Trump musical part of £400k digital arts experiment
Experiments that defy the imagination are at the heart of a government-sponsored programme to create new cultural experiences through immersive technology.
Twenty projects sharing a budget of £400,000 have been chosen for the programme, with a virtual musical about Donald Trump’s relationship with Twitter, a multiplayer game based on Zoom and a table-top concert among the concepts being tried out in the CreativeXR programme run by the Digital Catapult, the DCMS-funded agency for advanced digital technologies, and Arts Council England.
The teams were asked to come up with innovative ideas delivered through virtual reality, augmented reality or audio technologies, with many of the projects chosen responding directly to the restrictions of social distancing and the growing appetite for at-home entertainment.
This is the third year of the programme which has previously won £2.7m in investment for British creatives. There is to be a showcase event scheduled for November for the latest cohort which Jeremy Silver, Digital Catapult’s CEO, said was more diverse and inclusive than in previous years, with more contemporary themes such as climate change, anti-racism and the social media commentary of populist leaders.
“The cohort's prototypes will give us an intriguing glimpse into future ways of storytelling” he said. “Chosen from over 250 applicants, each of the 20 in the cohort will rise to the challenge of finding a new format to create a compelling experience with dramatic, comedic and downright provocative themes".
The twenty projects selected to join CreativeXR 2020 are:
- (Hi)story of a Painting by Gaëlle Mourre and Quentin Darras - An educational series which builds storyworlds around iconic works of art.
- #CorpTopia by Kimeleon.tv - An AR multiplayer game set in a parallel world of human-animal species.
- #TrumpsTower by Satore Studio and Borough Productions - A musical drama tracing the intense relationship between one man and his digital surrogate.
- A Place to Be by Independent Film Trust - A 360˚ VR experience set in a South London shebeen.
- Austerity On Trial by English Touring Theatre - An immersive courtroom drama examining the human impact of austerity measures.
- Blood Speaks: Maya – The Birth of a Superhero by Just Another Production Company -An immersive story following a girl’s transformation into a uniquely female superhero.
- Bodymapping by Hatsumi - A webVR experience enabling people to communicate the experience of pain and emotion through 3D drawing.
- Child of Empire by Project Dastaan - An interactive VR docufiction based on the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan.
- Dracula Immersed by Davy & Kristin McGuire - The world’s first augmented reality pop-up book reimagining the classic gothic story.
- Future Rites by Alexander Whitley, Sandra Rodriguez and Normal Studio – An immersive and collaborative performance experience based on the seminal ballet The Rite Of Spring.
- IamMUSIC by KRAKED and Associated Industries - A creative tool which turns the process of making audiovisual art into a physical experience, using the body to generate sound and light.
- Munkination - A Second Chance by Visualise & Royal Opera House - An immersive hiphop/opera presenting an Afro- futuristic adventure story about climate change.
- New World by Forest Tribe Theatre - An immersive world created using live-streaming, music, theatre and human connection.
- REBOOT by AΦE - An immersive performance based on the true story of Matheryn Naovaratpong, the youngest human to be cryogenized.
- Song.world by Sammy Lee, M.J. Harding, Cream Projects and Off World Live – A documentary about the global phenomenon of K-pop, experienced as a 360 live stream.
- Story Portals by YonderBeyond - A physical pop-up building which becomes home to multiple stories and characters through the power of AR.
- The Foundling by Raucous - A tabletop theatre show combining fairytale and fact, designed as a prequel to a live immersive theatre experience.
- Transportalists by FANDCO - A live concert brought into the audience’s home through mixed reality.
- extraordinary people - extraordinary places by ScanLAB Projects - A narrative experience about the relationship between people and their place of work.