Categories 21st Century Media Practice, Final Project : Immersive Telepresence in Theatre

Final Reflections & Projections.

Alice in Wonderland- Lewis Carroll.

So this is my final post and reflective blog on my experience

The above video is of Natasha Tsakos  who is a  a pioneer in theatre performance integrating technology with live performance. She speaks passionately about her field and the possibilites for human experience through theatre. When I watched this video is was a moment of YES!  She finds it difficult to explain what she does, but when she performs people understand. Her future philosophies on what the human experience can be in the 21st century is of a similar thought. It is evolutiontionary and a a 21st centruy technium is happening.

It is difficult to explain and its only when you show someone a video or picture do they start to see some of the world that I have been living in.

This project is more than just a group of people using a big skype screen or a portal to another world.

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It’s immersive in every essence. The reality that you knew, changes the moment you immerse yourself within the theatre and the screen. The inward, sensory, and psychophysical journey that I have been on, I can’t describe in words.

Categories 21st Century Media Practice, Final Project : Immersive Telepresence in Theatre

Embodiment, Mindfulness & Movement Part 2

“Be the centre of your storm”

Dr.Tiina Syrja

The Storm, a word which has so many metaphors. Not only in the Play of King Lear, where Lear looses his mind, but in other forms of literature. T

Twain relinquished that “weather is necessary to a narrative of human experience.” And Shakespeare told us- “minded like the weather’.  Lear is likeminded and chaotic like the storm. And in essence, these two writers are reflecting what all humans can feel internally.

Tiina Integral Yoga from Beck Stewart on Vimeo.

This was the final day of using the screen for a warm up class;: Yoga

Dr Tiina Syrja, is a Senior Lecturer in Acting at University of Tampere. Tiina is a speech therapist, yoga teacher, vocologist and is a teacher of the Alexander technique. I touched upon the Alexander technique in my previous blog “Embodiment, Mindfulness & Movement: Part 1”

The Alexander techniques was designed by F.M Alexander. He was an Australian actor who reflected and observed his human function. B.Rosenburgh 2008 describes Alexanders research Including body expression, posture, voice and body balance. By analysing and observing himself he discovered that through muscular interference he had not been using his body in the best way. He discovered that the tensions he was experiencing, were not always immediately felt but built up to a sensory value.  The methods he developed used systems within movement and body, that coordinated the distribution of the psychophysical process, starting with the head.

Categories 21st Century Media Practice, Final Project : Immersive Telepresence in Theatre

Embodiment, Movement & Mindfulness Part 1

“For real human beings, the only realism is an embodied realism.”
― George Lakoff

Embodiment? That word….. a word that is flown around, especially where I work… If I am completely honest, until this project i really just didn’t get it. I had become disconnected with myself. However I was never someone who just threw the idea off… I wanted to understand what it meant, and really what it felt like.. I had lost the meaning of the word.

In a concrete representation of this word, some may say that life and its concept is represented by a circle. That is physical, that can be drawn shown and seen… this is what comes up when you google it off dictionary.com but then there is the other embodiment.

That other embodiment …..

What is ’embodiment’ when we consider it within an abstract context?

How does it feed the soul? That human experience that feeds some state of your own consciousness? Surely the incarnation of an experience will somehow attribute, to the embodiment of the human experience and surely would make us more human and for a happier and healthier society?

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In order to to be fully embodied for an actor, there has to be a level of mindfulness in performance.  And in order for that actor to be embodied, the process an actor would go through is vast, and then they would approach a particular or series of method.  It may be done in through varying types of practice such as Meditation, Yoga and Martial Arts.

“Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.” ~Sylvia Boorstein

Many of the methods and process that Tiina & Mikko are psychophysical in practices and body within theatre. Cis.Rit.Edu , 2017, describe psychophysical as the scientific study of the stimuli (which is a physical term) and the perceptions and sensations that are evoked by this stimuli.

Dr Mikko is a practitioner of Asahi Health  which is a combination of the basis of  Eastern health practices such as Tai-Chi, but movements are based on Western medicine and physical education. One of the basic goals was to enhance peoples mobility & health. The programme was developed by a group of professional in fitness and martial arts, their names respectively are; Ilpo Jalamo, Timo Klemola, Keijo Mikkonen and Yrjö Mähönen . The approaches developed were to enhance and promote positive effects, on overall well being for those who practice it.

Categories Communication, Final Project : Immersive Telepresence in Theatre

Adobe Connect & King Lear:Online.

Monday

“Anyone can lecture from the butt, only very few can act.”
― Pawan Mishra, Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy

So Monday came and the drum roll began. The whole week of a technical set-up was the walk up the aisle to finally beginning this process of using telepresence as a technical form, to rehearse William Shakespeare’- King Lear (1604-1606). The students had been given their roles, scenes and acts. They had informally met through Facebook, however they were about to check into ‘Adobe Connect’. Whereby they would be given the bedrock knowledge and history of Shakespeare.

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This was the Kickstart lecture, the day that the students would participate in an ‘Adobe Connect’ room. Whereby Tom could deliver his 2 hour lecture on the subject of Shakespearean theatre. In a normal situation a lecture would be in a classroom, directing this information outwardly.

