HUMANVERSE – Theatre Lab in Barcelona on 26.5.23
New ecosystems of the web3 between performing arts, technology and post-human
The Espronceda Institute of Art & Culture in Barcelona hosted on May 26th 2023 a lecture and a workshop of the artist Martin Romeo’s “Humanverse” project, winner of the Italian Council (11th edition, 2022).
Humanverse is a project that visually reflects on the themes and tools of recent years, in which the metaverse and artificial intelligence have exponentially increased information, creating new imaginaries and communities of inhabitants. Romeo has worked on themes of synthetic corporeality, performativity in virtual spaces, artificial ecosystems, and digitalized biological and organic forms.
Virtual reality provides a unique platform for performers and creators to transport audiences into imaginary realms.
The workshop consisted of two parts:
Introducing virtual reality research projects
In his presentation Romero introduced some of the research projects he had developed on the Metaverse realised on Spatial, as well as the elaborations realised mainly through prompts, using various digital platforms such as Stable Diffusion and Runway. In this context, he analysed the performative potential of bodies in the virtual world and in particular in the metaverse. Virtual reality provides a unique platform for performers and creators to transport audiences into imaginary realms and engage them in deeply interactive experiences, thus transforming them into active participants in the artistic process.
Interacting in imaginary environments
After the presentation, the participants were able to enter these imaginary environments and share a unique, participatory and immersive experience by using virtual reality headsets. This medium allows the artist to transcend the limitations of physical space and time, offering unlimited creative potential.
The workshop represented an extraordinary opportunity to get in touch with new forms of artistic creation that combine technology and performance and to reflect on the dynamics involved in the generation of audiovisual content that can engage the audience in immersive and engaging experiences.
The digital realm wasn’t a limitation; rather, it served as an enhancement to surpass social, gender, and prejudice barriers, paradoxically discovering a greater sense of humanity.
With virtual reality, the concept of presence in the performing arts takes on a whole new meaning and opens the door to new forms of empathy that can transcend the boundaries of physicality, age and even cultural background. In this specific case, the audience impersonated their avatar, immersed themselves in different environments created by the artist and in these environments had the possibility of interacting with other avatar characters from the audience.
The artist Martin Romeo, summerised the experience: ” From this initial public presentation of the project, I was surprised to observe the behavior of the audience in the virtual sphere, driven by the need to find anthropological forms of connection: seeing each other, hearing each other, talking, and even touching, it all felt genuine, natural, and enjoyable. The digital realm wasn’t a limitation; rather, it served as an enhancement to surpass social, gender, and prejudice barriers, paradoxically discovering a greater sense of humanity.”
Text: Alessia Gervasone
Photos: Alex Pearson