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Project CONNECT creates a voice

Press Release 10 August 2011

Project CONNECT creates a voice to be heard with transmedia storytelling

New Zealand transmedia company, Big VOICE, is creating a new wave of documentary, advertising and authentic storytelling skills to create potent content and experiences that provide a VOICE for businesses, individuals, groups and organisations to cut through the clutter.

“The world we live in is no longer a simple one. Artists are businesses, entrepreneurs collaborate with creative industries and marketing is integrated with social communication. The line between art, filmmaking and advertising is smudged. The wall dividing business and the creative sector has shifted,” so says Serena Stevenson, director of transmedia company, Big VOICE and the instigator of Project CONNECT.

Project CONNECT will be launched at a unique interactive, multi-media event on 27 August that will showcase how a multi-dimensional story can be created and told collectively.

“There’s a whole new way to tell stories from dye sketches on cave walls to oral storytelling, scrolls, books and documentary. We live in a post-advertising world in an age where storytelling has become global and collective,” she says. “We’re using Project CONNECT to cross the boundaries of traditional media forms, creating a transmedia storyboard and exhibition relevant to today’s multi-faceted world that invites participation and content from everywhere.”

The official Big VOICE Project CONNECT launch is a side event to We Can Create and starts at 6.30pm on 27 August at the BizDojo in the Ironbank Building, 150 Karangahape Rd, Auckland.

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Event collaborators include anyone who can upload content via and Threaded Media, musician Stevie Starr, graphic designer and typographer Paul Stothers, Virtuo, Transmedia A:M/P:M, Ministry of Green, textile storyteller Margaret Lewis, Unguarded Intersection and Eleni Papdopoulos from Why Beanie.

Guests will view a large public projection by Unguarded Intersection and be encouraged to experience it from an unexpected, transplanted perspective. Avante-pop musician, Stevie Starr will invite his audience to manipulate his backing tracks using modified Wii remotes to bridge the traditional divide between performer and audience.

From old fashioned oral storytelling by Eleni Papadopoulos to a Skype based game of chat-roulette from Virtuo, and an immersive QR code experience by Transmedia NZ, Project CONNECT will develop a live story of human connection today from collaborators, people who send in their contribution via the web and guests at the actual launch location, Serena Stevenson says.

“We use high end digital technology, design and filmmaking. Presentation pieces will be interwoven, much like chapters in a book or scenes in a film. Participants who come to the launch can bring along their phones or communication devices, and something physical that represents connection for them – it might be a photo, a card, a poem, or a piece of fabric so they can co-create and be part of the magic.”

Big VOICE is using a range of technology and media to launch Project CONNECT to the public and provide a vehicle for participants to submit their thoughts, voice, images and text to the project via the FaceBook site.

“It doesn’t stop with the launch event. Transmedia storytelling evolves and we’ll continue to add content or chapters with Project CONNECT via Facebook, Twitter and a variety of other media platforms that will culminate in a global story of human connection in 2012,” Serena says.

To participate go to or

For more information please contact:

Serena Stevenson, Director Big Voice

M: +64 21 749191 E:

About Project CONNECT

• embraces co-creation within the professional creative industry.

• one of the first multiplatform global creative projects launched in NZ.

• collaborative story sharing using a multimedia technology platform

• way story will interweave through various creative/design disciplines.

• content made by creative businesses with no exchange of money Projec

• involves the VOICE of the public by linking their creative input through the story of CONNECTivity


• 6:30 pm 27 August at @ 150 Karangahape Road, Level 2 IRONBANK Building

• Is it free or by invitation

• Guests will be invited to participate and interact with various creative platforms with the opportunity to add their VOICE. Everyone will be taken on a real time journey through physical, viral, sound, sight and touch media that amplify our experience of the ways in which we CONNECT.



Big VOICE combines participation with technology to facilitate the VOICE of businesses and organisations, enabling them to share their message in a more effective way. Big VOICE believes in the collective, collaborative process of creativity and the power of authentic story telling.

Through Project CONNECT we have invited you, some of Auckland’s innovative creative professionals, and the global public (via Facebook) to actively participate in the creation of a multimedia exhibition launch event that will give VOICE to a specific themed topic. This is the VOICE of Connection.

Website: ,

Creative collaborators:

Virtuo is an intelligent collective of experts in serious experimental play. Multi-disciplinary and multi-talented, we generate bespoke creative solutions and specialise in new and emerging technologies.

