Sunday, 29 March 2009

864 - Free Seas Freeze?

First thoughts...

June 8th is World Ocean Day. North Tyneside is planning a coastwide weekend of events, and a whole bunch of artists and other creatives (but hey, we're all creatives, right?) have been approached by North Tyneside's Artistic Director, Keith Barrett, for ideas.

There are likely to be competitions, street performers, public outdoor artworks, maybe music and dance, up the coast from North Shields to Whitley Bay and beyond. It may be that many communities beyond North Tyneside will be taking part.

The idea I'm wanting to pitch I imagined, initially, as some form of flash mob activity. I pictured a crowd converging on a pre-arranged spot along the coast, for example on the beach below Rendezvous Cafe, and, for five minutes or so engaging in some kind of coordinated activity, before dispersing. The best example I found online was a Big Freeze at Grand Central Station, New York.

But I think the idea's evolved. World Ocean Day exists to raise our respect for the oceans, and our awareness of the need to protect world oceans from global warming, pollution and exploitation. What if, rather than a self-selecting group of a hundred or so flash mobbers (might still work this way, though?), North Tyneside promoted the participation of everyone at the coastal festival in a two-minute (say) Big Freeze - a Free Seas Freeze.

Creating a free seas frieze, a kind of time-limited 3D postcard along Tynemouth Long Sands, Cullercoats Bay, Whitley Bay and up to St Mary's Lighthouse. There could be some kind of time signal, a flare, cannon burst or fog-horn. Everyone who wanted to would stop still. And after two minutes we'd unfreeze.

That's my pitch, anyway. At present.

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