2021 was an eventful year for virtual performance as artists persevered through ongoing lockdowns. In the UK and internationally, productions and festivals took a renewed interest in the opportunities that virtual storytelling worlds offer for audiences and artists.
At the same time, tech companies further pursued Metaverse/s and territories of the third generation of the internet: Web 3.0. As audiences’ appetites for and fluency in virtual worlds continues to grow, we consider what this might mean in the context of art making. How do we respond to future possibilities for immersion and simulation within performance? And what tools are needed to support a multiplicity of virtual world-building across art and performance?
Join us in for a live conversation with Annette Mees (King’s College London), Jo Scotcher (Current Rising), Theo Triantafyllidis, (Anti-Gone), and Kay Watson (Serpentine). This panel of artists, producers and directors will explore the risks and potential of virtual performance, considering embodiment, liveness, shared experiences, and distribution channels.The event streams live on Twitch (@serpentineuk) on Thursday 17 March from 19:30 GMT/21:30 EET.Be sure to login via a Twitch Account to get involved with conversation in real-time and pitch questions to our speakers.
About the speakers:
Annette Mees is an award-winning artist and immersive theatre director, advises on the future of culture, artistic innovation, creative research and development and models of art that allow dialogue with audiences. Currently Annette is Artistic Director Audience Labs & Visiting Senior Research Fellow in Culture and Creative Industries at King’s College London, as well as Chairperson of Future Everything. Previously Annette was Head of Audience Labs at the Royal Opera House London, a Creative Fellow for WIRED and The Space, Guest-Artistic Director of the Danish Inspiration Lab and worked on the IK-prize winning Sensorium at Tate Britain.
Joanna is an multi award-winning production designer within the live arts industry working across the UK and internationally. Joanna’s focus is on multi-disciplinary production design, specialising in creating unique and extraordinary experiences, inhabiting spaces from the intimate to the epic. Joanna’s diverse output includes commissions from the RSC, Old Vic, Channel 4 Arts, The Royal Opera House, Kensington Palace, Covent Garden, European Olympic Committee and UNICEF UK.
Theo Triantafyllidis is an artist who builds virtual spaces and the interfaces for the human body to inhabit them, creating expansive worlds and complex systems where the virtual and the physical merge in uncanny, absurd and poetic ways. Theo’s work has been shown at Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and NRW Forum in Dusseldorf Germany, and Meredith Rosen, the Breeder, Eduardo Secci and Transfer Galleries, as well as taking part in Sundance New Frontier 2020, Hyper Pavilion in the 2017 Venice Biennale, 2018 Athens Biennale: Anti, and 2021 Athens Biennale: Eclipse.
Kay Watson is a researcher, producer and curator working with art and advanced technologies, photography and video games. She is currently Head of Arts Technologies at Serpentine and a PhD researcher at Birkbeck, University of London.