Creativity and Innovations in Theatre, Media and Cultural Production: Visions and Values for the Future, Faculty of Dramatic Arts, Belgrade, SRB, 17 – 19 November 2021
APPLICATION OF VIRTUAL REALITY (VR) IN IMPROVING THE PUBLIC PRESENTATION OF PERFORMING ARTS IN THE PANDEMIC AGE
Predrag Sidjanin, Maja Budzarov, Luka Tilinger / Faculty of Digital Production, University EDUCONS, Sr. Kamenica, Serbia
At the time of the current world crisis, caused by the Covid 19 virus pandemic, there has been substantial confusion in the execution of many human activities, including the public presentation of performing arts. Authors (artists and performers) have been excommunicated into studios and found it difficult to present their work publicly. Theaters and other performing spaces operate with a limited set of possibilities, which is reflected in the reduced number of visitors or the complete absence of planned activities. The problem of reduced and limited public presentation of artistic creations will leave consequences that are going to become visible soon. One of the possibilities to mitigate these consequences is the application of digital technologies, which enable the presentation of works of art to a wider number of recipients. One of the technologies with high potential is virtual reality (VR). This technology requires 3D visualization of a specific performer’s work, its virtual set-up which is then presented via the Internet, and appropriate VR equipment, to potential recipients around the world. There are several possibilities to view such a prepared presentation of performing arts: by downloading the production for the Android platform via a mobile phone and using Gear VR equipment, or installing it on the Oculus Go headset – which are the variants with the greatest restrictions for users; then downloading and installing the production on your computer and using it via the headset (HMD) for immersive virtual reality, and lastly downloading and using the production directly via the headset (for example Oculus Quest 2). These last two possibilities provide the greatest freedom and a high-quality immersive experience to the users. The specifics of different types and authorial approaches to the performing arts are also dictated by the ways of their virtual presentations. This paper aims to show possible guidelines to creators for a paradigm shift in the creation of theater projects and presentations in VR, for better communication with distant audiences under pandemic conditions. The paper will also be presented through two specific performing examples of the advantages and limitations of applying VR technology to address the public presentation of performing arts.