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this space
is for you/
cet espace 
est pour toi


 

Conceived by: Shauna Janssen 

Creative director & dramaturgy: Shauna Janssen

Creative team & research associates:

Kévin Pinvidic, digital scenography

Olivia McGilChrist, Unity and Depth Kit consultant

Ricardo Morejon, Depth Kit consultant

Leslie Baker, choreography

Véronique Levert, technical advisor (ZùMTL)


 

this space is for you/ cet espace est pour toi is a site-specific mixed reality (MR) installation designed as a conceptual place and provocation for considering ‘refugia’ (renewal) and spatial reorientations for thinking and practicing the future place(s) of performance.

 

For Donna Haraway the term ‘refugia’ describes the spatial hideaways “from which diverse species assemblages (with or without people) can be reconstituted after major events.” (2016, 159)  

 

this space is for you/ cet espace est pour toi was created for the 15th edition of the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design & Space (PQ23), within the context of the Performance Space exhibition themed “acts of assembly”:

«Performance spaces create new realities. They allow artists to fully coalesce with the technologies and materials used. They provoke an audience to think critically, to engage in art and give artists ground to express themselves. This forum asks to consider how the post-pandemic world will treat the performance spaces as platforms enabling communication and encounter. We will investigate newly emerging virtual spaces and their effects on the communities that assemble there.»

- Andrew Filmer, Curator Performance Space Exhibition PQ23

With this space is for you/ cet espace cet pour toi the creative process draws inspiration from what Elizabeth Grosz refers to as ‘virtuality’ (Architecture from the Outside, 2006) - an interruption of the habitual relationship between bodies and environments (i.e stages/ venues we perform on, audiences and publics we interact with. this space is for you/ cet espace cet pour toi also brings focus to the queer orientations and volumes (Ahmed 2006) of performance space that MR technologies can stage.

«(Q)ueer volumes are full of the pleasure, tenderness and excitement of opening worlds. Hacked scanners, misused models, lumpy bodies all create glimmering deviations, which rotate as alternative volumetrics.» (Pritchard 2022, 165)

 

Reorienting MR technologies towards scenographic and performative practices (rather than solely as immersive experiences and interactive design tools) foreground “pluriversal” worldings (Escobar 2020) and "the porous boundaries between different orders of world, and between bodies and worlds." (Thornett 2020, 103)

 

Our research creation process engages with archival materials, site-specific methods (attuning our selves to the spatial history of our site), and the dramaturgy of technologies of capture; 3D scanning processes (with applications such as Polycam), and the use of volumetric video capturing (DepthKit). this space is for you/ cet espace est pour toi is experienced with a Varjo-XR3 headset. Our use of the "pass-through" in the headmounted display (HMD) explores the potential that MR spaces have to stage queer orientations with digital materialities (Ahmed 2006), and how technologies of capture can afford and reveal a more tender relationship with the atmospherics of place.

«Queer becomes a matter of how things appear, how they gather, how they perform, to create the edges of spaces and worlds.» (Ahmed 2006, 167)

Our work is supported by: ZùMTL + Concordia University's Creative Research Residency, with funding from the Office of the Vice President, Research & Graduate Studies, and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture (FRQSC).

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Volumetric video capturing workshop with DepthKit @ ZUMTL  February 2023

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Site - Veletržní palác, Prague

The Performance Space Exhibition program for PQ23 will take place at the Veletržní palác. Site-specific content for our virtual performance space features the functionalist architectural style of the Veletržní palác (constructed in 1928). Formerly used as Trade Fair Palace, since 1995 the building has been home to Prague's National Gallery and the exhibition of modern art. The site is also host and haunted by contested spatial histories. In 1949 the site was occupied by the Nazis and as a location to hold Jews before transporting them to concentration camps. In 1974 the building burnt down. 

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