Université Paris 8
2 Rue de la Liberté, 93526 Saint-Denis

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Masks and technologies: immersion, expression, interaction

Cluster Workshop #1

December 11-12, 2015
University Paris 8
Studio Théâtre
2, rue de la Liberté
93526 Saint-Denis

Metro: Saint-Denis Université (line 13)

The experimental workshop Masks and Technologies: Immersion, Expression, Interaction organized by Giulia Filacanapa, Georges Gagneré and Erica Magris in collaboration with Mehdi Bourgeois and Cédric Plessiet, aims to begin specific research on possible relations between the mask and new technologies.

When questioning the notion of "augmented stage", one cannot disregard that theater has always been the perfect place to augment reality, either on the scenic space side or on the actor’s body side. In this sense, the theatrical mask is at the center of this thinking as it needs to be considered as the augmentation and metamorphosis instrument of the actor: an artificial extension of the flesh body, which transforms it into a hybrid body.

Dans cet atelier, nous allons mettre en dialogue masque et nouvelles technologies, tant d’un point de vue théorique qu’expérimental : nous travaillerons avec des masques en cuir créés par Stefano Perocco di Meduna ainsi que des dispositifs immersifs (kinect et oculus rift) permettant de dédoubler l’acteur par un avatar numérique. L’objectif de cette première phase de recherche est d’explorer le potentiel d’expressivité et d’interaction entre spectateurs, acteurs, personnages masqués et avatars en recourant aux techniques d’improvisation du jeu masqué.

How do the masked actor and the avatar-actor cope with their metamorphosis? What can be the connections and divergences between these two experiences of alterity? How does, or doesn’t, the relation with the spectators occur? Does the actor play an active part in the avatar’s "vitalization" in comparison to the masked actor? Can western masked performances constitute a tool to explore the expressive potential of the avatar, and to develop the actor’s creativity? Is realism really necessary to give the avatar an efficient capacity of expression? Can the mask encourage another way to conceive realism in the virtual?

To attempt to answer these questions, we will set three different immersion, expression and interaction experiments, which will be analyzed by experts of the field, young researchers from the project’s Critical Observatory, as well as students from the ATI and Theatre Departments. We also want to develop a meta-analysis on experimental research and its methodological tools, by setting up observation protocols, actors’ testimonies, through pluridisciplinary digital means: the aim is to begin to create a database with an interactive and immersive interface.

Labex Arts-H2H

The Laboratory of Excellence in Arts and Human Mediations is part of the “Investments for the future” program since 2011. As part of this program, its members conduct research following three main lines: situations, technologies, hybridization.

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