Thu. Oct 29th, 2020 Magazine

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Livestreaming a Symposium: Performance and XR 2020 (PXR2020)

6 min read

Toasterlab presents the symposium Performance and XR 2020 (PXR2020) livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at from Friday 2 October to Saturday 10 October 2020.

Performance and XR 2020 (PXR2020) is a Virtual Reality Symposium for Canadian artists and XR technologists, exploring creation and performance in XR. An opportunity for creators and digital content creators to come together to share discoveries and build partnerships for future collaborations, PXR2020 features a series of presentations, discussions and showcases by artists, technologists and innovators in a virtual environment.

The symposium occurs over four sessions in Virtual Reality, and includes a Keynote presentation by Yelena Rachitsky, Executive Producer at Oculus Experience, and Endnote presentation by interdisciplinary artist Casey Koyczan. Canadian theatre artists will examine virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality (collectively known as XR) in the creation of live performance, developing and sharing strategies with industry leaders and XR Programmers. With virtual presentations of artistic works by Electric Company Theatre, Single Thread Theatre, Jo Jack et John, Toasterlab, and others, PXR2020 aims to foster creative experimentation with these emerging mediums in dialogue with the IT sector.

Produced by Single Thread Theatre Co. in association with Electric Company Theatre.

In partnership with the Centre for Entertainment Arts (Langara College), the Vancouver VR Community, Toasterlab, and Outside the March Theatre Company.

Supported by the Canada Council for the Arts

PXR2020 is happening in AltSpaceVR, the premier place to attend live shows, meetups, cool classes, and more with friendly people from around the world. All thanks to the magic of Virtual Reality. It is accessible on HTC Vive; Oculus Rift, Rift S, Go, and Quest; Windows Mixed Reality; and 2D Mode on PC.

Selected sessions will be streaming via HowlRound and the Partners, so people without a headset or an appropriate device can still participate.


12:15 p.m. – 1 p.m. PDT (Vancouver, UTC -7) / 2:15 p.m. – 3 p.m. CDT (Winnipeg, UTC -5) / 3:15 p.m. – 4 p.m. EDT (Toronto, UTC -4)

Conversations in XR Emerging Modes of Spectatorship

1:15 p.m. – 2 p.m. PDT (Vancouver, UTC -7) / 3:15 p.m. – 4 p.m. CDT (Winnipeg, UTC -5) / 4:15 p.m. – 5 p.m. EDT (Toronto, UTC -4)

Video Games, Twitch, Youtube, and algorithmic culture more broadly, continue to transform the contexts for spectatorship of performance. Audiences, users, players and performers alike are developing new ways of active participation in digital and virtual experiences. Each speaker will bring examples of how these new models and platforms challenge the status quo in performance- and forecast how they imagine things will continue to change.

Lightning in a Bottle, Nick Fox Grieg

12:15 p.m. – 1 p.m. PDT (Vancouver, UTC -7) / 2:15 p.m. – 3 p.m. CDT (Winnipeg, UTC -5) / 3:15 p.m. – 4 p.m. EDT (Toronto, UTC -4)

Nick will showcase hand-drawn XR animation with 6DoF drawing tools using LATK, an open-source complete pipeline for frame-by-frame volumetric animation. Gain new strategies for creating 3D art with 6DoF controllers, using these technologies in real-world production scenarios, working across multiple platforms and devices, provoking ideas for presenting roomscale XR work with or without a headset.

Debi Wong, OrpheusVR

1:15 p.m. – 2 p.m. PDT (Vancouver, UTC -7) / 3:15 p.m. – 4 p.m. CDT (Winnipeg, UTC -5) / 4:15 p.m. – 5 p.m. EDT (Toronto, UTC -4)

The OrpheusVR creators will discuss their creative process and translating opera into an interactive, virtual narrative. At its inception, Opera was revolutionary, leveraging modern technologies to immerse audiences in epic stories. OrpheusVR reclaims opera’s rebellious roots using Motion Capture Technology, Virtual Reality and Interactive Audio

KEYNOTE, Yelena Rachinsky

2:15 p.m. – 3 p.m. PDT (Vancouver, UTC -7) / 4:15 p.m. – 5 p.m. CDT (Winnipeg, UTC -5) / 5:15 p.m. – 6 p.m. EDT (Toronto, UTC -4)

Yelena Rachitsky is an executive producer of experiences at Oculus, overseeing dozens of groundbreaking, narrative-driven VR projects that range from Pixar’s first VR project to original independent work. Prior to Oculus, she was the creative producer at Future of Storytelling (FoST), which aims to change how people communicate and tell stories in the digital age. Yelena also helped program for the Sundance Film Festival and Institute’s New Frontier program and spent four years in the documentary division at Participant Media, working on films like Food Inc. and Waiting for Superman. She’s passionate about big creative ideas that will make technology meaningful.

