May 21, 2007
070707 UpStage Festival
Shadow puppets, flights of fancy, air guitar and a visit to a London building site will be some of the virtual attractions at 070707 UpStage Festival - a feast of online performances on July 7, 2007 to celebrate the release of UpStage 2.
New Zealand and international artists are creating work specifically for the UpStage environment, which will be performed for an online audiences and simultaneously screened at the New Zealand Film Archive in Wellington.
UpStage is software that allows audiences from anywhere in the world to participate in live online performances, created in real time by remote players. Audiences need only an internet connection and web browser and can interact through a text chat tool while the players use images to create visual scenes, and operate "avatars" - graphical characters that speak aloud and move.
The diversity of proposals for the festival has impressed the organisers. "It's exciting to see UpStage being used in such a variety of ways," said UpStage project manager Helen Varley Jamieson. "We have all manner of artists - writers, musicians, dancers, performers, videographers, story-tellers - experimenting with how they can use the internet as a creative medium and a site for their work."
The full list of performances and artists is on the UpStage web site. Performance times will be publicised on the UpStage and New Zealand Film Archive web sites soon, and live links to the stages will be accessible from the UpStage web site on July 7; online audiences just need to click!
The performances will be screened live in the the New Zealand Film Archive mediagallery where visitors can buy a coffee, take a seat and watch the performances taking place from remote locations around the world. Exhibitions Manager Mark Williams says "It will be like watching a live movie, as the shows unfold in front our eyes."
UpStage workshop facilitator Vicki Smith has been providing graphic, technical and tutorial support for artists and education groups who are creating performances, and says that the level and range of work being produced promises breathtaking cyberformances (online performances) for audiences to view and take part in.
UpStage 2 is funded by the Community Partnership Fund of the NZ Government's Digital Strategy, with the support of partners CityLink, MediaLab and Auckland University of Technology, and developed by programmer and digital artist Douglas Bagnall.
The launch takes place on 28 June and will be accompanied by an exhibition at the NZ Film Archive from 28 June to 15 July, and the festival on 7 July.
For further information and images, contact:
Helen Varley Jamieson: helen[at]upstage.org.nz
Vicki Smith: vicki[at]upstage.org.nz http://upstage.org.nz/blog/
Posted by jo at May 21, 2007 02:57 PM