A Short Message Spectacle
(An S.M.S)


Image: © Tim Etchells

A Short Message Spectacle is an imaginary performance lasting 16 days, with each of its scenes described by text message, relayed as virtual events taking place through the day and night in diverse locations across an equally imaginary city. The audience for this extraordinary work are subscribers to a special phone number, and the events of the performance are summoned by text message alone, described and unfolding via a series of missives each day.

Drawing on Etchells’ earlier work for mobile phones (Surrender Control and Thirty-Nine Or So To Do), An S.M.S creates an event in which the audience become imaginative co-authors while the landscape in which they live becomes a setting for the performance itself.

A Short Message Spectacle was commissioned for Norfolk & Norwich Festival in 2010. The first presentation ran from 7 – 22 May 2010.