UPCOMING EVENT

44 DAYS TO THE EVENT
29 Jul, 10:00 BST
Online

Background image: A.I. generated Fractal Landscape 

Theatre, A.I. and 'ludic technologies'

AHRC RESEARCH NETWORK

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)

LEAD PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University

University of Nottingham

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Events

Details

Symposium I: Humanist Perspectives

Nottingham University, 9th of April 2021 (the event will be held online)

 

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

Session I: Keynotes

10:00 – 10:15 Introduction

10:15 – 10:45 Prof. Steve Benford (University of Nottingham) 

10:45 – 11:15 Dr. Maria Kallionpää  (Hong Kong Baptist University)  

11:15 – 11:30 Coffee

11:30 – 12:00 Nick Tandavanitj (Blast Theory)

12:00 – 12:30 Panel 

 

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch

 

Session II: Workshops

14:00 – 17:00 Three Parallel Workshop Sessions. In partnership with the TAS Hub. https://www.tas.ac.uk/

1) Making AI Understandable (BBC)

2) How Do We Understand Trust and The Need to Design Autonomous Systems for Trust? (Thales Group)

3) Jazz as Social Machine (University of Southampton/Turing Institute)

Check out the Workshops page for details.

Symposium II: Ruptures/Disruptions

Aberystwyth University, July 2021

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. The symposium will also look at ways in which A.I. can be used in staging provocations and provocative design. 

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).

 

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.

 

SPEAKERS

Symposium I

Prof. Steve Benford

(University of Nottingham)

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Dr. Maria Kallionpää (1981) is an internationally active composer and pianist, currently working as an assistant professor at the Hong Kong Baptist University, and as a composer in residence of the Mixed Reality Laboratory of the Nottingham University. Her research as postdoctoral fellow (2016-2018) at the University of Aalborg focused on gamification as a composition technique (funded by Kone Foundation, Finland). Furthermore, as a winner of the Fabbrica Young Artist Development Program of Opera di Roma, Kallionpää was commissioned to compose an opera (fp: Teatro Nazionale, Rome, Oct 2017). In collaboration with her colleague Markku Klami, Kallionpää has composed the first full length puppet opera produced in the Nordic Countries (fp: March 2018). Kallionpää was a laureate of Académie de France à Rome in 2016. She got her PhD in composition at the university of Oxford in 2015 and has graduated from the Royal Academy of Music (2009) and Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien (2010). Kallionpää won the first prize of the OUPHIL composition competition in 2013.

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Nick Tandavanitj (Blast Theory)

Nick Tandavanitj has worked with Blast Theory since 1994. In this time, Nick has focused on creative approaches to computing; contributing to the group’s unique mix of skills in structuring interactivity and narrative.  This has led to particular skills in 3D modelling, technical design & programming for interactive installations and web based artwork.

 

Nick studied Art & Social Context at Dartington College of Arts from 1990-1993; collaborating for 2 years with Alison Cannon on a number of videos and performances. Following college, Nick became a friend and hanger on of the artists at Jamaica Street Studios in Bristol, occasionally working for Oil Experts and Stoloff & Hopkinson™ as well as working with Bristol based artists Sophie Warren and Charlotte Crewe.

 

In 2003, Nick became an Arts and Humanities Research Council Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham undertaking a nine month programme of research into artistic, social and gaming applications which use mobile technology.

 

Nick also teaches as part of Blast Theory’s programme of masterclasses and workshops. This work incorporates introductions to a variety of tools for prototyping and to concepts & techniques for generating interactivity. Nick has also contributed to a number of academic papers with the Mixed Reality Lab.

 

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.

Dr. Maria Kallionpää  (Hong Kong Baptist University)

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