Theme: Local/Global
Host(s): Neil Bromwich, Jane Miller
Guests: Scott Constable (artist); Trevor Horsewood (ACE); Allie Majer (Meridale Community Centre); Jon Rogers (TVSS); Douglas Thackway; Lora Yeates (Folly)

How does TVSS relate to local / live audiences and appeal to a broader arts/web audience?
NB and AM were able to describe the ways that In Search of a Small Planet had involved diverse groups of the Sutton-on-Sea community, and most especially local young people, throughout the duration of the project as well as during the live webcast. There was a later discussion about the practicalities of using the TVSS experience as a springboard for further youth work in the area.

Due to the technological difficulties during the early part of the webcast, Blackpool's Grundy Art Gallery had been unable to maintain its audience, which had visited specifically to watch Virtual Bootleg live and which did not identify with subsequent projects being streamed from other locations.

The high attendance at the live Generic Sci-Fi Quarry performances indicated a significant following of both a local and specialist audiences - i.e. Oxfordshire residents and Radiophonics fans.

There was recognition of the rich aesthetic experience of "being there" for the live events; also, a comparative for the audience to re-visit the webcast as an archive.

There is no way of knowing the extent to which local audiences at live events appreciated TV swansong as a whole project.

There was discussion about the potential limits in interest or understanding that the cultural identity of a local project might impose on a wider audience.

The view was expressed that access to the project archive may now be made available to a broader (new) audience, especially offering TVSS as an exemplar of excellent practice and initiative.

TH's question relating to the cultural and artistic politics of access (socio-economic + technological implications re exclusion, etc.) led to a discussion about the potential for TVSS to be a vehicle for setting up an international network to develop increased accessibility to internet-based artwork.

LY commented on the ingrained cultural perspective of 'TV as leisure / computer as work' as a constraint to developing global engagement in artwork presented via a computer, and questioned ways of shifting this perspective as a means of increasing access.

Discuss the access strategy for TVSS.
JM described the access strategy as being initially funding-led, i.e. designed to ensure a spread throughout the regions, and spoke of the commitment and endeavour evident at each individual venue - commenting, also, on the TVSS venues as representative, but not exclusive, new media showgrounds.

There was general discussion about the breadth of access facilitated by the TVSS marketing strategy, the potential for e-marketing to increase access and the need for networks to be in place to allow such an exercise to become truly global.

Funding criteria and other issues were discussed, especially with regard to £ allocation for 'risky' ventures. SC informed that US funding for such a project would tend be corporate (research & development) and therefore perceived as an investment rather than a risk-take.

DT suggested that TVSS had been trademarked by honesty and understanding of both its potential and its limitations. In the way that art should provoke thought, TVSS has succeeded in raising questions rather than
merely providing answers, and that it has set a forum for debate that will continue.

Very few people could have experienced TVSS in its entirety - how does this 'partial' view affect the work/experience?
This final guideline question wasn't taken up directly, although the point was made that the viewing public are long accustomed to 'snapshot' intake from galleries, museums, live performance, TV, music, radio, etc. - and that the TVSS archive further permits a selective process of ongoing access to the 'whole show' at any individual's time and pace.

A number of general comments emerged from the discussion:
The last 3-4 years has evidenced accelerated use of networked technology - largely educational, scientific, social, informative - but new media arts institutions do not appear to have established global networks.

Community as a semantic, rather than simply a reference to the local ... how can more global communities access web-based art? Who's mediating? What are the gateways?

The quality of archived art-based webcasts appears variable.

In the retro-adaptive debate, who's leading who? - i.e. artists leading technology or technology leading artists

The problem that new media has is that it's difficult to
corporatise the internet.

The TVSS archive records a pioneering project of the highest ambition and quality.

Jane Miller 05.08.02