I’m sitting in Fusion writing the first live blog of the day. Well, not quite live because the wifi isn’t yet working, but here I sit, with 60ft of digital screen playing before me. It looks fantastic: colour as sharp and dense as if it has been written by a giant marker pen, almost 180 degrees of visual magic, wider than the eyes can see.
To the right, a map of Norfolk with pins thrust enticingly into the soil. Stories of Norfolk from Narborough, Belton, Martham, places I’ve never even heard of brought stunningly into the digital age. Pins scattered to all corners of the county, mere hints to the stories contained within. Today, for one day only, Norfolk is a county of storytellers. It is a county of wordsmiths and conjurers, photographers and filmmakers, all coming together to record meaning in the mundane, beauty in the everyday.
There’s my pin, bluer than the sea surrounding Norfolk, jabbed into the landscape between Mildenshall and Thetford. Soon there will be others, siblings of this first snapshot: stories from the A40 on a winters eve, my home on Silver Road, this very spot in the back row of the blue seating in Fusion. All will be recorded for posterity.
In the middle of the screen, playing right now, is a fantastic dragon story created by students at City College Norwich. When it ends there will be pictures from Fakenham, a poem about North Norfolk from million selling author Kevin Crossley-Holland, a story by local writer Kathryn Skoyles. It is all here, running in loop.
And there is a live Twitter feed too, tweets from as far away as Melbourne and Barcelona, from Sprowston library and right here in Fusion. It is amazing to me, how deceptively simple technology has become. You can type a message anywhere on the internet, tag it with #blognor09 and hey presto! in a few days it will be found and appear on the interactive map. And the interactive map has been embedded into the giant digital screen, just like that. It is magic really. Modern magic. Just like flicking a light switch.
At last! Wifi is up. Sitting here without wires or cables I am suddenly, amazingly, connected to the entire world. That is the magic of technology. I am no longer just sat in Fusion, in the Forum, in Norwich, or even Norfolk. Right here, I am a fully functional citizen of the world.