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Feeling Theatre

It was my first funding application as a Systems Creative; it was the first funding application I had planned using Making Sense®. I cannot express just how excited I am to announce that I've been awarded the new technical funds grant by the digital theatre lab - Open Source! So, what is this exploration going to look like? Well... within my proposal, I had expressed how I wanted to explore how haptic hardware and its outputs can be choreographed and aligned with the more established modal channels that come with theatre and digital storytelling (i.e the visual, aural, textual, and spatial modes) - and as a result of this - begin to establish some preliminary prototype platforms and workflows that can support the design and broadcast of 'content' via this additional modal channel for new digital theatre.

I've shared this before - but you can read a one-sheet digest of my proposal here. To begin my experiments with the artificial stimulation of touch - I'll be utilising the Woojer Vest. Now, this is a device clearly marketed primarily at the video games and digital media industry...

...but I'm interested in its application within wider contexts. So it's time for me to slather this bad boy from head to toe in my home brand approach of Hybrid Fundamentalism - and see how I can draw on all of my favourite critical creative theories to contribute towards a new kind of production language for the design of haptic content. Not at all dissimilar to the processes within my new rolling AV production strand - Hzwatches - just in this case, along a path much less well-trodden than straight-up AV.

Given the timescale of this project, I know that updates are going to come thick and fast on this one - as the work will be kicking off from the start of March and all findings, outputs, and outcomes to be shared back here and fed into the Open Source resource in April. Very soon, on the 4th of Feb, all of the other successful Open Source applicants will be meeting up to talk about what we each intend to explore and how the elements of each of our projects can potentially overlap and align - so the final nature of how I intend to explore this new frontier will come into full view over the coming weeks.

But man alive am I excited for this one... because in a time when our normal experiential channels have been not only muted but in some cases removed entirely (cheers COVID...) it feels like now is the perfect time to explore not only how we see and hear theatre and digital storytelling - but how we can begin to PHYSICALLY feel it too.


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