A history of virtual reality in performance

Dixon, Steve (2006) A history of virtual reality in performance. IInternational Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media,, 2 (1). pp. 23-54. ISSN 1479-4713

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Item Type: Article
Title: A history of virtual reality in performance

Virtual reality (VR) technologies offer theatre and performance unique and
compelling possibilities, but surprisingly few, though notable experiments have
so far materialized. The essay synthesises some of its early history, surveying how
it has been used in theatrical and performance contexts, where somewhat paradoxically,
its high-tech and ‘futuristic’ features have most commonly been utilized
to conjure ancient, classical or primeval worlds and spaces. Brenda Laurel
and Rachel Strickland’s Placeholder (1993) and Char Davies’ Osmose
(1994–95) return to prehistoric landscapes and times, while Yacov Sharir and
Diane Gromala’s Dancing with the Virtual Dervish (1994) also returns to
nature, exploring the interior of the human body. VR’s employment as a 3D
scenographic medium is analyzed through examination of Mark Reaney’s
immersive live theatre designs for ieVR, Richard Beacham’s navigable VR reconstructions of ancient theatres, and Blast Theory’s Desert Rain (1999), which ‘restages’ the 1991 Gulf War as a participatory VR war game. The conclusion analyses the key issues currently inhibiting greater utilisation of the technology in theatre and performance, and its potential for development in the future.

Subjects: Research in Education
Divisions: Centre for Research in the Arts
Depositing User: Ms Ashalatha Krishnan
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2015 04:12
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2015 04:23
URI: http://drlib.lasalle.edu.sg/id/eprint/355
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