(Re)Creating History: Exploring Embodied Performances Through Immersive Technologies

Funder: Northern Bridge Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership, AHRC, UKRI

 

Team: Cameron S Craggs, Lars Erik Holmquist, Solomon Lennox, Edmond Shu-Lim Ho, Alex Cook

 

Timeframe: 2020-2024

This project will create a ground-breaking new system that can preserve and (re)create current and historical physical performances, such as dance, athletics, theatre, etc. using cutting-edge immersive technologies. In doing this, the project will contribute to the understanding of performance theory and practice, as well as making a technical contribution to the fields of performance capture, with potentially wide applications for computer games, cinematic special effects and immersive applications. To (re)create and study embodied performances, it will be necessary to both capture the visual appearance of a performer, including their dress, facial features, skin tone, body shape, and other characteristics; and the physical motion of a performer, e.g. strikes, jumps, emotional reactions, motion across the stage, etc. To do this we are collaborating with PROTO The Emerging Technology Centre, which offers the PhD student access to the necessary equipment to achieve this, including a professional photogrammetry rig, consisting of 121 high-end digital cameras that can be used to capture the visual appearance of performers with very high fidelity, and a professional motion capture system, which can be used to capture the physical motion of performers. Although the system will be generalizable to many performance forms, we have selected a narrow but fascinating domain as a case study: women’s boxing. This domain will allow us to interrogate notions of (re)performance, forgotten and neglected histories, embodiment, presence and affect. Women’s boxing has a long and established history but while professional women’s boxing has had an established presence since 2012, when it was included in the Olympic Games, there is also a long and forgotten history of females boxing.

 

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