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SPOTLIGHT SHOWCASES

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DREAM

ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY

Dream is the culmination of a major piece of research and development exploring how audiences of the future might experience live performance. Over the past two years, four major UK cultural institutions (The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), in collaboration with Manchester International Festival (MIF), Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF) and Philharmonia Orchestra) have been collaborating on a new experience involving mixed reality in performance. Dream explores and challenges how live performance can be experienced when it is no longer bound by physical location. Through ten live online performances from 12-20 March 2021, audiences enter a virtual forest and led by the glimmer of fireflies, they accompany a sprite on an extraordinary journey. Inspired by Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the production provides a unique opportunity for audiences to be totally immersed in the performance from wherever they are in the world, and explore the intersection between live performance, immersive media and connected virtual spaces using the latest gaming and theatre technology together with an interactive symphonic score that responds to the actors’ movement during the show.

dream.online

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IMAGINARY CITIES

MICHAEL TAKEO MACGRUDER

A visual art exhibition transforming the British Library’s online collection of historic urban maps into fictional cityscapes for the Information Age. Imaginary Cities is an arts-research project and exhibition that transforms the British Library’s online collection of historic urban maps into fictional cityscapes for the Information Age. The work explores how large repositories of digitised cultural materials can give rise to unique born-digital artefacts, real-time experiences and physical creations that are inspiring and relevant to contemporary audiences. Originally conceived for the British Library’s Entrance Hall exhibition space, the project consists of technology-based art installations that have been exclusively created using images and metadata of 19th-century city maps drawn from the Library’s One Million Images from Scanned Books collection on Flickr Commons. Each artwork remixes a famous city and blends contemporary digital technologies with historical analogue processes. Elaborate computational systems and next-generation production tools are intermixed with fine art materials and traditional craft techniques.

takeo.org

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VIRTUAL THEON CROSS

This project was devised by British Underground to combine our two areas of interest at SXSW - new music and immersive technology.  The pandemic has brought many challenges and putting artists in front of new audiences has been completely disrupted.  However, watching what was happening last year with mainstream musicians on gaming platforms like Fortnight and Roblox sparked an idea to open up the potential of virtual showcases for independent artists.  Recognising that award-winning tuba-player Theon Cross would make an interesting jumping off point, BU consulted with the SXSW team to develop a music showcasing concept that could come to life on a virtual stage. The motion capture was filmed at the world famous Abbey Road Studios during our Jazz re:freshed SXSW sessions and, once the performance was locked in, FKB led the avatar and virtual integration team taking the tuba to the next level for SXSW Online.

 

The Avatar Team

Devised and produced by: British Underground/Future Art and Culture

Supported by: Arts Council England/UKRI/Audiences of the Future

Project Management: FKB

Motion Capture: Target 3D

Avatar Build: Pretty Damn Sweet

VR Integration:  Brick Simple

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CURRENT, RISING

Royal Opera House and Figment

Current, Rising is a 15-minute hyper reality opera experience, combining virtual reality with a multisensory set, inviting audiences to step into a bespoke ‘Opera Tardis’ and experience a dream-like journey carried musically by a poem layered in song. Developed by a female-led creative team, Current, Rising is a timely experiment blending historic stagecraft, artistic excellence and cutting-edge technology, turning the notion of what it means to go to the opera on its head. The project is a unique collaboration between the Royal Opera House’s innovation programme, Audience Labs and Figment Productions, with audience insight research undertaken by Royal Holloway, University of London. The project is funded by Innovate UK and Figment Productions as part of the “Audience of the Future” programme. Inspired by the liberation of Ariel at the end of Shakespeare’s Tempest, Current, Rising takes four people at a time into its magical universe, traversing together the landscapes of the night, from twilight to dawn – exploring ideas of isolation, connection, and collective reimagination – a prescient moment and experience of our time.”

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MIROSHOT

Current, Rising is a 15-minute hyper reality opera experience, combining virtual reality with a multisensory set, inviting audiences to step into a bespoke ‘Opera Tardis’ and experience a dream-like journey carried musically by a poem layered in song. Developed by a female-led creative team, Current, Rising is a timely experiment blending historic stagecraft, artistic excellence and cutting-edge technology, turning the notion of what it means to go to the opera on its head. The project is a unique collaboration between the Royal Opera House’s innovation programme, Audience Labs and Figment Productions, with audience insight research undertaken by Royal Holloway, University of London. The project is funded by Innovate UK and Figment Productions as part of the “Audience of the Future” programme. Inspired by the liberation of Ariel at the end of Shakespeare’s Tempest, Current, Rising takes four people at a time into its magical universe, traversing together the landscapes of the night, from twilight to dawn – exploring ideas of isolation, connection, and collective reimagination – a prescient moment and experience of our time.”

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In The Room With

Forever Holdings

In the Room With is a pioneering new conversational media experience from Forever, which blurs the lines between technology and human interaction. Fans can meet their musical heroes on their own devices and across multiple platforms, asking questions and receiving answers in real time. The project is technologically complex and hugely innovative, yet the end experience for users is simple, easy to access and feels like a real human interaction. Enabling audiences to sit and engage through a conversational experience brings to life the magic of authentic human connection. To be announced very soon will be the first of our artist line-up - a true living legend!

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Gossaert: Making of Sensing the Unseen

National Gallery 

Take your first step into Jan Gossaert’s world of intricate detail, technical mastery and rich meaning in a new Gallery experience where you’ll be surrounded by the sights and sounds of his 500-year-old masterpiece. In 'The Adoration of the Kings’, Gossaert has compressed time and space into a richly detailed, imagined setting where some elements of this familiar Christian scene are immediately clear and others are hidden for us to discover: the weave of fabric, Gossaert’s fingerprint in the green glaze where he blotted it with his hand, thistles and dead nettles, hairs sprouting from a wart on a cheek, a tiny pearl, a hidden angel... Through soundscapes, spoken word, hi-resolution digital imagery and gesture-based interaction you will go on your own personal journey to discover not only the visual riches of the painting but also why it tells more than a Christmas story. This is an opportunity to not only stand in front of the painting but immerse yourself in its world and the artistry that built it.

www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/sensing-the-unseen-step-into-gossaerts-adoration