An interactive 360º live video performance presented at LASALLE College of the Arts,
Lord Puttnam Film Studio, Singapore, 19th and 20th July 2018

Virtually No Exit was a one-person theatre experience lasting seven minutes, derived from Jean-Paul Sartre's 1944 existentialist play 'No Exit'. A work-in-progress experiment, it combined live actors and audience participants in a 360º video environment. Wearing a virtual reality headset, you take a solo journey with three scientists from 'The Organisation'. They are prototyping their latest invention - a dramatic user experience unlike anything the world has ever seen before! - but it has a few technical issues. This was a private view performance and first test version, involving 30 solo participants. The next iteration of the project by this collaborative research team from the University of Brighton and LASALLE College of the Arts is planned for December 2018, for public audiences.

Paul Sermon - Concept and Installation
Charlotte Gould - Environment Creation
Jeremiah Ambrose - Software Development
University of Brighton, UK
Steve Dixon - Direction and Script
Khalid Al Mkhlaafy - Video Production
 
LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore

An immersive drama performed by Felipe Cervera, Sophie Dixon, Steve Dixon and... the audience.

Research Project:

This collaborative project undertakes research and development of the first 360° telematic video link between remote spaces as a networked public performance installation platform. This unique telematic environment purposes new opportunities to engage public audiences in a fully immersive 360° space, mapping physical experience in a three dimensional immersive digital environment. The networked connection aims to link remote environments across borders and boundaries to offer an open system of interaction in real-time and explore how an increasingly seamless relationship between the physical and digital can facilitate communities to perform, create and work together through shared experience. The research is being undertaken through a range of activities towards its final project outcome. Commencing with 'Vitually No Exit', a proof of concept performance at LASALLE College of the Arts on 19th and 20th July 2018, linking two local studio installations within a live immersive 360º video environment. A disembodied experience that alludes to Jean-Paul Sartre's 1944 existential play 'No Exit', where three people locked in a room for eternity conclude that hell is (the gaze of) other people.

This project looks to identify a juncture between empathy and presence amongst remote participants in a converged 360º telepresent video installation. The research charts the kinaesthetic and proprioceptive capabilities of these shared telepresent encounters and identifies the empathetic nature of the participant's interactions and experiences - attained through observations, conversations and encounters during the realisation of installations and performances throughout the project. This reflective practice draws on a phenomenological framework, from Maurice Merleau-Ponty's extension of the bodily synthesis to Jean-Paul Sartre's awareness of self when confronted with the gaze of the other; where the objectification of gaze is confronted on equal empathetic terms through a process of sharing our presence in a 360º third-space environment from a single viewpoint.

The conceptual and innovative nature of this project leads to primary research through the first ever networked 360º video environment, offering audience agency and an open ended form of interaction, changing the way we engage in public spaces, offering the potential for the virtual reality experience to become communal as opposed to a solitary encounter. This aims to create new pathways to social and cultural impact through creative technologies research as identified by Jeremy Bailensen's account of the psychological effects of virtual reality (Experience on Demand, 2018) as a tool to profoundly enhance our learning and communication, with potential impacts on our health, wellbeing and environment.

Document Downloads:

Telematic Workflow Diagram PDF

Script and Participant Guidance PDF

Audience Questionnaire Feedback PDF