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THEVIRTUALBODY #Meet theVirtualbody #

The Virtual Body is a SIA RAAK research project of Zuyd University (Toneelacademie Maastricht, C-MD (Communication ad Multimedia Design Studies), Conservatorium Maastricht) in cooperation with Huis van Bourgondië, Opera Zuid and the Werktank.
In this research project - The Virtual Body - we investigate the implications of a virtual stage presence of the actor/performer in 'regular' performances. We focus on several aspects, ranging from the very practical to the quite philosophical.

Some practical questions could be:
- is it feasible to introduce virtual actors within the production environment of a small scale theatre performance,
- what are the main technical and productional stumble blocks,
- how to make a virtual performer as unpredictable and interactional as a real life one... etc...

A basic question - albeit an important one - could be : - how does a public react to the virtual intruder?

On the more philosophical (or moral, or political) end of the spectrum, one could question if a virtual presence infects (or even perverts or annihilates) the human presence in 'flesh and blood' on stage. What are the implications of the virtual intruder into this live art, on the perceived content of the piece? Could the virtual enhance the live aspect by emphasizing it's own absence? Could we emancipate the public by making them much more aware of the overall invasion of the virtual in daily life?

Head of research: Peter Missotten (Toneelacademe Maastricht - Performance studies)
Head of production: Karel Janssen (Expertise Centre Creative City Zuyd)

Peter Missotten (°Hasselt 1963) trained as a video artist at St. Lukas Brussels (as a student of Chris Dercon and others). He worked all of his life in and around theatre spaces - starting as light designer for ‘The Cement Garden’ in 1983. This started a long and passionate stage designer relationship with Guy Cassiers, which went on and off during some 25 years (Wasp Factory, Sunken Red, Rage d’Amour, Fliegende Holländer, Onegin... to name just a few).
In 1994 he founded de Filmfabriek with Anne Quirynen and Anne Heyman. A company with a mission in the crossover between digital and performance arts. They worked intensively on projects with artists as William Forsythe (Ballett Franfurt), Wim Vandekeybus, Guy Cassiers and Georges Aperghis. Artists as Wies Hermans, Bram Smeyers, Kurt d’Haeseleer and Ief Spincemaille joined them over the years.
From 2000 on, Peter Missotten evolved slowly from a designer of digital media art for the stage into a director of performance arts and opera productions. In 2009, he directed the world creation of 'KEPLER', an opera by Philip Glass for Linz09 at the Landestheater Linz. In 2010 he created 'MONTEZUMA - FALLENDER ADLER', an opera by Bernhard Lang, for the Nationaltheater Mannheim.
Nowadays he specialises in contemporary opera creations and radical performance projects. He teaches performance arts at the Toneelacademie Maastricht.