From Traditional to Virtual Interactive Puppetry: A Comprehensive Approach

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Session Title:

  • Performing Technology

Presentation Title:

  • From Traditional to Virtual Interactive Puppetry: A Comprehensive Approach

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Abstract:

  • The word “puppet” frequently appears in the digital realm to indicate a form of Avatar, being mainly manifested as a representation of the materialism of real world. Deeply rooted in the Cartesian hierarchy of separation between subject and object, in the digital media culture a puppet is considered as something to be manipulated and controlled, ignoring its transformative relationship with the user. In the digital translation of puppetry, we are interested in how interactive technology will support ancient wisdoms of ritual, revealing transformative relationships of puppet and puppeteer, resulting in performances of great excitement, public engagement and reflection of the community, creating rich layers of mixed reality environments. In fact, Wayang Kulit offers complicate layers of mixed reality, which allow viewers to walk around the screen, watching the real puppet and its virtual form as a shadow at the same time. Mixed reality does not only happen in viewer/puppeteer’s consciousness at the moment the shadow becomes alive with its own spirit, but also in the viewer’s perception struggling between real and virtual forms of presentation, walking around the screen. This kind of setting creates rich platforms for discussing reality, virtuality and mixed reality all together, which we adopt as our methodology in order to explore the full potential of virtual puppetry.

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