Multimedia Interactive Technologies in Performing Arts
The subject of this artistic research is the application of multimedia, interactive and open source technologies in different forms of performing arts, where form and content mutually identify. Through research workshops we’ve investigated specific interactions between performers and new technologies, tested alternative dimensions of space and the boundaries of contemporary forms of performance, as well as researched a functional aesthetics that would reflect the issues of contemporary life.
Open rehearsals (work in progress) 15.09.2018. Filodrammatica, Rijeka.
Through the format of open rehearsals (showing of the work in progress), three short etudes were presented to the audience sharing some topics of the research and demonstrating different applications of technology within three different forms of performance art. The first etude explores the role of technology as one of the protagonists of performance, together with the performer, in the form of a digital interactive puppet. The second examines the possibilities of creating simultaneously video projection material and sound/music with the movement of the performers, and therefore by the very act of performing. The third etude tests the potential of alternative dimensions of a performance through self-generated scenes in interaction with the performer.
After demonstration, there was talk-back with the audience to open up a dialogue, exchange experiences, answer the questions, in order to gain a better understanding of perception of contemporary audience and what that means for performative media today and the way it communicates.
Based on the results of research, feedbacks from the audience and the questionnaire evaluation, it can be concluded that the audience welcomed the efforts to introduce new media and technology in performing arts and an overall interest in innovative practices, especially in younger generations. It is also noticeable (as expected) that, in spite of the overwhelming digitalization of society, the traditional way of seeing and experiencing performing arts is deeply rooted in the minds of viewers, which automatically influences their expectations and perception of new expressions, in this case performance intertwined with digital technology. These habits lead to a need for a rational understanding of what is seen, to the preference of non-abstract ways of expression, and to a latent feeling of incompetence toward novelty, technology and abstraction, leading ultimately to a tendency for criticism toward art in general, which is perhaps a wider problem in the fruition of contemporary art.
Due to the complexity of this research, in terms of time and financial needs, and based on the interest of the audience and artists, it has been decided that this artistic research will continue in the form of a multi-annual program in order to continue to develop concrete technologies aimed at implementation of a set of tools that performance artists could easily apply for experimentation and developing new ideas and projects.
During the artistic research some interesting ideas have been created that will be further developed and implemented in future projects as well as foundations of an innovative language that will have an impact on the aesthetics of the future work of BOUM! The third etude of this research will be developed into a performance installation that will be presented during 2019.
The interdisciplinary territory between theater and digital arts has great potential for representing certain content, which is not possible to accomplish with traditional approach, and a functional aesthetics where form and content mutually identify.
Through the exploration of new hybrid languages/expressions, the development and improvement of aesthetical and technological aspects of creative work, inevitably a new methodology emerges and develops, proving itself as indispensable for the interdisciplinary working process.
PREVIOUS PHASES OF RESEARCH, July-September 2018.
The research workshops took place in three phases. The first phase was held in July 2018, the second phase was at the end of August, and the third one that concluded the research in the form of open auditoriums took place in the first half of September 2018.
In the first phase we explored opportunities for interaction with the Kinect. We’ve been experimenting what it would mean if technology was one of the protagonists, along with the performer, and how the artist could create video and sound with his movements and gestures. We also explored the alternative dimensions of space through the software Unreal and the ability to interact with the virtual 3D space and the objects in it.
We worked with the developer and specialist for digital technology Marko Žmak, and producer Iva Lulić who also was physically experimented with us the interactive technology. Our doors are always open, so other artists interested in the project have visited us too; a new media artist, and a professor and head of the Center for Innovative Media at APURI, Ingeborg Fülepp, theater professor and actress Denis Kirinčić, photographer Kristijan Vučković, and actress Anja Sabol.
Directors of research:
(ArtTeatar BOUM!, Rijeka)
Iva Lulić and Marko “Žmale” Žmak