Simupoem Open Call, shortlist of nine, June 2021 (part of Sussex Festival of Ideas)

An open call was made for a maximum of fifty Simupoems (defined below), and from those, nine were shortlisted and one, by Gemma Gore, selected for streaming and screening across numerous platforms on 11th June 2021. This approach, or Distributed Device Screening (DDS), not only exploits the ubiquity of devices, hand-held and otherwise, to showcase work, but also encourages active feedback. Evidence of viewing provided by participants in turn forms documentation of the event (see below). The emphasis is on engagement, using technology and spaces which are readily available or underutilised, a DIY and guerrilla attitude. (Note also that the global screening day began in the earliest time-zone (known as UTC+14) and ended in the latest time-zone (UTC-12), giving a total time period of 50 hours, not 48 as you might expect).

Simupoems are being defined here as looping films, a few minutes in duration, with the emphasis on dynamics and poetic, musical or perhaps mathematical concerns, visually interpreted, rather than narrative based. Within these limitations, a wide variety of possibilities remain, as is evident in the nine shortlisted films. Editing conventions can be ignored or abided by, and there was no compulsion to basically entertain. Production values ranged from highly polished to intentionally lowtech. Simupoems may incorporate appropriated imagery and assets. Comparisons with ubiquitous contemporary digital phenomena such as the screensaver, desktop background, or gif aesthetics, are not being shied away from, but the submissions varied dramatically from being discordant to consoling, or comedic to intentionally sober.

Micheál O'Connell interviewed on the subject at the festival in June 2021:

The nine shortlisted films by Pablo Carrión Delgado, Zoran Dragelj, Geraint Edwards, Gemma Gore, Paavo Lyle Smythe, Peter Morgan with Neal Greig and Mog Fry, Issy Robertson, Anna Stevens and, Allison Tanenhaus with Maria Finkelmeier, are embedded in that order below. It is suggested that you fullscreen before pressing play and be aware that not all the films have soundtracks:

Gemma Gore's Nocturn I selected for global screening

Evidence of watching Gemma Gore's Nocturn I (compiled on the embedded Padlet below) was returned by the following (sixty) individuals across the planet on 11th June 2021: James Aldridge, Jocelyn Allen, Jeremiah Ambrose, Odette Campbell, Orlando Chasey, Rachel Cohen, Stace Constantinou, Sandra Crisp, Claudia de la Torre, Laura Eldret, Evelyn Ficarra, Chris Fite-Wassilak, Lucas Gabellini-Fas, Benna Gaean Maris, Cheryl Gallaway, Ellen (neighbour of Cheryl), Abi Gilchrist, Jonathan Gilhooly, Emma Green, Paul Grivell, John Halpin, Craig Havens, Doug Haynes, Mishka Henner, Martin Heron, Tim Hopkins, Ed Hughes, Yorgos Karagiannakis, Aaron Krach, Sam Ladkin, Sarah Lee, Rob Lemkin, Lisa Levy, Abi Lewis, Clio Lloyd-Jacob, Amanda Loomes, John MacLean, John Marchant, Paul McConnell, Caroline Molloy, Janina Moniska, Peter Morgan, Daniella Norton, Micheál O'Connell (obv.), Jason Price, Daniel Pryde-Jarman, Jennifer Redmond, Issy Robertson, Jon Sayce, Nicola & Julia Schauerman, David Schulz, Julie Samuels, Mark Sheerin, Andrea Slater, Mike Stoakes, Jonathan Swain, Beth Troakes, Penelope Umbrico (who tried anyway), Wil van Iersel, Jamie Wyld and Joanna Zylinska.

Padlet of images from global screening