The first international platform for the discussion of mobile technologies, mobile art and mobile moving-image practice was launched in London in the end of June. It’s called FILMOBILE.
Max Schleser gives us an overview of the event, split over a few episodes.
The first international platform for the discussion of mobile technologies in relation to media culture, mobile phone art and technology took place at the Centre for Excellence, University of Westminster. Five internationally acclaimed industry speakers and an audience of 40 experts convened to open a discussion on the potential of mobile technologies.
The speakers reflected the whole spectrum of contemporary media industries, ranging from the international broadcaster Current TV to London based artists and filmmakers. London’s creative practitioners and key industry players made up the audience, provoking a vibrant debate and raising a number of significant issues for consideration. The event emphasised the need to establish a forum for the exchange of ideas and the transfer of knowledge between the disconnected specialist groups.
Max Schleser, filmmaker and co-organiser of the FILMOBILE project, opened the networking session. He screened extracts from the mobile-mentary project (www.mobile-mentary.co.uk); the first feature length project conceptualised for mobile viewing and simultaneous silver-screen projection. Alfie Dennen of moblog UK presented an overview of the cutting-edge mobile blogging projects he has pioneered in recent years, including www.wearenotafraid.co.uk (a response to the 7/7 terror attacks and one of the first and most famous UK blogging sites), and www.bigartmob.com (a collaboration with Channel 4 to create a fun public art archive).
He highlighted the connection of mobile devices to the Internet, noting that as a content production device, the mobile phone, has reached a standard comparable to miniDV and digital still cameras (although G3, UMTS and imode data streams are not yet at this qualitative level).
Predicting that the network providers will market flat-rate data access due to the saturation of mobile devices, Alfie envisioned the media landscape as a unified space in which media will be streamed to any device, citing USB as a standardised and universally acceptable data exchange format. Moreover he illustrated that while the mobile market and technologies are still evolving, there is real potential for individuals, artists, filmmakers and companies of any scale to contribute to the development of applications and products:
“You can do things really easily with sophisticated platforms and sophisticated technologies, and the barrier to entry to do anything on and with mobiles is actually a lot lower than people think” (Alfie Dennen – mobloguk)