Battersea Arts Centre applications open for new XR Residencies for artists


Battersea Arts Centre partners with LIVR and Inclusion Producer Jazlyn Pinckney to offer Extended Reality (XR) residencies in spring 2021, supported by Arts Council England.

Five artists will be introduced to the latest technology to connect directly with audiences while venues operate at reduced capacity.

For the first time, full intellectual property rights for work filmed in 360 degrees will belong to the artists.

Open call for applications begins at 12 noon today, closing at 12noon on Friday 22 January 2021.

Battersea Arts Centre, Inclusion Producer Jazlyn Pinckney and LIVR, the world’s first virtual reality content platform dedicated to theatre, are delighted to announce a new, flexible residency for artists based in England to explore the future of live performance using the very latest in Extended Reality (XR) technology. Supported by Arts Council England, five successful applicants will explore the possibilities of digital content creation, manipulation and distribution, harnessing artists’ creativity to connect directly with audiences at a time when traditional avenues have been shut off to them. An open call-out for artists begins today at 12 noon and the deadline to express interest is 12noon on Friday 22 January 2021.

The successful applicants will be announced in February and the residencies will take place between March and May 2021. The artists or companies will be given access to space at Battersea Arts Centre for five days to create a piece, based on one of their existing works, taking full advantage of the technology and expertise of the LIVR team. The final pieces will be programmed as part of Battersea Arts Centre’s 2021 spring season. The artists will also receive support to document the process, contributing to wider learning around artist-led digital content creation within the industry.

Due to the pandemic, many arts venues and performance spaces have closed their doors for most of this year, leaving independent artists across England with few opportunities to develop work, expand their craft or develop relationships with audiences. Many companies have been forced to rely on simple filming techniques, or archive-style footage they may have previously recorded. Artists selected for the residences will work with LIVR to understand the full possibilities of the cutting edge XR technology and how these can amplify their storytelling; including augmented, virtual and mixed reality capabilities, like creating and capturing work in 360-degrees. From the beginning of the process, the artists will work creatively with LIVR and Battersea Arts Centre teams to remove barriers for anyone who wants to engage with the final pieces. The aim is for all audiences, from anywhere, to have access to the high quality experience of a front row seat, and the ability to interact using a range of devices, including mobile phones and laptops.

For the first time, the artists will hold the full intellectual property rights and control of the final piece they create with this state-of-the-art technology. They will also learn about various digital marketing and distribution approaches from leading industry experts, building skills to become more resilient in the face of future uncertainty. Following the premiere in Battersea Arts Centre’s Spring 2021 season, they will be able to distribute the piece however they see fit, giving them the option to immediately offer new content to audiences while even venues that are open will be operating with limited capacity.

Jazlyn Pinckney, Inclusion Producer, says:

“I’m thrilled to be working alongside Battersea Arts Centre on this exciting new call out. In this unprecedented year, arts, culture and invention feel so vital as we brace for what’s to come. We are beyond excited to collaborate with LIVR on how XR can shape performance and sow seeds for pathways to more accessible, thoughtful and creative performance opportunities.”

Tarek Iskander, Artistic Director and CEO of Battersea Arts Centre, says:

“We are just thrilled to be collaborating with Jazlyn and LIVR on this project. This incredibly difficult moment for the performing arts is also one of massive opportunity and a unique chance to experiment. This programme will give a range of artists access to some of the most cutting edge technology there is, to see how they can fuse performing arts with these new media. And in recognition of the severed challenges artists and creative freelancers are facing, it’s been a joint ambition for all of us that the performance-makers themselves will control what they create, to benefit and have full ownership of their own work. I’m excited to see what remarkable projects emerge.”

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