Hamlet Encounters is the working title of CREW’s engagement with Shakespeare’s Hamlet which will emerge as a full theatre event in 2019. Work in progress currently takes the form of a VR installation.
An experimental arts company based in Brussels, CREW ‘aims to visualize how technology is changing us’. Indeed, CREW’s work historically has involved innovative exploration of media technologies (HDV, ODV, MoCap) in theatre-installation events such as Terra Nova.
At this Research Event, Robin Nelson and Eric Joris will introduce the Hamlet Encounters project and share aspects of the process of its making. The presentation will open up a discussion of the opportunities and challenges of addressing Shakespeare with new media technologies, and the parallels between the turbulence of transition from the sixteenth into the seventeenth centuries and from the twentieth into the twenty-first. The aim is not so much to mount a production of Hamlet in a virtual environment as to place experiencers on an augmented reality journey, paralleling Hamlet’s mission, but to address today’s “out of joint” times. Topics raised are likely to include: immersion, interactivity, orchestration, intermediality, and the affordances of different mediums.
Eric Joris, founder of CREW, is a transdisciplinary artist and researcher who has pioneered immersive VR performances since late 90s: ‘Media as a prosthesis’. Crash 2004 and U Raging Standstill 2005 were the first VR/video-based immersive performances for audiences. CREW is composed of artists and scientists of the University of Hasselt and Antwerp, and has been part of substantial E.U. FP7 research programs. Terra Nova, C.A.P.E., W_Double U, Eux, Explorer, Absence, Collateral Rooms, have been shown around the world at major art/theatre festivals and conferences.
Robin Nelson is a Professsorial Fellow at RCSSD, having been Director of Research (2010-14). His involvement in the Hamlet Encounters project has been as an associate dramaturg with a practitioner-researcher background in both Shakespeare and contemporary (intermedial) theatre production. He assisted the actors in preparing for the film and MoCap recorded scenes from Hamlet, even taking a small role (Barnardo) himself. An acknowledged field leader in Practice as Research, he is documenting the project to bring out how professional creative practice might also constitute research in an academic context. He has published widely on the performing arts and media, with books including Practice as Research in the Arts: Principles, Protocols, Pedagogies, Resistances (2013), Stephen Poliakoff on Stage and Screen (2011), and Mapping Intermediality in Performance (co-edited with S.Bay-Cheng et al.) (2010).
(NB: there will be an opportunity for invited arts professionals to experience the VR installation from 17.30, or by special arrangement, on Mon-Tues 3rd-4th December.)
3 Dec 2018 - 6:30pm