Studio for Electronic Theatre
Submitting InstitutionUniversity of Greenwich
Unit of AssessmentArt and Design: History, Practice and Theory
Summary Impact TypeCultural
Research Subject Area(s)
Information and Computing Sciences: Artificial Intelligence and Image Processing
Studies In Creative Arts and Writing: Film, Television and Digital Media, Visual Arts and Crafts
Summary of the impact
Studio for Electronic Theatre (SET) is a group of researchers examining
the relationship between technological advance and creative practice. They
examine how technology can change the nature of performance environments
in specific spaces and address social and political issues in distinct
places. Specific performances have:
- Drawn very large audiences (3,000 people attended the Tate Britain
show in 2011) allowing work done in the University to reach the outside
- influenced significant political figures.re phrase
- Offered new opportunities for collaboration between spatially
Additionally, the work being carried out engages directly with non HEI
partners and has resulted in members of the group being invited to
communicate with a range of interested partners beyond the academy:
Greenwich Theatre, Albany Deptford, Kids Company.
Through the use of visual projection, music and performance Studio for
Electronic Theatre transforms time and space philosophically,
technologically and through art. In an age where digital convergence
encompasses and contains all art forms our research both enacts and
questions the material conditions of this convergence by reconfiguring and
disrupting linearity, and narrative expectation.
Between 2009 and now the work of the studio has examined the
relationships between technology, performance, and contemporary
philosophical and political thought. In doing so it has contributed to the
latest research and development in digital technologies that have
introduced new possibilities for interaction between people and computers.
The research develops a critical understanding of the possibilities
provided by advances in digital technology to extend the influence and
significance of art and performance in contemporary aesthetic, social, and
political contexts. Research into how interactive immersive environments
can be practically built has been carried out in our research studio.
Equally, theoretical engagement with questions around space and
connectivity has been central to the research. The collaborative work of
Oedipus explored the configuration of the traditional gallery
space and examined new possibilities that were demonstrated against a
thematic background of contemporary technological anxiety, as the fate
of humanity becomes increasingly linked to technology.
- In Memories in the Deadzone the performance returns to a site
of conflict (Cyprus) to show how performance and technology can be used
to re-contextualise complex political questions.
Echostate explored the technological challenge of linking two
locations in a single performance and offers new possibilities for
The nature of our research findings are threefold:
- Consumer technology such as sensors that are present in games consoles
can be used to enhance the experience of visitors to gallery spaces.
Indeed they can transform those spaces into immersive three-dimensional
- Multimedia performance is able to re-contextualize political questions
in a manner that can facilitate and provoke renewed debate
- Problems presented by spatial dislocation can be technologically
addressed using standard and accessible means such as Skype to create
The key researchers who make up Studio for Electronic Theatre are: Alev
Adil (Artist in Residence at the University of Greenwich and Programme
Leader for Creative Writing). Dr. Nuno Salihbegovic (Lecturer in Media
& Communication and Media Arts Production), Dr. Stephen Kennedy
(Programme Leader for BA Media & Communication, BA/BSc Media Arts
Production and MA Media Arts Philosophy and Practice),
Their collaborative work can be accessed via this link.
References to the research
(REF1 submitted staff in bold, **REF2 Output)
**3.1 Adil, A. Performance: Memory in the Dead Zone
**3.2 Adil, A. (2009). Translating and mutating identities:
Cypriots who write in English. In M. Bülbülcü (Ed.), Literary
Criticism and Study. Series of Modern Turkish Cypriot Literature
(Vol. 7). Cyprus: Freebirds Press.
3.3 Salihbegovic, F. Oedipus, a series of performances.
Premiere, Stephen Lawrence Gallery, University of Greenwich 2013
**3.4 Kennedy, S. (2013). Echostate. Zetesis: Research driven
by curiosity, 1(1). ARTicle Press
Details of the impact
The Oedipus project enabled both the participants and the
audience to explore the nature of the experimental space created as a
result of the fusion of different arts and technology. The production
investigated this newly acquired territory and the related creative
potential emerging from the established bonds between digital and
analogue, virtual and physical, sonic and visual. It did so both
thematically and formally and opened up new possibilities for large
audiences to engage with work of this kind.