‘Adobe connect’ is a conferencing software, that enables a multiple layered method to teach within a virtual space. This virtual space is essentially your classroom, whereby you can discuss and share content, videos and ask questions.

It gives another form of communication that is not normally seen within a lecture room or a classroom.  Whereby information is given, but the investment sometimes will not be received back. There is participatory culture, respect and less of ‘lecture’ form, whereby the investment of knowledge can be measured back, through the engagement and participation, that is visual and more intimate.

Participatory culture shifts the focus of literacy from one of individual expression to community involvement.

Henry Jenkins
Categories 21st Century Media Practice, Final Project : Immersive Telepresence in Theatre

Planning for a Playwright

Benjamin Franklin was once quoted as saying;

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail-

If I am honest there has been some procrastination, this however, has been more out of the fear of what I am about to take on. I have a habit of sometimes being a busy fool, and can find myself being a ‘media powerhouse’ churning out content that I may not use or need. And the question is; is this content produced relevant? What am I trying to convey & say?

My first meeting with my supervisors, Ken and Nick, I didn’t feel prepared. I had all of these thoughts and ideas of how I wanted the King Lear to be filmed, however, I didn’t have a plan and this was the problem. My mind was awash with thoughts but no conceit narrative of the final project.

They questioned what the narrative flow was it going to be? Who were the people I was following? And what was it specifically I was trying to cover. From the conversation I formed a basic mindmap and outline of the themes and content that we had discussed.

So I have to have a plan! If I reflect my feelings and approaches the last few months. I have had to get a full appreciation of what the project is about, I have had to be patient with the curators in their own planning and I have to understand what King Lear themes and subjects are. From this discussion I created a basic narrative workflow on the areas that I was going to start with.

 

Categories 21st Century Media Practice, Final Project : Immersive Telepresence in Theatre

This is not Stargate: Telepresence in Theatre

This is not a portal to some other dimension as in Stargate, whereby the lecturer teleports his students to some far off galaxy and they perform shakespeare.

NO!

But Imagine if you could walk up to a large flat screen, being projected on the screen is a room, that mirrors the room you are standing in. A person walks onto that screen and they are the same hight and build as yourself, but it isn’t you, its someone else. You realize that you can interact with that person, talk, communicate, there is a 2 way communication going on. So you’re probably now thinking, well this just sounds like a skype conversation.

Well its not, when you have someone the same size as you, in an endless space and you are performing Shakespeare together and the people on the screen, just happen to be performance actors from the the University of Tampere.

This becomes something else…..

Categories 21st Century Media Practice, Adventures, Art

Poets Project- Isle of Raasay.

Format

IMG_1634 (1)

This was a holistic accelerated learning experience, to be able to connect with the land on a research level, emotional level through art and explore technical skills and apply them has been such an experience that has sincerly made me want to explore this further in my own creative practice and career.   I have never been to a place that has left me feeling like a part of me was left there and I am missing it. To have the sound of your hand being removed from your pocket that was so loud that my senses and ears had forgotten to scale the volume and I listened to the silence. We had to experience him, we had to listen to him.

The landscape was simply epic, surrounded by the Caledonian Mountains we scaled the Isle of Rassey upon foot and with the help of a minibus to get to our locations. We were there to document and connect with the island. We had previously been introduced to the poem “Hallaig” by Sorley Maclean.

“Time, the deer, is in Hallaig Wood

There’s a board nailed across the window
I looked through to see the west
And my love is a birch forever
By Hallaig Stream, at her tryst

Between Inver and Milk Hollow,
somewhere around Baile-chuirn,
A flickering birch, a hazel,
A trim, straight sapling rowan.

In Screapadal, where my people
Hail from, the seed and breed
Of Hector Mor and Norman
By the banks of the stream are a wood.”

( S.Maclean)

Categories Art, Film Making, Uncategorized

Tonal Projections

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Pablo Picasso

 

Tonal Projections was where we saw our work from our Masters group come together. It was fantastic to collaboratively work together to produce this almost “pop-up” projection art from inside #TheTank Studio, at Coventry University.

We created a space that was no longer this Kryptonite cube,  it evolved into a projection art space. We had three types of projections going from within the glass cube. Firstly was the main projection on the wall, we blocked all the sunlight out so that the luminance of the projector could be at its fullest and all the colours being able to pop out at the audience.  Then there was Ken experiential projection, which evolved with the setting sun.

Categories 21st Century Media Practice, Film Making

Zero Project

..............,.........Project

“The film drama is the opium of the people…down with bourgeois fairy-tale scenarios…long live life as it is!” Dziga Vertov

TASK-The verite piece must be a real story about real people. We are not looking for television formats or fabricated spectacles. The essence of any engaging documentary is a story, strong characters, strong imagery and a journey, conflict, resolution or crisis that we follow through the video. These should be your guiding principles when researching and producing your piece. We want you to really explore a more fluid approach to image making in conjunction with a multi-layered use of audio to build a simple soundscape. The film should be three minutes long and should be sensory in its approach.