Thurtinke Garnetgetter, Preston’s oldest gnome and touring puppet storyteller, recounts the challenges of taking to an internet stage – “The opportunity to go on the plinth in Trafalgar Square came my way quite unexpectedly. I’d heard about the ‘One and Other’ project as I’m a big fan of Artichoke (giant puppets in London and Liverpool) and also I love the arts and Antony Gormley’s work.”
“I have always told stories to audiences, but this time it was a bit different. There was not only the people in Trafalgar Square at the time, but there was also going to be an audience watching live (with a 30 second delay) on t’internet!”
Thurtinkle started to have a look at what the other people who got on the plinth were doing. Each day, each hour, 24 hours a day, a different person was placed on the plinth. They could do whatever they pleased. Some sat, chatted on the phone and took pictures. Some dressed up, or played music or supported a cause. Some attempted to entertain, but it turned out to be a difficult platform.
Then Thurtinkle met the ‘twecklers’ – ” These were people who watched a lot of the time on the internet, and were chatting to each other about the plinthers and stuff using the hashtag #oneandother.”
This is from a the ‘One and Other’ site – Ben (@mittfh) say “I’m a Tweckler (sorry folks, I think it was me that coined that awful portmanteau!), Whenever I’ve been Tweckling, the comments have ranged from positive and supporting to light-hearted banter – but nothing approaching insults. The most abusing it’s likely to get is frustration at plinthers who mope around looking bored, or satirical remarks at pliches (plinther cliches – e.g. phoning a friend to say ‘I’m on the plinth!’).”
Thurtinkle set up a twitter account and joined in with the twecklers, getting to know quite a few of them and also twittering with the workers from Artichoke who ran the cameras and the project, looking for ideas to tell stories that this particular audience might enjoy while he was on the plinth.
“I soon realised that they love being involved. So I got the idea of involving them in helping me make up stories. So far we’ve had two successful ‘Tweet at a time Story’ #taats sessions, and I told both stories from the plinth; one was from the week before, and I’d tidied that one up a bit, but the other one was made up by the twecklers DURING my hour on the plinth, and I told that story at the end of my time, just before I got naked.”
” I also held a competition and bought myself a pay-as-you-go phone so people could text me. Loads did! Unfortunately I was all fingers and thumbs and it was hard to read the text with the lights shining in my eyes. I’d brought a little speaker amp so people wouldn’t struggle to hear me.”
“I’m hoping to keep making up stories and entertaining my internet audience. I’ll always want to appear live, but it’s nice to be able to reach people and make new friends in this new way. Apart from Twitter, I’m on myspace and facebook now, and people are tagging photos of me with my name.”