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Mask and Avatar



Part of a larger research project undertaken by Labex Arts-H2H and Université Paris 8 entitled La Scène Augmenté (The Augmented Stage), Mask and Avatar investigates the principles, solutions and applications of motion capture (now established in film, TV and games production, but still in its infancy with regard to live performance).

The underpinning research has been developed in a series of interdisciplinary workshops in 2017 in Paris as part of the ‘Masque et Avatar’ (‘Mask and Avatar’) project, funded and supported by Labex Arts-H2H; Université Paris 8 (EA1573 – INRéV); CNSAD; Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense (EA 4414 HAR); Université Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle (Laboratoire LIRA); Centre de recherche INRIA de Grenoble Rhône-Alpes (IMAGINE); CUBE-Centre création numérique; Cie di mini teatro; Cie GenteGente !!; and – plate-forme de création pour le spectacle vivant.

La scène augmenté (The Augmented Stage) focuses on the development and presentation of theatre and performance in and through digital technologies, with the participation of academic and industry partners (the project ran from 2015-17, Principal Investigator Erica Magris, see Mask and Avatar takes this research into a specific engagement with the Perception Neuron motion capture system – an accessible, geo-spatial (non-camera-based) system. It involves collaboration between computer engineers, software programmers, digital designers and theatre makers; and interaction between avatars and masked actors, bringing together old and new technologies of corporeal representation.

After a set of workshop experiments (March, June, and October 2017) facilitated by theatre/opera director and Paris 8 academic Georges Gagneré, we developed three diverse performance outcomes as a way of exemplifying the possibilities of this system, both in terms of the kinds of avatar interactions it permits, and as a resource for live performance (with a toolkit and outline of use). This phase of the project concluded with a workshop and Colloquium at Le Cube, a digital creation facility in the Paris suburb of Issy-les-Moulineaux (a media quarter where Microsoft and Canal Plus are also located), with performances presented on 14 and 15 December 2017 as part of the Colloquium. Andy Lavender (Warwick) conceived directed one of the performances, and mask experts Giulia Filacanapa and Boris Dymny another, and we are bringing these to our Engagement Day in Warwick.


23 March 2018 Engagement Day

Engagement Day aims at bringing together participants from the theatre, games, film and entertainment industries; and facilitate an expert discussion with interlocutors that explores the technical and theoretical aspects of the project.

Please register here.