Live performance is at a pivotal and uncertain moment in history. For thousands of years, gathering around the expressive and creative acts of each other has been an essential part of social culture around the world. Whether it is music, dance, theatre, opera, spoken word poetry or puppetry, live performances have been the medium for human connection around the provocative and the beautiful, allowing humans to celebrate, grieve, hope, and even despair together. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, however, has forced the shuttering of traditional venues for gathering around the performing arts cutting millions of us around the globe from being able to connect at a time when it is perhaps most needed.
Despite this crushing blow, the pandemic also demonstrated to artists and audiences everywhere, new opportunities for sharing and gathering around the live arts through technology. Actors and musicians began shifting their creative energies to experiment and explore the possibilities of streaming live performances to bridge the gap between physical events and online participation. Significantly, artists who prior may have shied away from digital performance, began leveraging communication tools designed for business and education, to connect with audiences far beyond their former demographics and geographical limitations.
Moreover, this experimentation has developed simultaneously with unprecedented popular interest in immersive experiences which has become a new fuel for driving advancements in the technologies of AI, VR, and AR. These developments have made XR accessible, user friendly, and ready to revolutionise the way we are able to gather, create, and perform together. While these technologies have rapidly advanced, and artist experimentation is constantly pushing the boundaries, there have been few opportunities to survey these developments from a distance, and to have artists share what they have discovered with other artists.
This workshop aims to start a conversation between the emerging digital live arts pioneers, technologists, and developers, to explore together how far we’ve come in these last two years, and to explore where live performance might go. We invite both researchers and practitioners to present their work, experiments, insights, successes, and failures, as well as their fears and hopes in this domain. We will explore together the interception of technology and performance, with a focus on how technology might be leveraged to enhance performances and the process of developing performances, provide new ways to reach and interact with audiences, as well as how it can create new ways of performing.
This workshop will offer an interdisciplinary forum for idea exchange, co-design exploration, networking and discussion for researchers, technologists, designers and performance practitioners interested in research on designing the performances of the future. Researchers from both academia and industry, designers, performers and people with an interest in technology-enhanced performances are invited to submit pictorials or demos.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:
-Methods of designing Hybrid /Extended Reality/ Multisensory Performances
-Performances created by human - machine collaborations
-Sensor and robotic integration to performances
-New ways of using technology to engage and interact with audiences
-Technology enhanced performances created using co-creation/participatory design methods
-Technology enhanced performances where the audience is part of the performance / influences the performance
-Opinion pieces on what the future of performance might hold.
Researchers from both academia and industry, designers, performers and people with an interest in technology enhanced performances were invited to submit pictorials or demos.
We expect our workshop to:
-Connect a community of researchers and practitioners who are interested in the future of live performances
-Investigate the challenges opportunity of designing technology enhanced performances
-Outline guidance for designing technology enhanced performances
To ensure these outcomes of the workshop we will:
-Share the pictorials/ performances on the workshop’s social media as well as our institutions' social media to further expand the conversation on the future of performances.
-Summarise the workshop outcomes and share all presented materials on the workshop website.
-Create a collective document of all the pictorials which will be collaboratively published by the Creative Computing Institute at UAL and the School of Engineering at Kent.
-Disseminate the workshop results to the HCI community in the form of a collective publication (journal or report), co-authored by the organisers and the participants.
Workshop Miro board
This online, one-day workshop will start with an introductory round followed by pictorial presentations and performance sessions. It will also include a creative session that will allow participants to identify solutions and trends for the design of performances for the future. To facilitate the discussion during the creative session as well as during the presentations, as well as to capture the workshop outcomes we will deploy collaborative Miro boards, which enable for remote collaborative sessions.
The schedule is set in Western European Summer Time, Portugal, UTC+1
14.00 - 14.15 Welcome to the workshop and introductions
14.15 – 14.35 Shannon Harvey - Creative Alchemy One
14.35 - 14.50 Design Activity I
14.50 - 15.30 Paper & Demo Session I
a. Agora _ a community podium, Dr. Stavros Dendrinos, George Larios
b. Exploring the potential of mobile projectors as body-instrument for performance, Mayank Loonker, Rocio von Jungenfeld, Christos Efstratiou
c. Coding Two, James Gibbons - MacGregor
d. Performative Journeys: Ensuring the Relevance of Grassroots venue experiences, Alexander Newson, Sebastian Ervi
e. Email from beyond reality, Alex Pavelescu
f. The abductive wisdom of dance as an empirical method, Hunter Brueggemann, Hamish Orr
15.30 - 15.40 Break
15.40 - 16.10 Design activity II
16.10 - 17.10 Paper & Demo Session II
a. Miso kitchen, Jackie Walduck and Chloe Cooper
b. Come Hither to Me, Sahar Sajadieh and Hanneh Wolfe
c. The Severance Theory: Welcome to Respite, Deirdre V. Lyons
d. Survivor’s Way, Alex Oliszewski
e. Quickly Photographed and Released Unharmed, Pandelis Diamantides
17.10 - 17.30 Alex Kane - VOLTA XR
17.30 - 17.45 Final Discussion and Concluding remarks
Sophia is a research fellow at the Creative Computing Institute, University of Arts London, undertaking research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on professional artists and how digital technologies can help them recover. She is also a PhD Candidate at the University of Kent. She holds an MSc from Imperial College London, an MA from the Royal College of Art and a BA from the University of Kent.
Boyd is is a technologist for XR and live performance and a lecturer in digital media at Coventry University. He is the creator of Virtual Director, a software platform for creating remote theatre, and founder of the Improvisational Media & Performance Lab, which explores how improvisational pedagogies can be utilized to create accessible, adaptive, and supportive technologies.
Alexandra is a researcher in the field of virtual reality and currently a Lecturer in the Digital Design course at the University of Kent. Her research activities lie at the confluence of VR, multisensory media, human computer interaction and psychology. She is particularly interested in creating a systematic understanding of multisensory experiences for interactive technologies. Her approach is driven by a mix of human factor studies and creativity.
Bea is a Research associate at the Creative Computing Institute, University of Arts London. They hold a PhD in Digital Innovation from the HighWire CDT at the University of Lancaster. They have worked in consultancy and communications for over a decade, focusing on the creative and cultural sectors. They have an MA in Media and Communications and an Advanced Certificate in PR.
Vali is the Programme Director of the Creative Computing Institute, University of the Arts London, and the Director-Founder of The Innovation Consultancy. She has been a professor and innovator in the field of VR/XR for 25 years. She has led BBC’s first AR production that received the British Television Society judges award 2003 and the InnovateUK funded VR Rehearse & Perform in 2021. She holds a PhD in Computer Science, an MBA and an MRes in Design.
Alex is a multidisciplinary artist, musician and designer. He is currently the CEO of Volta - a self-serve XR creation platform that gives artists & creators the ability to design and broadcast experiential content that goes beyond the 2D screen and reaches into the metaverse.