Photo credit: Tomáš Brabec, Jan Hromadko, David Kumermann.
PULSE (performative urbanism lab for spatial, social & scenographic experimentation) presents an artist talk by digital scenographer and performance designer Paul Cegys.
The Blue Hour VR experience was created by Paul Cegys and Joris Weijdom, as part of the 36Qº at the 2019 Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space. The Blue Hour VR is an innovative and formative example of a site-responsive mixed reality (MR) performance design, which blurs the boundaries between performance, spectatorship, and real and virtual environments. Piloting interactive virtual-reality (VR) technology and hybrid environments that blend 360º cinematography and real-time 3D graphics, Blue Hour VR drew new lines of experience for participants, placing them at the centre of a performance experience, thereby expanding our understanding of scenographic dramaturgies that exist inside, outside and in-between realities. Its artistic impetus was rooted in a social one, asking what it means to be ‘present’ in relationship to different shifting ecological spaces and the consequences of the anthropocene.
Blue Hour VR experience explicitly focuses on the interweave between different modes of sensing within the experiencer’s physical body through the blending of real and virtual environments. This radically (re)positioned the body of the experiencer at the locus of performance, duplicating her in two places at the same time (real and virtual), thereby (dis)connecting and (re)mediating social relationships. In doing so the mixed-reality performance design of the Blue Hour VR experience questions the very ontology of performance.