It was a first of its kind - the audience and their Facebook friends became part of the Arno Plus experience on Friday night (16 March) as Arno Carstens, Mike Rutherford (a founding member of both Genesis and Mike & The Mechanics), and The Nomadic Orchestra rocked it at The Lovell Gallery in Woodstock.
Arno Plus and The Blind Tiger Sessions is an unexpected and exhilarating combination of original artworks and music. Carstens' solo works and collaborated works with local artists are on exhibition down stairs while a collaborative, eclectic and unique unplugged live show is being performed over the next four weeks upstairs in the gallery.
The creative and collaborative nature of the event lured NATIVE, SA's largest digital agency, to get involved. "Arno Plus is all about art plus music and Arno plus friends so we stepped in to create the Arno plus audience aspect. We created a tab on Arno's Facebook page and invited people to sign up at the show to get access to the tab. What they didn't know was that we planned to make them part of the event," says Jason Xenopoulos, CEO of NATIVE.
To the audience's surprise and delight their Facebook photos appeared on a big screen in time with the music during the last 10 minutes of the show. "Over 5 500 photographs were sourced from the audience's Facebook albums, which they gave us access to using Facebook Connect. We built a sound-reactive music visualiser which spun these images into concert visuals that unfolded in time to the music," he says. After each event, a video of the unique concert visuals will be posted online and everyone who signed-up, as well as all the people tagged in the pictures used during the show, will receive a link to the video posted on their Facebook wall. "By distributing the concert visuals in this way, we are hoping to generate viral buzz for the show."
Xenopolous says this was exciting because it used social media content to augment and promote a live performance. "We believe this is a ground-breaking viral campaign. It also is NATIVE's inaugural Alchemy project. NATIVE Alchemy is almost like Google's 20% rule, where we make it possible for NATIVE staff to invest time in their passion projects. We are super excited about the outcome of the project and are looking forward to the next four events," he says.
The Arno Plus Exhibition is running until 13 April 2012 at The Lovell Gallery, 139 Albert Road Woodstock, Cape Town. Entry into the lower level of the gallery is free. Tickets for the unplugged Blind Tiger Sessions need to be booked through the gallery on 021 820 5505 or .