Virtual Now is performance work resulting from a collaboration between dance improvisation group About Now and Stefan Greuter and Simeon Taylor. The project follows on from a collaborative work created and performed for the Reflex Festival at Geelong Arts Centre in 2019. The project aims to test both technical and performance questions elicited from a practical investigation of the technology and the VR environment. We aim to place the About Now practice of improvised dance and site activation in the VR environment and through doing so ask such questions as: Do the dancers create the environment or do they respond to the environment? This then also leads to asking whether the technology dictates the terms of the physical engagement or whether dancers can extend what might be thought possible in this environment. The public will witness the live embodied performance by the About Now dancers while the virtual environment they are occupying is simultaneously projected. The work aims to bring the ontological experience of the dancers into a scenario of affect and imagination supported by the technology that interacts directly and physically with moving bodies. We will use existing technology for the development and occupation of the VR environment including the Teslasuit which is a full body haptic feedback platform for Virtual and Augmented Reality.
About Now, Peter Fraser, Jason Marchant, Shaun McLeod and Olivia Millard have been working together since 2010 creating work in and for: Lake Bolac Festival, Performing Mobilities, Treatment II: Flightlines and Hillscene Live among others. We have developed a shared creative practice which lies in between various movement practices such as Authentic Movement and scored and group dance improvisation. The practice involves movement-based action in (imaginative) response to real time observation of our own bodies, and the place we are in considering through performance, various physical, cultural and historical aspects of a place. Stefan Greuter’s expertise in collaboration with creative contributors from multiple disciplines and Simeon Taylor’s past work in interactive digital experiences will ensure a robust approach to the research in which technology and embodied knowledge generation will combine.