Dot Dash

Photo by Jon Pratty

Dot Dash explores the America Ground online

Dot Dash is a six-month season of new digital arts and heritage programmes running from April to September 2020. It focuses on the America Ground in Hastings and features work by professional and non-professional creatives responding to the extraordinary stories we have been uncovering with the help of a range of researchers. Some stories are historical, some contemporary, some are magical realist, some are true, some we wish were true. All are original.

Our Past, Our Future
Our season begins with the release of 20 short digital pieces in spoken word, creative writing, photographs, video and animations. Our Past, Our Future was a month-long programme of creative media workshops for older creative people held at Hastings Museum during November 2019. The project was a chance to rewrite history through the participants’ own eyes and ears. We have created a project video, which explains how Our Past, Our Future came together and ran during autumn 2019. Throughout April and May we will be releasing the works on a weekly basis to YouTube. The videos can also be viewed on the OPOF page.

Salons
We follow that, from May to the end of July, with one-hour weekly Salons on Zoom and via Isolation Station Hastings. Each will be hosted by a creative artist who will invite into their space a small number of guests who offer particular expertise on their chosen theme, along with a ticketed audience. The finale will be the premiere performance on Isolation Station (or on the street) of Chris Thorpe-Tracey’s extraordinary song-cycle of the America Ground.

Visit our Salons page for more information about the Salons and how to be part of them.

A Derelict Chorale
Since early this year, America Ground artist-in-residence, Chris Thorpe-Tracey has been researching the period from the end of the Napoleonic Wars up to the clearance of what was once a thriving but illegal settlement in Hastings town centre, making it into a derelict land. He’s drawn from the stories he found to create twelve powerful songs which we’ll premiere in late July as a live performance on Zoom or, lockdown rules permitting, on the streets of Hastings.

The songs open up lives and incidents completely unknown to many in the town. They will be available from August on the Smart Heritage Map as music and lyrics with the composer’s commentary, contextualizing the material in historic accounts.

Visit the Derelict Chorale page for more information.

Rock On, Rock Fair
Since April Rosanna Lowe, writer and collector of stories, and archivist and writer, Julie Gidlow, have been working on what they describe as a ‘Motley Musical of Raggle-Taggle Folkery with Curious Characters, Rollicking Rides and Heart-breaking, Soul-shaking Songs’. The focus of the work is the historic Rock Fairs that took place in or close to the Trinity Triangle in Hastings over centuries, and how fairs are represented in Sussex folklore and folksong. Some of the research and development process will be conducted online as Salons or workshops, with the ultimate aim to create a work that can be performed by community participants in the town centre.

Beginning in late May and running through to the end of July, Rosanna will lead three Salon sessions, one with two regionally-based folk duos Lunatraktors and Rokurokubi, in an exploration of the music of fairs. Watch this space for news of the Salons and creative writing and song-writing workshops that will help shape the work, all of them conducted on Zoom. You can also visit the Rock On, Rock Fair page.

All new Dot Dash works will be hosted on the Smart Heritage Online Town Arts Map smart-heritage.co.uk, with links via social media: facebook.com/mslhastings | t: @MSLHastings | i: msl_hastings | facebook.com/isolation.station.hastings

Dot Dash is supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Our Past, Our Future is supported by The Space.

Work with us.

We create our projects with real people and places in mind. We like to work with our clients, our partners, our participants to develop original and distinctive work.

Give us a call to get started.