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Indepth Arts News:

"Morgan Arts Council brings art to cyberspace"
1999-09-15 until 0000-00-00
Morgan Arts Council
BERKELEY SPRINGS, WV, USA United States of America

The Morgan Arts Council (MAC) today announced the second week of the Five Rings Electronic Media Festival, an intense two week new media celebration. This week's live Webcast, the second of three, will feature a montage of West Virginia-centric video, local personalities, and the aerial cam. The festival is a major breakthrough for this small, but extremely active grassroots arts council.

The festival (which runs through September 26th) kicked off with a multimedia gallery exhibit by artist Hasan Elahi at 7:30pm at the Ice House Art and Community Center. The gallery show continues from 11am to 5pm on Saturdays and noon to 4pm Sundays through the end of the month.

IMMERSED IN TECHNOLOGY There are three ways to experience the Five Rings Festival—taking in the gallery show, attending the live performance of Morgan County Television [MCTV] or watching the show in real-time via the Internet. Thanks to banks of televisions and cameras feeding live images, anyone with an Internet connection not only views local art at http://www.macicehouse.org/MCTV/ , but joins the live audience at the Ice House to watch the creativity as it happens. The show will feature a mix of live action and pre-recorded video clips.

The Internet audience will need the QuickTime 4 player (for Mac and Windows) to view the show. The FREE player is available for download from http://www.apple.com/quicktime/. Both the 18th and 25th Saturday evening live webcasts will begin at 7:30 pm EDT.

This is real art, says J.W. Rone, a directing force behind the festival. It’s an organic process. We don’t know how it will turn out, how much video tape or what type of footage we’re going to get.

MAC is working with a state-of-the-art digital video studio spearheaded by J.W. Rone and Maggie Duval. Rone is conversant in all aspects of television production, while Duval adds her background in Internet, Web design, art, video and subculture to the mix.

We’re working on the possibilities of additional broadcasts and using the digital studio to go along with the MAC Ice House classrooms for Internet teleconferencing, said Rone. We’ll also rebroadcast the Five Rings video shows over the MAC Website. Soon, browsers can tour West Virginia art right from their desktop.

To enable the Webcast part of the event, Duval takes input from the mixing board manned by Rone to an Apple G3/400. The live feed is converted to QuickTime 4 using Sorenson Broadcaster and uploaded via a Netopia dual-analog router to a Mac OS X server running QuickTime Streaming Server. It's MAC using Macs to fulfill its self-stated mission of getting art out there.

Funding for the MAC-produced festival is provided by the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, hotel/motel taxes from Morgan County and the Town of Bath and Morgan County Schools. About the Morgan Arts Council Founded in 1977, the Morgan Arts Council is an artist-based, non-profit grassroots organization committed to getting art out there in Morgan County, West Virginia. The MAC gallery, classrooms and office are located in the historic Ice House Art and Community Center, corner of Independence and Mercer streets in downtown Berkeley Springs. Additional information can be obtained by calling 304-258-2300, checking out the MAC Website at http://www.macicehouse.org or sending email to info@macicehouse.org.

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