Two days of theatrical computing in Lyon

Published on 13.10.2022

The intention of the meeting, which took place for the second time on 10th and 11th October 2022 at the ENSATT in Lyon, is to bring together and create dialogue with an existing but dispersed community, so as to be able to present each other reflections, references, studies and creative processes, whether past, present or future. In this interdisciplinary context of digital-analogical application, to which many contemporary theatrical productions are bound, common characteristics and practices emerge, as well as issues. For this reason, the exchange proposed in the Journées d'Informatique Théâtrale aims to contribute to the dissemination of information and the growth of individual subjects.

The discussion groups proposed in this latest edition were as follows: La scénographie informatisée; Machine théâtrale et acteur virtuel; Le spectateur dans le spectacle numérique; La scène augmentée; Détournements, collaborations et créations; Quels logiciels pour la création théâtrale ?; Archivage et annotation numériques du spectacle vivant.

Among the many and very rich ideas that the 28 interventions have transmitted, I summarize here the elements that fascinated me, and that are closest to the research I have in place. Already in the introduction to the first day, Mireille Losco-Lena (Université Lyon 2), co-organizer of the event, underlined the question of the role of the spectator, in a theatrical ecosystem in constant change in forms, practices, and therefore in the reformulation of its conventions. Romain Fohr (Université Paris 3), through four examples, has identified the scenography, be it digital or analog, visible or invisible, as a play partner of the interpreter on the theatrical scene. Philippe Chaurand (Anomes), emphasized the physical and aesthetic presence of the elements as they are formatted by the market, and the way in which artists succeed or not, to circumvent the problems related to this. Pia Baltazar (Les Baltazars) gave testimony to a long trajectory of technological research and application to creation, realizing the need to give time to experimentation, precisely to seek harmony between time and technology. The artists and PhD students at PSL, Vivianna Chiotini and Rémi Sagot-Duvauroux, referred to the management of space in the use of virtual reality, underlining how space can be considered as a puppet of the human body. Andrea Giomi (Kokoschka Revival) raised the issues of the hybrid configuration of the computer environment, and therefore of the diffractions and co-adaptations that are generated between human bodies and these environments. Salvatore Anzalone, Giulia Filacanapa and Erica Magris (Université Paris 8 - EUR ArTeC) have extensively talked about the experiments on the scene with humanoid robots, referring to the role of the theatrical mask and the exchange of a grammar of movements, following the example of the proposions by Claire Heggen. Anastasiia Ternova (Université Paris 8) centered her speech on the analysis of the spectator's attention at her artistic proposals, which show a dramaturgy between real and virtual actors. Rachel Martin (Les ImPoNdErAbLeS) denounced how interference due to technological elements can cause a loss of attention on the body, that of the interpreter on stage, or that of everyday life. Or, in a completely opposite situation, these technological elements extraneous to the body, can also let the body be observed in a new way perhaps not yet experienced.

The interventions by Olivier Boréel et Perrine Mornay (collectif Impatience), Isla Borrell (Université Paris 8) and Julien Daillère (La TraverScène) made reflect on the action of the creator, who makes himself invisible in some way, or merges with one or another technology. Compared to some of these examples, the technological form still reveals the human presence or the anthropocentric intention of creation.

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