Technology, memory and experience : virtual reality, motion capture and early modern theatre

Delbridge, Matthew & Tompkins, Joanne (2011) Technology, memory and experience : virtual reality, motion capture and early modern theatre. In Performance Studies International (PSi) Conference 2011, 25-29 May 2011, Utrecht University, Utrecht. (Unpublished)

View at publisher


This paper investigates virtual reality representations of performance in London’s late sixteenth-century Rose Theatre, a venue that, by means of current technology, can once again challenge perceptions of space, performance, and memory. The VR model of The Rose becomes a Camillo device in that it represents a virtual recreation of this venue in as much detail as possible and attempts to recover graphic demonstrations of the trace memories of the performance modes of the day. The VR model is based on accurate archeological and theatre historical records and is easy to navigate. The introduction of human figures onto The Rose’s stage via motion capture allows us to explore the relationships between space, actor and environment. The combination of venue and actors facilitates a new way of thinking about how the work of early modern playwrights can be stored and recalled. This virtual theatre is thus activated to intersect productively with contemporary studies in performance; as such, our paper provides a perspective on and embodiment of the relation between technology, memory and experience. It is, at its simplest, a useful archiving project for theatrical history, but it is directly relevant to contemporary performance practice as well. Further, it reflects upon how technology and ‘re-enactments’ of sorts mediate the way in which knowledge and experience are transferred, and even what may be considered ‘knowledge.’ Our work provides opportunities to begin addressing what such intermedial confrontations might produce for ‘remembering, experiencing, thinking and imagining.’ We contend that these confrontations will enhance live theatre performance rather than impeding or disrupting contemporary performance practice. This paper intersects with the CFP’s ‘Performing Memory’ and ‘Memory Lab’ themes. Our presentation (which includes a demonstration of the VR model and the motion capture it requires) takes the form of two closely linked papers that share a single abstract. The two papers will be given by two people, one of whom will be physically present in Utrecht, the other participating via Skype.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

18 since deposited on 29 May 2011
1 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 41199
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Virtual Reality, Motion Capture, Early Modern Theatre, Faustus, Digital Scenography
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Interactive Media (190205)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > PERFORMING ARTS AND CREATIVE WRITING (190400) > Drama Theatre and Performance Studies (190404)
Divisions: Past > Schools > Drama
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Deposited On: 29 May 2011 23:18
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2011 15:00

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page