We looked at quite a lot last week – still focusing on Cat Royale but also, more generally, what we enjoy or not creatively, and the platforms and spaces we may want to work in in the future. We will try imagining Cat Royale in some of those places and spaces over the next few weeks.

We spent a lot of time thinking about all of the stories and themes we’d like to tease out in Cat Royale as the project unfolds from idea to artwork. This week we each focused on an area of the project and tried to come up with interesting ways to bring it to life for our audience. Matt looked at Cats and Emotion, I focused on Animal Behaviour and Nick dealt with the statement: ‘Where is the Power in the System?’ The image below shows Nick working through his ideas on one of our studio whiteboards.



As part of this work we also thought about the different channels or platforms that Cat Royale might work best on; style and aesthetics; and exactly what the story is at each point: for example, will we have a moment where we ask the public to send in photos of their cats and describe the cats’ emotions? We are at the tip of the iceberg here, but we want to open up our process for this project and share what we learn with our audience: including the stories and ideas that we cannot predict right now.

Last Thursday we met with an animal behaviouralist about a potential collaboration on Cat Royale. We asked a lot of questions: how do we keep the cats safe at all times? Why are laser pointers limited toys for cats? We also discussed the idea of happiness as an anthropocentric concept… Do animals think about happiness? For me, we need a holistic set of measures to assess quality of life to replace the notion of ‘happiness’.

So what’s next? We’ve started to put together a rough schedule for the development of the work that we’ll finalise in December. And we’ve got our first workshop with our partners in Nottingham, the Mixed Reality Lab, in the diary for January. We’ll be taking some of our newest members of the team along with us!

Finally, Matt, Nick and I have been looking at our 30th birthday plans (although we are late to our own party!) and have some of our favourite interactive projects lined up to share with you including an in-depth look at Gunmen Kill Three, Kidnap and The Thing I’ll Be Doing For The Rest Of My Life. More on that soon.

– Ju

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