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Nesta publishes ‘Between Worlds’ R&D report

June 20, 2013

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Debrief at the McKitrick Hotel, New York

Researchers and Punchdrunk Theatre debrief in the McKitrick Hotel

Nesta has published its ‘Between Worlds’ digital R&D report on an immersive research and theatre performance in New York. The project took place against the background of Punchdrunk Theatre‘s ‘Sleep No More’ production, which is described as a mash-up between Macbeth and Hitchcock.

The Nesta-backed research was generated through a collaboration between Punchdrunk Theatre, technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and research methodology – dubbed Insight Journalism – developed by University of the West of England, University of Dundee and UCLan’s Media Innovation Studio.

Taking place between January and May 2012, the research examined whether an online incarnation of the production – streamed from the converted building ‘Sleep No More’ was being performed in – could offer “quality of the physical and visceral, live experience that is at the heart of immersive work”.

“The experiment would attempt to join two audience members together to experience a coherent, shared storyline. One physically present in the space of Sleep No More, one online, remotely on a laptop or other computer,” the report continues.

The report, co-authored by Media Innovation Studio director Paul Egglestone, examines the tensions between the real and virtual worlds, challenges of experience prototyping and the combination of the human experience and rendering of Artificial Intelligence when the virtual and physical are combined.

To read the report, click here. The Punchdrunk case study can be found here.

And a previous Media Innovation Studio story on the project can be found here.

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