Steve Dixon, Paul Sermon, Indumathi Tamilselvan, Felipe Cervera, Telematic Quarantine: Telepresent stories of self [isolation] By Paul Sermon
/// Telematic LASER

presented by Third Space Network,
University of Brighton School of Art, & Leonardo/ISAST

@ the Crossroads ::: where do our bodies go from here?


Randall Packer (US) (moderator), Ghislaine Boddington (UK),
Steve Dixon (SG) & Paul Sermon (UK)


Saturday, Jan. 16th, 9am ET / 2pm UK / 3pm CET / 10pm Singapore


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In the wake of Covid-19, we have witnessed a mass migration to the third space, that telematic region of shared networked space that lies between the local and the remote. We ask: what are the personal, social, and artistic implications of this migration in which our dependency on global communications to conduct the most essential human interactions has accelerated at an unprecedented rate? This acceleration into the third space has impacted, most notably, the performing arts, where alternative virtual platforms have challenged the ability to emotionally and intellectually engage with a live audience. As performance ensembles and theater companies attempt to shift, en masse and yet apprehensively, to the virtual stage – a place of impermanence and flux – they often find themselves confined to miniature boxes and a fixed frontal gaze where movement, speaking, play, and all the other critical elements of performance are compromised. For the inaugural Telematic LASER, in the face of this dilemma, our panel will discuss concepts, techniques and approaches garnered from the new media arts, those intrepid experimentalists who have been at the vanguard of telecommunication arts for decades. We will address and explore critical questions that now lie before us as we find ourselves at the crossroads between the physical and the virtual, contemplating our next steps.

/// Biographies

Randall Packer is a composer, media artist, educator, and writer, who works at the intersection of electronic music, interactive media, live performance, and networked art. He has received critical acclaim for his socially and politically infused critique of media culture, and has performed and exhibited at museums, theaters, and festivals internationally. As a writer and scholar, he is the co-editor of Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality, used widely as a seminal textbook throughout the world, and the author of his long running blog, Reportage from the Aesthetic Edge. Currently he is a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Brighton, UK, as well as Creative Director of the Third Space Network project from his underground studio bunker in Washington, DC.

Ghislaine Boddington is Creative Director of interactive design collective body>data>space and a Reader in Digital Immersion at the University of Greenwich. With a background in performing arts and body technologies since the late 1980s, Ghislaine is recognised internationally as a pioneer in the exploration of digital intimacy, telepresence and virtual physical blending. As a keynote speaker and curator she has shared her outlook on the future human into the cultural, academic, creative industries and corporate sectors worldwide, examining topical issues with regards to personal data usage, connected bodies and collective embodiment. She also works as Studio Expert and presenter for the BBC World Service weekly flagship radio show/podcast Digital Planet. In 2017 Ghislaine was awarded the IX Immersion Experience Visionary Pioneer Award for her long term work on embodied intelligence.

Steve Dixon is a professor, researcher, interdisciplinary artist, and the President of LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore, one of Asia’s leading arts institutions. He was co-director of the Digital Performance Archive and is co-founder and Advisory Editor of the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media (Routledge). His publications include the award-winning book Digital Performance: A History of New Media in Theater, Dance, Performance Art and Installation (MIT Press, 2007), and Cybernetic-Existentialism: Freedom, Systems and Being-for-Others in Contemporary Arts and Performance (Routledge, 2020). His recent practice-as-research includes the art exhibition Strangers in the Day, a one-man multimedia theatre production of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, and an immersive VR theatre performance, Virtually No Exit (with Paul Sermon).

Paul Sermon is Professor of Visual Communication at the University of Brighton, UK. He has developed a series of celebrated interactive telematic art installations that have received international acclaim. Paul was previously Professor of Creative Technology at the University of Salford and has worked for over twenty years as an active academic researcher and creative practitioner, primarily in the field of interactive media arts. Having worked under the visionary cybernetic artist Professor Roy Ascott as an undergraduate Fine Art student at the Newport School of Fine Art in the mid 1980s, Paul Sermon went on to establish himself as a leading pioneer of interactive media art, winning the prestigious Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica in Linz, Austria, shortly for his ground breaking telepresent video installation Telematic Dreaming in 1992.

/// Telematic LASER

Telematic LASER is co-hosted quarterly by Randall Packer of the Third Space Network & Paul Sermon of the University of Brighton: program of the Leonard/International Society of the Arts, Sciences, and Technology. The series is comprised of online public dialogues and performances that feature discussion, presentation and experimentation among leading artists, researchers, scientists and performers in the area of telematics.

/// Leonardo / ISAST

The LASERs are a program of international gatherings that bring artists, scientists, humanists and technologists together for informal presentations, performances and conversations with the wider public. The mission of the LASERs is to encourage contribution to the cultural environment of a region by fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and opportunities for community building.

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