Dan Barnard and Goldsmiths, University of London
Dan Barnard, fanSHEN
Marco Gillies and Nicky Donald, Goldsmiths, University of London
An investigation into how participants behave during live interactive digital theatre experiences.
Between October and November 2015 fanSHEN operated Invisible Treasures, a sold out interactive theatre experience which ran for three weeks at the Ovalhouse Theatre. The interactive digital playscape offered a exploration of human relationships, power structures and individual agency set into seven levels and combining cutting edge sensor, sound and projection technologies. Paired with Marco Gillies and Nicky Donald of Goldsmiths’ Computing department this residency sought to understand audience participation through motion tracking software, interviews and surveys.
The collaboration played into the development of Invisible Treasure and helped develop four related web games, Quiz, Binary, Crossword and Illusions. A series of workshops were run with Goldsmiths students and after Invisible Treasures concluded fanSHEN hosted a post-show panel discussion, which around forty individuals from the theatre and creative technology industries attended. fanSHEN also presented the project and its findings at the annual Devoted and Disgruntled gathering of independent theatre makers during a breakout session with twenty artists.
Studying and reviewing each session of the theatrical experience Gillies and Donald are currently co-authoring a report on fanSHEN’s project. Analysis from the study will likely play into future work and collaborations between fanSHEN and Goldsmiths. Already a second iteration of Invisible Treasures in planned for 2017, and fanSHEN is working on another theatre technology fusion for 2016 called Hopefully Mistaken.
The experience has also provided an excellent and unusual case study for the Human Computer Interaction project being run at Goldsmiths.
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