia/AV. Over at Contact’s YouTube channel there are a number of archived Live Stream events which demonstrate our commitment to a lo-fi approach to our own version of the NTLive streaming platform – and our aspiration to Stream by Default.

During the course of my PhD research I’ve travelled across the country physically and strode the world virtually, enjoying conversations, knowledge sharing and development of technological practice with some truly incredible people. In particular Ian Biscoe and Erik Geelhoed over at Falmouth University, who’s Fascinate conference was truly exciting and eye-opening, a kind of academic/cultural All Tomorrows Parties for the Internet of Things generation. I’ve also been lucky enough to reach out and touch the work of Blast Theory and Kaleider, and chin-wag with Kate GenevieveIldiko Rippel and Rebecca Gamble.

You can contact me by using the form below or on twitter where i’m @jasonjcrouch