An investigation of performer embodiment and performative interaction on an augmented stage

Brown, Richard (2019) An investigation of performer embodiment and performative interaction on an augmented stage. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis concerns itself with an investigation of live performance on an augmented stage in front of an audience, where performers witness themselves as projection mapped virtual characters able to interact with projected virtual scenography. An interactive virtual character is projected onto the body of a performer, its movements congruent with the performer. Through visual feedback via a Head Mounted Display (HMD), the performer is virtually embodied in that they witness their virtualised body interacting with the virtual scenery and props of the augmented stage.

The research is informed by a theoretical framework derived from theory on intermediality and performance, virtual embodiment and performative interaction. A literature review of theatrical productions and performances utilising projection identifies a research gap of providing the performer with a visual perspective of themselves in relationship to the projected scenography. The visual perspective delivered via the HMD enables the performer to perform towards the audience and away from the interactive projected backdrop. The resultant ‘turn away’ from facing an interactive screen and instead performing towards an audience is encapsulated in the concept of the ‘Embodied Performative Turn’.

The practice-based research found that changing the visual perspective presented to the performer impacted differently on performative interaction and virtual embodiment. A second-person or audience perspective, ‘performer-as-observed’ prioritises the perception of the virtual body and enhances performative behaviour but challenges effective performative interaction with the virtual scenography. Conversely, a first-person perspective, ‘performer-as-observer’ prioritises a worldview and enhances performative interaction, but negatively impacts on performative behaviour with the loss of performer-as-observed.

The research findings suggest that the presentation of differing perspectives to the performer can be used to selectively enhance performative interaction and performative behaviour on an augmented stage.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Benford, Steve D.
Ramsay, Gordon
Keywords: performance, embodiment, interaction, projection mapping, games engine, 3D tracking, head mounted display
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA 75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Computer Science
Item ID: 59261
Depositing User: Brown, Richard
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2019 04:40
Last Modified: 06 May 2020 10:01

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