Digital Theatre – Hyperopticon


The use of digital media in theatre and other time based art forms is increasing as the cost of computers decreases and the development of software programmes has been made more available to theatre technicians. Still there are many fields still to be researched and explored.

The members of The Digital Theatre from the University of Aarhus have worked in the following fields of digital theatre research: the dramaturgy of digital media, virtual puppet theatre, motion capture/ animation, and reactive spaces. Through experiments and productions The Digital Theatre group has explored the production and reception of theatrical spaces in order to explore interactive possibilities in digital media.

HYPEROPTICON was created from a concept of developing a particular site i.e. in a library, where a small audience might have the opportunity to explore a specific theme, a play or an event through interaction in a mixture of digital media and real –life performance.

The partners of the project are Aarhus University, Denmark, The Academy of Figurative Theatre, Norway, Studio di Progettazione, Italy, and CAVI, Aarhus, Denmark.

The scientific goal is to develop concepts and produce digital theatre experiments that can be used to further the knowledge of dramaturgical understanding and broaden the knowledge of perception of digital time based art.

One focus of the research has been to develop new forms of staging plays through an idea of exhibiting a story or a plot and to make this an interactive experience. So the investigation of space and digital technologies is also a crossover art experiment with digital media as means of production.

The last production An Angel’s View was staged as an exhibition in seven stages and set up as a walk through elements of a theatre experience and an art gallery. The experiment was made to find a new concept of staging – or rather exhibiting - a text that would give the audience an opportunity to interact with this text and compose their own impression of the play.

The concept of Hyperopticon was created to bridge between the dream of being linked to everything everywhere and the nightmare of being seen everywhere by everyone to explore if there is still a human necessity in interesting interaction. The concept of an Angel’s View was to see a “hyperoptic view” in light of the metaphor of an angel’s view and apply this meta-view to a dramatic text (Beckett’s That Time).

A performance and dramaturgical theory of performance-based visual exhibitions based on a reactive space that can pick up inputs and make it possible to compose words and images.

Torunn KJolner
Niels Lehmann
Janek Szatkowski