In keeping with our collaborative and open creative philosophy, Virtuo will be working on several aspects of Project CONNECT including:

* Creating a map that visualises the connections between people within Project CONNECT * Skype/Chat Roulette-based exhibition installation * Enhanced exhibition publication in collaboration with Threaded Media and Big VOICE * Immersive Mobile QR code experience in the exhibition space in collaboration with Transmedia A:M/P:M and Big VOICE * Mobile documentary of the Project CONNECT event that will be integrated with the exhibition print publication in collaboration with MINA, Transmedia A:M/P:M and Big VOICE.


Transmedia A:M/P:M aims to support the development of a transmedia production community in New Zealand, to share ideas and knowledge and create opportunities for collaboration and creation.

Transmedia A:M/P:M will be devising an immersive QR code experience for visitors to the Project CONNECT exhibition (in collaboration with Virtuo), and co-creating a mobile documentary of the Project CONNECT event (in collaboration with MINA, Transmedia A:M/P:M and Big VOICE).


Threaded Magazine, founded by graphic designer Kyra Bradcock, it is has grown in readership and status since its inception in 2004. Threaded Magazine is a visually arresting collaborative design publication that has established a unique creative platform to offer insights into best practice across the creative industries and bridge the gap between established and emerging practitioners. One of the key objectives is to produce a publication that is all about people as designers. Who they are and what drives them to do their work.

For 'Project Connect' Threaded will create a publication, which documents and celebrates the notion of 'creative collaboration' and the journey of co-creation this exhibition inspires over the course of this week.


STEVIE Starr is an avante-pop musician who has been described as "Like Sigur Rós if they hung out with Radiohead in a Horowhenua forest". His electronic tinged compositions, inspired by the Estonian composer Arvo Part, are based upon his experiences; hitch-hiking around NZ and Europe, playing gigs at the Starclub in Hamburg, meeting Maori tribal elders at Waitangi, dossing with crab farmers, and drinking with locals in the towns and cities that he visits, hoping one might offer him a refreshing beverage in exchange for a tale or two.

With towers of TV sets Starr will be creating a virtual TV station, (Stevie Starrmart) which displays vintage images of advertising propaganda and animations. During his performance at "Project CONNECT" the audience can manipulate the backing tracks which Starr plays to using modified Wii remotes, in an attempt to bridge the gap between performer and audience.


Paul Stothers principally works in graphic design. He utilizes typography, illustration and photography that reference and reinterpret elements of popular culture. He has also been involved in underground music culture as a DJ, producer and promoter.

For 'Project CONNECT' Paul's work represents his experiences connecting with people through music while tapping into his love of typography. By meditating on a popular lyric from the Vanilla Ice song 'Ice Ice Baby' Paul's interactive installation reveals layers of unintended meanings.


Ministry Of Green are sustainability strategists. They strive for holistic sustainability through innovation - using a trans disciplinary approach and blending scientific inputs with creative problem solving.

Ministry of Green's work at 'Project CONNECT' will pose questions of how we connect with and value our natural environment. ‘What’s the value of your footprint?’ is an interactive installation which connects your own human footprint with your world.


Margaret Lewis believes it’s not just about fashion. She lives a life surrounded by textile - in particular wool. It’s in her room, in her car, on her desk, in her handbag... Creating a style where craft meets couture, Margaret Lewis’s designs start from a technique or a piece of handwork or sometimes a piece of found fabric. With that starting point, items are then upcycled, recycled, recut or made from scratch, using original designs. The craft work is done by hand and using skills that could have learned with her nana. But that was way too uncool then. So much of what she does now is learned from books and people of her nana’s generation who are so generous with sharing their learning. The gift in making these kinds of works is connecting existing objects and the brand-new, young and old, traditional and contemporary in ways that weave new stories. Project Connect allows Margaret Lewis to pull strands of different stories together and build new connections.


Unguarded Intersection is a collaborative group that specialises in exploring new and innovative ways of presenting moving image through large-scale public installations. They specialise in public projection events which examine the environment in which we live. A consistent feature of Unguarded Intersection’s work is the theme of transplanted experiences. By taking an experience out of context, the viewer is invited to reflect on the nature of experience itself. Unguarded Intersection is: Michael Brook, Kim Fogelberg, Fiona Milburn and Mark Schafer.

