Narratives of the Future: Immersive Stories/Indigenous Roots

Swift, Elizabeth ORCID: 0000-0002-9566-5472 (2022) Narratives of the Future: Immersive Stories/Indigenous Roots. Body Space and Technology, 21. pp. 1-16. doi:10.16995/bst.7960

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The way we tell stories shapes what we are: it articulates the way we position ourselves in relation to the world. This article explores how immersive practices, as used in virtual reality and intermedial performance, provoke novel dynamics between artist and audience that no longer fit within Western traditions of aesthetic exchange and furthermore challenge our understanding of narrative production and reception.It proposes that new ways of reasoning are needed to allow audience agency and the evolving role of the artist to be explored more fully than is currently possible in mainstream theatre scholarship. One source that can provide a model for considering the dynamics between audience and performer in immersive performance is the Indigenous story systems of Australia. There is a significant synergy between the structure and operation of First Nation songlines and contemporary immersive performance. This is explored with reference to the work of contemporary anthropologists and Indigenous scholars and to recent immersive work from the companies Kaleider and Theatre Conspiracy. The article considers how both ancient narratives and contemporary immersive practices require people to engage with data/ physical space in a specific manner in order for stories to be realised. Furthermore, both bestow creative responsibility and the role of custodian on the user, through whose actions narrative is manifested.Immersive performance challenges assumptions about how information is generated, processed, and passed on, and the power structures involved in such exchanges. This research explores how non-traditional narrative practices can assist the debate about the future of storytelling.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Immersive; Performance; Songlines; Intermedial; Custodian; VR
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR621 Drama
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Creative Practice and Theory
Depositing User: Elizabeth Swift
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2023 14:58
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2023 16:56

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