Programme- 2012 Year

This section of my blog provides summaries of  10  key projects in development and delivery for the year of 2012 as part of the Cultural Olympiad in the Northwest. These special commissions and major projects were initiated with regional partners to ensure that the North West makes a unique and inspirational contribution to the London 2012 Games. The projects span digital culture, sport/film and spectacle, are international in scope and standard. and expresses new visions for art practice and excellence in our region.

Jan 2012 – Global Rainbow – Preston

Global Rainbow is a large scale urban laser installation by Puero Rican artist Yvette Mattern which consists of seven parallel beams of high spec laser light, representing the spectrum of colours of the rainbow. Global Rainbow  will launch our regional cultural programme in the Northwest and be presented in Preston by the Preston Guild 2012 as part of a series of a UK tour conceived for the Cultural Olympiad and focussed on uniting the North of England from  December – January 2012.   This project is a collaboration between Amino, Laserfabrik and Cultural Olympiad and in the Northwest between We Play and Preston Guild.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     May 2012: Portrait of an Athlete – North west

Portrait of an Athlete is a commissioned series of  short form  films for the Cultural Olympiad and presentation on the LOndon 2012 Live sites. This film series explores the relationship of the athlete with their host training camps in the Northwest and development is currently underway through a collaboration between Soup Collective, Cultural Olympiad and the Pre Games Training Camp programme in the Northwest. The first film has been made on the Vanuatu Women’s Beach Volleyball team training in Cheshire. This film was commissioned by the Cultural Olympiad with funding from Arts Council England. It was produced by Soup Collective with music by Paddy Streer. The film can be viewed on Vimeo at and it can also be seen at

Games Time  Period  -media2012 – Northwest/UK

Media2012 is ablueprint for a citizen media network for the London 2012 which will see the set up of nation wide digital hubs supporting and enabling a broader participatory media culture around the games. Media2012 is for citizen media reporters and seeks to build a repository of stories around the Cultural Olympiad. This is an open opportunity to all Citizen journalists.  This project is currently a partnership between the Cultural Olympiad in the Northwest, Southwest and Scotland, Abandon Normal Devices Festival and the University of West Scotland. For more info visit: and  to take part, please join the mailing list

Games Time Period:  2012 – Networking the World/Global Emotion Data Vis – online/UK

Future Everything has been commissioned to develop a data visualisation project which will explore the flow of global communication, connecting people to places. This global artwork will seek to create beauty and meaning from the traces of millions of people from all over the world who interact with London 2012. This multi platform project will be presented on the London 2012 web site, other online platforms and across the UK wide network of Live Sites. This project is a currently a partnership between Cultural Olympiad, Futureverything, London 2012 New Media and BBC.

May – Sept 2012: The Moment When – Cheshire and Warrington

A programme of 3 pinnacle celebration events for Summer 2012 inspired by the moment an athlete decides to become an Olympian. Focusing on this moment, it is a point of departure and an explosive moment that releases energy into the system to inspire a whole generation. Very large and enthused groups of people, working with Cheshire Dance and Walk the Plank will take on three evocative spaces across Cheshire and Warrington, where the powerful physical characteristics of architecture, environment and the human body will become amplified and forever reimagined through live performance, aerial manifestation, ground based mass movement constellations, fire and pyrotechnic installation. This project is a partnership between Cheshire Dance, Walk the Plank and the three local authorities in Cheshire and Warrington.

May : Old Trafford Cultural Launch for London 2012 – Old Trafford/Greater Manchester

This special event will be a special of arts and culture celebrating Old Trafford as an offical Olympic venue, hosting 2012 football. This project is an opportunity for the Northwest to promote its regional offer for London 2012 and the Olympic football matches. The programme will mix special commissions with local curations of 2012 inspired work for the Cultural Olympiad around the theme of bridges/connections and art/sport. The programme will be international in scope and include local communities in the celebrations. This project is currently a strategic partnership between the Cultural Olympiad, Old Trafford and Salford City Councils and the Greater Manchester 2012 Steering Group.

June – September – Blaze Festival Northwest – Lancashire and Preston

The WE PLAY legacy project, Blaze which is led by young people have formed a collaboration with Brighter Sound and the Preston Guild to develop the Blaze Festival – created by young people from across the Northwest. This festival of art, sport, music and culture will be a regional first. Trailblazers will be presented in key locations across the Northwest over the Summer as a prelude to the big celebration which will be taking place as part of the WE PLAY cultural olympiad finale at the Preston Guild. The development of this festival will involve young people from Blaze working with other young people from all over the Northwest and include a training and mentoring programme in festival development, commissioning and production which will involve WE PLAY partners in its delivery. This project is a partnership between Blaze, Brigher Sound, WE PLAY and Preston Guild 2012. For more info please visit.

June – August – Telepresence 2012 – Preston/Brazil

Currently at the research stage, this project is  a collaboration between WE PLAY, Cultural Olympiad and the Abandon Normal Devices Festival and is being developed by a creative team of artists from Brazil and from the SAT in Canada to deliver a live real time connection, collaboration and exchange between olympic host nations for the handover of London 2012 to Rio 2016. This collaboration between three olympic host natons will support public engagement in telematic art.

June – Sept – Les Commandos Percu – Cumbria/Preston

Les Commandos Percu is a Lakes Alive commission for the launch of the London 2012 Festival (June) and the WE PLAY North West Cultural  Finale for LOndon 2012 (Sept). This large scale new show which will see the leading music and pyrotechnic performance company, Les Commandos Percu from France, working with a group of artists from Cumbria and other parts of the Northwest to present a spectacle that will combine dramatic music with incredible firework displays in an ambitious collective collaboration. It will be presented in three locations in Cumbria between June and August and then go to Presto for our finale. This project is a partnership between Lakes Alive, London 2012 Festival, WE PLAY and Preston Guild. For  more information visit

Sept 2012 – WE PLAY Expo – Cultural  Finale for London 2012 a nd the Cultural Olympiad – Preston

A weekend of celebration featuring a diverse range of WE PLAY and Cultural Olympiad projects to mark and celebrate the end of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralymic Games. Hosted by Preston Guild 2012, the WE PLAY Expo is a Cultural Finale for London 2012 and will present special commissions by Abandon Normal Devices Festival, Blaze and Lakes Alive plus curated regional highlights of 2012 inspired Cultural Olympiad work developed over the last four years. This project is a strategic partnership between the Cultural Olympiad, We Play and Preston Guild 2012.

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