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Neurotheatre Premiered at the Geek Picnic Festival in St. Petersburg
June 30, 2017 20:58


According to the concept of ​​its founders, the viewer no longer needs to guess what feelings the actor experiences on stage, since neural network does the job. Technology reads the actors' emotions straight from the brain and translates them to the audience by means of light, color, music, and rhythm.

Thus, the same performance will look in a new way each time. The test version of breakthrough neurotheatre was presented by the project’s author, Yuri Didevich with the STAGE DFT dance group and the ITMO University at the Geek Picnic Festival.

That is another attempt to turn the theater into a gadget”, Marina Dmitrevskaya, editor-in-chief of the Petersburg Theater Magazine, claims.
Media artist Yuri Didevich has created a new form of theatricals in cooperation with the STAGE DFT dance group and the High School of Light Design of the ITMO University.


"In relation to the drama theater, we are in a parallel reality: we are not playing, but building a new reality," he told to TASS. If the drama theater actors use certain techniques to show the feelings that they want to convey to the viewer, the neurotheatre translates the real feelings of real people on stage, the artist pointed out.
"Scientists create for us devices that sense nerve impulses, and software for their embodiment in light, color, music and rhythm." The rest is in actors’ pocket,” - he explained.

Yury Didevich is a media artist, sound artist, developer of interactive installations and performances, one of the creators and coordinator of the CNMRG (Computer & New Music Research Group) community. The artist lives and works in Saint-Petersburg.

Scientific Formulations at the Heart of Stage Production
The neurotheatre is based on the study of bioelectrogenesis - the process of electricity generating by living beings. One of such processes is the nerve impulse, which is constantly generated by the human brain. In ordinary life, the action of electrical impulses manifests itself in the form of sensations - visual, tactile, and olfactory. If we learn to trace and decipher these impulses, then we can exteriorize them with the help of theatrical expressive means.

The project is one of the examples of the Art & Science trend, i.e. the connection of science and art, gaining popularity world-wide. The initiative to analyze in detail the actors’ emotional state and convey it to spectators came up at the beginning of the 20th century. The latest creative experiments of neurotechnologists date back to the early 2000s. All this time such projects have not enjoyed immense popularity among stage directors and actors. Now the situation is different, however. Against the background of general enthusiasm for state-of-the-art technology, the new theatrical format may very well find its niche. In addition, there is a real chance to entice young people into the theater - the challenge that Russian theatres have been hardly meeting for over 30 years now.

"The idea to look inside the actor’s emotional state and convey it to spectators straight from the actor's brain occurred at the beginning of the 20th century,"- Yury Didevich said. The second surge of interest in this subject, according to him, took place in the mid 1960s and lasted until the early 1980s. The next wave arose in the 2000s, and the fourth one is being observed now. "Every time a surge of interest in the topic is caused by new achievements in neurotechnology," - he said.
The modern technologies, science and art festival Geek Picnic has been annually held in Russia since 2011. In 2016, it gathered about 18 thousand visitors, whereas this year both its area and audience doubled in numbers.


Sources: http://tass.ru http://businessfm.spb.ru 

Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Neurotheatre Media Art Geek Picnic Festival   

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