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Lazer Unicorns Residency at the Digital Weekender 2016

A massive thanks to the lovely Irini Papadimitriou, Head of New Media Arts Development at Watermans Arts Centre, for inviting the Lazer Unicorns to be resident at the Digital Weekender 2016 last weekend!

Following an open call to emerging artists using digital in their practice, an extraordinary group of people came together to discuss, share and develop their work on Friday 11th November. These included:

Amanda Fromell - a writer and dramaturg working with theatre, prose and dance. In her work, she is always driven by a desire to expose the powers that influence our existence; what makes us think the way we do - what makes us act the way we act? She is currently developing an immersive audio drama experience exploring how algorithms are increasingly being used to structure and control our everyday lives. She is passionate about new writing and have worked as a dramaturg developing new work with theatres such as the Royal Dramatic Theatre of Sweden, the Birmingham Rep, Manchester Royal Exchange and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatre.

Mala Lal - a freelance Interactive Developer based in London. Her work is heavily influenced by nature and interactivity. The movement of plants, fluids and humans is seen throughout her projects, as it is something that is ever changing, beautiful and is all around us. Using nature in her projects allows the audience to have a relationship between their own memories and something familiar. Using computation, she explores the connections in nature with interactive installations / art / film / games to create a dynamic conversation between woman/man and machine. Her recent projects include ‘& Exhale: An Interactive Music Experience’ which she’ll be exhibiting at Art Hub Gallery as part of CHROMA: Green Issue. Previously she worked as an FX artist on blockbuster films such as The Jungle Book, Fantastic Four & The Fast and the Furious: Supercharged ride.

Marion Lean - a design researcher based in London, trying to dispel the trend of wearable technology in favour of low tech intervention through fashion, and I am a co-founder at Little Riot. Little Riot is a team of designers, researchers and engineers working on products which allow you to feel connected using technology without being distracted or disrupted. They are particularly interested in the future of human interaction, relationships and communicationaway from screens and are currently developing a series of IOT devices which use heartbeat technology as a form of communication.

Alice Tuppen-Corps - her work explores 'Digital Performance and the Feminine: Transformational Encounters'. Specifically her work re-stages individual stories within filmic, augmented, networked and tactile environments in order to generate new qualities of reflective space that empower transformation, contemplation and connection. She facilitates participants to co-create within matrixial spaces of technological, sculptural, filmic and relational change.

Kerryn Wise - an artist working in the East Midlands. Her practice crosses the disciplines of dance, performance, live art and digital based performance. Excited by the cinematic experience and her previous works have explored the relationship between the virtual and live body and how this can effect audience sensory perception. She has created a number of professional touring performance works in collaboration with media artist Barret Hodgson, which explored the virtual realities created between the live and digital moving body. Her current work Awakenings experiments with filmic conventions, without technology, instead using framing and imagined camera techniques to present a series of images within a live, immersive performance environment. She is now interested in taking this further by exploring how I can use new technologies as choreographic tools to take back to the live body.

Hannah Whittaker - a performance artist creating interactive installations and digital performances. Her creative practice is focused around one on one interactivity, either between an audience member and an interface in her installations, or in her performances with herself visibly interacting and manipulating things via technology. Hannah also help to co-ordinate an AHRC-funded art-science project at Central School of Speech and Drama with Dr Dani Ploeger that brings together artist and academic from around the world to engage with and respond to the political, sociological and ecological issues around electronic waste.

This great bunch were joined by Lazer Unicorns' Kerry Franksen, Jo Scott and Sophy Smith as well as Directors of peformance companies AΦE and ZU-UK. AΦE create work that relates to technology, performance and immersion and they shared their latest project WHIST. Currently in production, WHIST immerses audiences through dance theatre, mixed reality (VR and AR), with 3D soundscape created by Jozef Van Wissem and Scott Gibbons, and a physical installation by Jamie Shaw.

Formerly known as Zecora Ura and Para Active, ZU-UK is an established award winning independent theatre and digital arts company based in East London and Rio de Janeiro since 2001. Driven by an artistic partnership between Jorge Lopes Ramos and Persis Jade Maravala, ZU-UK aim to make transformational and unforgettable immersive art for the curious.

Plans are afoot for some more digital performance binging in 2017 - watch out for updates!

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