29 Jul 2021, 10:00 BST

Background image: A.I. generated Fractal Landscape 

Theatre, A.I. and 'ludic technologies'


The network will investigate three related yet distinct fields of: contemporary theatre, artificial intelligence and ludic technologies. The main focus will be to investigate these fields from the perspective of humanist discourses and artistic practice. We feel that this perspective has often been omitted in the current discussions and academic discourses on A.I. We also feel that in our current post-digital age, there is scope, novelty and timeliness in an interdisciplinary research approach to these three fields, in particular when considering how contemporary artistic practices can question our relationship with newly emerging technologies.


The network will bring together academics from the field of A.I. research, computer studies, game studies, arts and humanities, theatre and performance artists/practitioners with the aim of exploring the above research agenda.

Investigators/Directors: Dr Alan Chamberlain (University of Nottingham) and Dr Piotr Woycicki (Aberystwyth University)


Aberystwyth University

University of Nottingham

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Symposium II: Ruptures/Disruptions

Aberystwyth University, 29th of July 2021 (the event will be held online)

The symposium will explore how the application of A.I. in theatre and performance and ludic technologies can instantiate ruptures and disruptions to our contemporary cultural context and the everyday. It will also look at ways in which A.I. can be used in staging provocations and provocative design. 

Session I: Keynotes

10:00 – 10:15 Introduction

10:15 – 10:45 'Recursion as Disruption', Prof. Natasha Lushetich (University of Dundee) 

10:45 – 11:15 ' Living in the Moment: Co-Creating Music with AI', Prof. David de Roure  (Oxford University, The Alan Turing Institute, PRiSM, Royal Northern College of Music)

11:15 – 11:30 Coffee

11:30 – 12:00 'The Game of Life', Dr. Ali Hossaini (National Gallery X and King's College London)

12:00 – 12:30 Panel 


12:30 – 14:00 Lunch


Session II: Workshops

14:00 – 17:00 Three Parallel Workshop Sessions. Click on the following link for details: Workshops

1) Ludic Technologies: A Dance with Complexity (Prof. Natasha Lushetich)

2) Embracing disruption: music as a rehearsal for an emerging symbiosis of human and machine 

(Prof. David de Roure)


3) Cultural exchange with the realm of artificial intelligence  (Dr. Ali Hossaini)


Symposium III: Immersion and Corporeal/Embodied Experiences

Nottingham University, November 2021


The symposium will explore how A.I., theatre and performance and ludic technologies impact our understanding of immersion and corporeal/embodied experiences in the postdigital age. There will be scope for further exploration of the impact of A.I. development on VR, AR and MR technologies which are opening up new modes of experience and engagement with virtual worlds.


Inter-disciplinary exhibition project

Venue and date TBA 

As a final event, we will organise a gallery exhibition of ideas and concepts generated by the network and produce a catalogue which will document this work (printed and online form).


Symposium I: Humanist Perspectives

Nottingham University, 9th of April 2021


The symposium explored approaches towards a humanistic understanding of the inter-relation between the domains of A.I., theatre and performance and ludic technologies. 

Check out the Events and Workshops page for more details.


Steve Benford is the Dunford Professor of Computer Science at the University of Nottingham where he co-founded the Mixed Reality Laboratory. He is Director of the EPSRC-funded Horizon Centre for Doctoral Training and also Director of the University's Smart Products beacon of research excellence. He was previously an EPSRC Dream Fellow, a Visiting Researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge and a Visiting Professor at the BBC.

An immersive technology specialist Jessica Driscoll is the Head of Immersive Technology at Digital Catapult. She has an MA in Digital Culture and Technology and experience of working with a variety of technologies from virtual reality, augmented reality and haptics in the creative and industrial sectors. She has implemented immersive training solutions in both educational and commercial institutions in particular NGO’s, Oil & Gas, Aviation, Pharmaceutical, Construction and Automotive industries. Her previous experience at BBC Research and Development gave her understanding and insight into audiences and testing new broadcast technologies at scale. With experience of each part of the immersive value chain from startups to international broadcaster, from business development to content production, this hands-on experience in immersive will help to shape the support offered for startups and scaleups in the immersive economy.



Symposium II

Prof. Natasha Lushetich

(University of Dundee)


Prof. David de Roure  (Oxford University,  The Alan Turing Institute, PRiSM, Royal Northern College of Music)

David De Roure is Professor of e-Research in the Engineering Science Department at the University of Oxford, and a Turing Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute.

Throughout his career David has investigated emerging technologies in large scale distributed and sociotechnical systems, with a broad interest in society, technology and creativity, while also focusing on innovation in the process of scholarship. He has co-founded three interdisciplinary initiatives: the PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity, which is the world’s largest socio-technical research centre focused on the future implementation of the Internet of Things; the Software Sustainability Institute, cultivating better and more sustainable software to enable world-class research; and PRiSM, The Centre for Practice & Research in Science & Music at the Royal Northern College of Music.

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Dr Ali Hossaini (National Gallery X and King's College London)

Dr Ali Hossaini works at the cutting edge of art, technology and science. His artwork Ouroboros was acclaimed by the New York Times, which calls him “a biochemist turned philosopher turned television producer turned visual poet.” He is a senior visiting research fellow in the Department of Engineering at King's College London, a trustee of the Young Vic theatre and co-director of National Gallery X. 


Natasha Lushetich is Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory at the University of Dundee and AHRC Research Leadership Fellow (2020-21). Her research is interdisciplinary and focuses on intermedia; biopolitics and performativity; the status of sensory experience in cultural knowledge; hegemony; indeterminacy and complexity. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships such as Fulbright, Steim and ArtsLink. Her books include Fluxus: the Practice of Non-Duality (2014); Interdisciplinary Performance (2016); The Aesthetics of Necropolitics (2018), Beyond Mind, a special issue of Symbolism (2019), and Big Data: A New Medium? (2020).

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