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WORD | IMAGE | POWER : PUblic lectures in the ARTS

Wednesday. 10 March 2021

Public Lecture: History and Future of Immersive Experiences

Prof Richard Koeck presents ground-breaking innovations and spectacular failures in the history of immersive experiences and a peep into the future.

Date And Time:
Wed, 10 March 2021; 17:30 – 19:00 GMT
Location: Online
Audience: 560 registered from 30 countries

We often think of immersive or location-based experiences as relatively new forms of public entertainment driven by technological innovation such as Augmented (AR) or Virtual Reality (VR). In fact, there is a rich history of purpose-designed, audio-visually immersive architectural settings, such as the Panorama, Mareorama and Cineorama, that were concurrently developed alongside the cinema and which were shown to the public in London and Paris in the 18th and 19th centuries. These entertainment venues tell us an extraordinary yet little-explored story about risk, failure and reward that comes with such ground-breaking innovation. Coming to this topic from a practice-based, architectural as well as media archaeological angle, Professor Richard Koeck, Full Professor and Chair in Architecture and the Visual Arts, will also provide a glimpse into what kind of ground-breaking location-based experiences we might expect to see in the near future.

The lecture will be followed by a live Q&A session with three fantastic panalists from world-leading creative practices: Ngaio Harding-Hill (Head of Attractions & Live Experiences, Aardman); Gavin Strange (Director & Designer, Aardman Animations);  and Rosalind Coleman, Producer (Punchdrunk).

Richard Koeck is a Professor in the School of Architecture/School of the Arts at the University of Liverpool and Director of CAVA | Centre for Architecture and the Visual Arts (cava-research.org). He is also founding Director of the Film/Digital Media Production company CineTecture (Liverpool) and is a Senior Associate at FutureCity (London), which provides strategies for major art, cultural and placemaking projects around the world. His cross-disciplinary and practice-based expertise is therefore situated at the intersection of Architecture, Digital Creative Arts, and Digital Communication. It provides insight into, and defines new ways of thinking about, the representation of and engagement with architectural and urban forms and narratives. He published several books on film and architecture, is author of CineScapes (Routledge, 2013) and is currently working on Immersed in the Image of the City (Routledge).

Ngaio Harding-Hill, Head of Attractions & Live Experiences at Aardman, is responsible for the strategic development and management of a portfolio of global attractions, exhibitions and live events. She has helped establish Shaun the Sheep as a force in global branded family entertainment with a growing location-based entertainment business that continues to expand the reach of Aardman’s iconic film and TV properties.  Under her guidance the company has recently opened attractions in Japan and the UK, adding to Aardman’s portfolio that includes attractions in Sweden and Australia; International touring exhibitions; global touring stage shows and an international programme of live events throughout Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia, Japan, China and Australia.  Upcoming projects include new attraction launches in Japan; a North America touring exhibition and a new global Shaun the Sheep Circus show.

Gavin Strange, Director & Designer at the UK’s beloved creative studio Aardman Animations. Working at Aardman for over a decade, Gavin’s creative output ranges from title sequences for the OFFF festival and Shaun the Sheep feature film, to channel idents for BBC Two and Christmas films for Fortnum & Mason. Most recently he directed the multi-award winning ‘Turtle Journey’, an emotional and impactful stop-frame short film for Greenpeace about the plight of the oceans. His work is diverse in nature, but all held together of a common thread of fun and high energy. By night he goes under the alias of ‘Jamfactory’, indulging in all manner of passion projects, from filmmaking to illustration, toy design to photography and even making music under the moniker of ‘Project Toy’. Gavin is a keynote speaker and has spoken around the world, from Mexico to Manchester, the Middle East to Munich. In 2016, after speaking at the prestigious Do Lectures, he wrote the book ‘Do Fly’, a motivational mantra published by The Do Book Co & Chronicle Books.

Rosalind Coleman, Producer at Punchdrunk, has a long track record of producing immersive works in theatres, old television studios, derelict office blocks, forests, beaches, parks and gardens, cemeteries, streets, carparks, cathedrals, spiegeltents, schools, war memorials, hotels, shipping containers, town squares, nature reserves, caves, basements, people’s living rooms, a small animal hospital, up a mountain, on the roof of the Royal Festival Hall and underneath the world’s largest disco ball. She is a founding member of immersive art collective and 5 star sellout show KLANGHAUS, has been an associate director of CIRCA!, and worked alongside international greats such as Robert Wilson, Gratte Ciel, Royal Deluxe, Artichoke, Meow Meow, and I Fagiolini. She now produces for Punchdrunk. Having run their globally renowned production Sleep No More in Shanghai for three years she returned to London to deliver a R&D programme as part of UKRI's Audiences of the Future programme.

IMAGE: Title: Salle des fêtes of the 1900 Paris World Fair.
SOURCE: Public Domain. Published in Neurdein frères and Maurice Baschet. Le panorama, Exposition universelle. Paris: Librairie d'Art Ludovic Baschet, 1900.

This lecture is the first in the University of Liverpool's 2021 Series of Public Lectures in the Arts on the theme of WORD | IMAGE | POWER. Presented by the University of Liverpool School of the Arts. The Research supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

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