Mixed Reality Performance Lab


Session Title:

  • New Media Performance

Presentation Title:

  • Mixed Reality Performance Lab




  • The MIXED REALITY PERFORMANCE LAB is the result of one-years practical research funded through the Australia Council’s Inter Arts Artlab initiative. It practically examines the limits and opportunities for using TECHNOLOGY AS SUBJECT in THEATRE, where the technology PERFORMS as an actor does in traditional theatre. It is about examining the interface between bodies as subject and technologies as subject; where the technology is capable of real-time spontaneous interaction with actors in a dramatic theatre work. Over a year, a team of Sydney and Melbourne based artists are undertaking a series of research laboratories developing cross-disciplinary methodologies into the interface between bodies and technology including: Human-robot interaction, Avatar and real-time projection of virtual worlds, motion-capture, 3D Stereoscopic animation, haptics and Virtual Reality. This research is being undertaken through residencies in technology centres (the Deakin Motion Capture Lab and the Centre for Intelligent Systems Research), testing the use of these technologies in the dramatic theatre work Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen, exploring aesthetic, dramatic and philosophical implications. This research is driven by an assumption that dramatic theatre has been reluctant to include media technologies, whereas other art forms are more than comfortable to do so. We wish to respond to this resistance and seek to investigate where the technology is capable of real-time spontaneous interaction with humans on stage. Is it possible to maintain the fundamentals of dramatic theatre, and use new media technologies at the same time? Can audiences still empathise with character and plot when technology ‘acts’? Can the dramatic world still be drawn through dialogue and maintain a ‘closed fictional world’ when integrating technology with actors on stage?