The `digital stage' remains alive after the performance with real actors
actually ends. Moving from one part of the stage to the other the
spectators listen to the digital `echoes' of the performance and discover
hidden histories and detailed versions of the main events. The perspective
is always changing, so are the events. For each spectator, the material
becomes more and more personalised. Historical exactness and certainty are
being replaced by split-second revelations and chaotic factual
uncertainties, moving the whole event far away from the mediatised image
of the history and much closer to the question - what will (has) really
Oedipus project was made in collaboration with international partners
Cactusbloem, Antwerp (Belgium), PVC Theatre, Novi Sad (Serbia), the United
Nation Refugee Agency UNHCR and Aurasma (Augmented Reality Platform). The
project was first performed at Steven Lawrence Gallery in Greenwich in
August 2011. It was also performed at Tate Britain in November 2011. 3000
audience members were invited to explore the stage setting as participants
rather than audience members as the gallery itself was transformed into an
immersive audio visual space.
Oedipus was also presented at the International Meeting of Contemporary
Scenography organised by the Study Centre for Scenic Arts in Bologna,
Italy in October 2012. This meeting gathered together some of the most
important names from the contemporary opera/theatre scenography and
architecture, including Henning Brockhaus and Jean-Guy Lecat (Peter
Brook's scenographer for more than 30 years.
The Oedipus project was selected in the main programme of the
International Festival in Alternative and New Theatre INFANT, Novi Sad,
Serbia, June 2013, where it was presented at the Serbian National Theatre
(see the link).
Due to the great success of this project, Dr Salihbegovic was invited by
the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNESCO to design
and organise a series of lectures, seminars and workshops in the filed of
digital media arts and performance for the postgraduate students at the
Academy of Arts in Belgrade, He worked with 20 domestic and international
MA students in two international programmes: MA International Performance
Research and UNESCO programme for Cultural Policy and Management in
Culture (see the link).
As a final part of this project was the Summer School in Electronic
Theatre which happened in Novi Sad. The Summer School was organised in the
eminent Gymnasium in Sremski Karlovci. The School had 10 participants from
Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (see the links: 1, 2, 3
In collaboration with Drs Kennedy and Salihbegovic Alev Adil devised and
performed her 40 minute one woman show Memory in the Dead Zone on
both sides of divided Cyprus (North Cyprusin April 2011 and March 2012, at
the University of Greenwich/Birkbeck College Cross Genre Festival (July
2010) and presented it as an installation at Tate Britain (November 2011).
Building on the success of Adil's performance at The Poet and His
World Festival in Nicosia in 2010, she was invited by the cultural
foundation Ideogramma to devise a multimedia performance of London
and local Cypriot poets at the ARTos Foundation in 2012 in collaboration
with Fredericks University, Cyprus, whose final year BA Applied Art
students made posters of Adil's poetry. As an outcome of her research she
has shared a platform with both former President of the Republic of
Cyprus, George Vassiliou and President Dimitris Christofias. As a result
of these relationships a series of diasporic and bicommunal Cypriot poetry
workshops and events are scheduled in 2013 with the co-operation of the
Adil's related research into how digital poetics can create creative
communities through MemoryMap has impacted upon sharing and archiving of
memory in the context of creative workshops and networks through the
which has 150 active users who have created 432 projects and has attracted
12,069 visits to date and approximately 70,000 page views. Users have
created prizewinning films in Greek, Italian and Trinidadian Film
Festivals and have exhibited work showcased on the site. Artists working
in Lithuania, Cyprus, Greece, South Korea and the UK have become
memorymappers. The site has been visited from over 89 countries.
Echostate -: Invited by Shintaro Miyazaki to speak at Humboldt University
in Berlin as part of their Sonic Theory/Oscillation Series (Feb 2011).
Formally experimenting with long-distance video link up for educational
purposes, Echostate was the first in a planned series of
presentations that combine academic presentation with immersive video and
sound that can be streamed for a worldwide audience. It dealt with a
philosophical understanding of sound as an organizing principle of
creative environments (http://sonictheory.com/?paged=2).
It was an interactive performance/lecture that connected participants in
London and Berlin on February 27th 2011. The presentation
allowed participants in a public event in Berlin to directly communicate
with researchers in London in real time. This piece is another example of
the collaborative work developed by SET.
Sources to corroborate the impact
Late at Tate Programmer, Tate Britain
Post-doctoral Researcher, University of Applied Sciences and Arts
[Institute for Algorhythmics - Art and research project]
Policy Makers and Influencers Former President of the Republic of
Cyprus, George Vassiliou.