Catherine Bourgeois, Violette

12:15 p.m. – 1 p.m. PDT (Vancouver, UTC -7) / 2:15 p.m. – 3 p.m. CDT (Winnipeg, UTC -5) / 3:15 p.m. – 4 p.m. EDT (Toronto, UTC -4)

Exploring the parallels between the genres of theatre and Virtual Reality, and the dramaturgical journey between them, Catherine will speak to the goals, objectives and experience of creating the mixed reality piece VIOLETTE, as well as the urgent need for (and needs of) diverse groups of creators working in VR, forging paths to developing wider audiences.

Socially Engaged, Darren O’Donnell

1:15 p.m. – 2 p.m. PDT (Vancouver, UTC -7) / 3:15 p.m. – 4 p.m. CDT (Winnipeg, UTC -5) / 4:15 p.m. – 5 p.m. EDT (Toronto, UTC -4)

Examining the immersive project “The Last Minute Before Mars”/ Milan 360, Darren will discuss creating in a mixed reality medium, sharing insights and tactics on how to Foster Social Engagement and Intimacy, and Direct and Devise with Community at a Distance.

Conversations in XR, Spatial Design

2:15 p.m. – 3 p.m. PDT (Vancouver, UTC -7) / 4:15 p.m. – 5 p.m. CDT (Winnipeg, UTC -5) / 5:15 p.m. – 6 p.m. EDT (Toronto, UTC -4)

What logics are involved in crafting spaces for digital performance and interaction? Across lighting, props/object modelling, set/level design, and sound, each panelist will bring one success and one failure to contribute to a discussion about new and emergent frameworks for digital performance. The panel will then break out into smaller groups for discussion with attendees.

Product Ownership, Cohort

12:15 p.m. – 1 p.m. PDT (Vancouver, UTC -7) / 2:15 p.m. – 3 p.m. CDT (Winnipeg, UTC -5) / 3:15 p.m. – 4 p.m. EDT (Toronto, UTC -4)

In this workshop, participants will:

Discuss the overlap between methods of organizing work and creation processes in the tech and theatre industries

Hear from Cohort team members about how we work across these disciplines

Practice tactics for getting what they need out of technical collaborations

Conversations in XR, Creative Process in XR

1:15 p.m. – 2 p.m. PDT (Vancouver, UTC -7) / 3:15 p.m. – 4 p.m. CDT (Winnipeg, UTC -5) / 4:15 p.m. – 5 p.m. EDT (Toronto, UTC -4)

How are practitioners approaching the creative process for new content in XR Performance? Is there a common language shared with other creative industries in the medium? What is the dramaturgical process in XR, how do you create and innovate? Each member of the panel will speak to their adopted tools and timelines, focusing on specific tips and strategies.

Project Team

Clayton Baraniuk, Communications & Marketing

Jesse Cheung, Development Coordinator

Alex Dault, Symposium Director

Melissa Dex Guzman, VR Community Outreach

Aidan Hammond, Project Manager

Liam Karry, Procurement and Partnerships

Dave Norton, Publicist

Steering Committee

Clayton Baraniuk, Artistic Producer, Electric Theatre Company

Alex Dault, Associate Artistic Director, Single Thread

Melissa Dex Guzman, Vancouver VR Community

Milton Lim, Digital Interaction Designer, The Cultch

Griffin McInnes, Associate Artistic Director, Outside the March

Liam Karry, Artistic Director, Single Thread

About HowlRound TV

HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based peer produced, open access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world’s performing arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and to develop our knowledge commons collectively. Participate in a community of peer organizations revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field by becoming a producer and co-producing with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, email [email protected], or call Vijay Mathew at 1 917.686.3185 Signal/WhatsApp. View the video archive of past events.

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