During this first residency, studio.POC researched several possibilities for multiplayer, live VR performances, using the facilities at Corda Campus. As a first case study, the virtual online performance Empty Mind, is being converted into a live VR experience, where both the audience and the performer enter the experience in VR goggles. The performer plays remotely, meaning she is not present in the same room as the audience members.
What is Empty Mind?
Empty Mind is an audiovisual live performance that takes place in a virtual environment and is meant to be viewed online. It is inspired by the works and ideas of the American artist Agnes Martin. The work consists of 6 large movements (5 + 1), which can be performed in any order. The spectator decides this order and can interfere with the performance through an interactive UI-layer on top of a livestream.
Originally, Empty Mind is a composition by Wim Henderickx for flutes (piccolo, flute, alto flute and bass flute) and live electronics. In each movement there is a strictly composed passage that represents a continuity between the parts and several free passages where the piece has the space and freedom to develop on its own – chosen by the soloist at that moment – creating a discontinuity.
Flutist Ine Vanoeveren performs in a motion capture suit with which she controls the virtual environment. The performance in the virtual spaces is being filmed by a handheld, virtual camera and directly streamed onto Twitch. This livestream is the live feed for the audience, with the interactive layer on top of the video.
The audience is able to interact live with the performance by moving their mouses over the screen. This way they can alter the virtual environment and collectively decide the order of the movements. They can also throw live 3D emoji into the virtual environments.
Live VR experience
By the end of the project DISSOLUTION, we envision a multiplayer live VR experience at Corda Campus, where the audience can experience a live musical performance in a 3D environment through VR goggles.
Both the audience and the performer will meet each other in VR, without the performer physically being present amongst the audience. The performance itself will thus only be audible in VR, not in real life.
In this trajectory, we will research different perspectives on spatial and social presences and experiment with several settings, performances and set-ups.
During this first residency week, we focused on the conversion from the live on-line setting to a live VR setting.