Smoke (2003) examined the indistinct nature of memory. It suggested that common cultural experiences, such as a New Zealand Summer spent at the beach, form a modern collective memory. Personal experience mixes with images from: film, television, home movies, news events, photographs, etc., until our individual memories reflect a collected vision of our past. With Smoke (2011), Unguarded Intersection takes this further. Today's technology connects us as never before. We now live our lives globally: our experiences are global; our influences are global. The sharing of memories has become an experience in, and of, itself. Our memories reflecting an internationally collected vision of our past.

Smoke is a physical installation, which digitally projects images onto smoke contained within an everyday casement window, thus creating a dreamy 3D effect.


WHYBeanie is the umbrella for the creative outcomes from an extraordinary experience Eleni Papadopoulos had between March 2010 and March 2011. Through connecting she was invited by 52+ friends to come and stay for a week with each. The Universe delivered project52. WHYBeanie stands for ’Where Have You Beanie’, and is the chosen title for the inspiring creativity born from this amazing experience. A book is under way, sharing the diverse and interesting aspects of project52. Other creative outcomes are being developed in collaboration with friends. The Beanie was an integral part of her journey.

At Project CONNECT, her exhibit will portrait a setting that represents the experience of project52. She will be telling her story orally - the old fashioned way - sitting down with participants - telling the story or part thereof and answering many questions that arise from such a unique experience. Oh, and she will be making a Beanie!


Dominique Rowe has worked in radio, print, and TV. After stepping onto the career at TIME magazine, she moved into travel, arts and culture writing, and is currently focusing full-time on her own imprint, ink*horn Creative, which works closely with clients on a range of projects ranging from branding, advertising, and advertorial, to sales and marketing collateral, to sponsorship pitches, websites, and business plans. Recent creative work has included projects for W Hotels Worldwide, NZTE, Sisley, and fashion conglomerate GRI. Her television career probably reached its zenith presenting the weather report every evening for two years, on a terrestrial Chinese English-language broadcaster to an audience of potentially hundreds, accompanied by a cameraman with chronic wind.

Both physically, and metaphysically, Dominique sees her career as a microscopic plankton, floating sometimes without direction, sometimes purposefully, through the murky depths of New Zealand’s heady media world, gigantic misshapen microscopic brain in tow. Whilst this is not exactly the future of intellectual domination and breathtakingly expensive shoes she once had in mind, she is nevertheless fulfilled in the task that she has set herself: to write merciless machine gun copy that explodes in people’s faces. She once dreamt of marrying a rakish professional ball-sports player purely for his body/ money. However, she has since found her perfect man, and thus, and now finds herself beavering away in New Zealand, making avant-garde neckpieces with Number 8 wire and drinking moonshine in her spare time.

The Cut Collective is five like-minded individuals with varied personal histories in art making. After working

spontaneously and informally together over a number of years the Cut Collective was formed in 2006

to add an element of permanence and recognition to this ongoing collaboration.

Cut Collective’s practice ranges from commissioned artworks to gallery exhibitions, public murals, commercial

design and illustration and apparel. The Cut Collective has an inclusive philosophy, recognizing the value in

collaboration and actively promotes this through its working relationships with other artists.

They have been involved in many different exhibitions both here in New Zealand and overseas. And have in the last three years completed significant exhibitions at The New Dowse, the Auckland Art Gallery and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

For 'Project Connect' The Cut Collective will be visually interpreting Dominique's writing in a typographic manner with an aspect of digital documentation.



Mute Off Productions brings focus to the things we know but aren’t being heard. For Project CONNECT Mute Off, with their dance performance, will carry and hold the value of time and place and what we can do with it to find ourselves while falling into another.

Project CONNECT Partners:


One of Project CONNECT’s valued partners is Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development. They are passionate about working with Auckland’s diverse creative sector to foster growth and innovation.

ATEED works within networks and groups in the tourism industry to promote and create business plans. Their strategies and action plans support investments in economic infrastructure. ATEED also aims to improve the effectiveness of local government activity that influences the tourism industry. Through their expertise in the industry, ATEED are able to form networks and involved in sector representative groups.

Website: /tourism_events_economic_development.aspx

We Can Create

New Zealand’s biggest creative industry event for 2011, curated by communications agency The Church, We Can Create features both up and coming talent and seasoned professionals over two days of seminars surrounded by satellite events and exhibitions. It's an annual celebration of all things art and design - graphics, fashion, animation, illustration, motion graphics, typography, sound design, live audiovisual art, interactive and experiential marketing, fine art, music, product design and more.

Big VOICE’s Project CONNECT is a featured side event of the popular ‘We Can Create’

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