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With the emergence of new technologies our culture is undergoing deep changes: an ongoing transformation of how we perceive space at the intersection of reality and virtuality, how we are influenced by the omnipresence of new media, how we experience our bodies exposed to the growing impact of “bio-facture”, how we produce sense and meaning.
History has proved time and again that technological innovation leads to new cultural practices and new ways to perceive and conceptualize the world. Since ancient times, theater has been one of the prominent cultural sites reflecting the impact of cultural changes. As a microcosm of reality, theater has always broached the issue of technological development in a double sense: technology has been used as an instrument for expression as well as a topic to be investigated aesthetically.
In particular, the pioneering work of the Swiss scenographer and theater reformer Adolphe Appia dealt with the potentials of technological innovation and stimulated important developments in the conceptualization and use of stage-space. Recently, however, with the digital revolution the gap has gradually widened between increasingly complex and specialized technology on the one hand, and artistic practices in theater on the other.
The advancements in the use of technology and its reflection through artistic practices in theater today are mostly initiated by artists and realized through adaptations of technologies originally developed for other fields and in other settings. Accordingly, these technological applications are typically unique, one-of-a-kind, project-specific solutions and generally fail to challenge and push the boundaries of technological and scientific research.
This situation has undermined until today substantial experimentation and innovation at the intersection between performing arts, science and technology, capable to create a mutual enriching dynamic. It is difficult for the performing arts to create novel possibilities of expression in close connection with scientific and technological research and development, while scientific and technological research remains mostly deprived from opportunities to engage in a cooperative, artistic driven research. To overcome this situation, SINLAB initiates a process that facilitates systematic encounters between artists and scientists encouraging scientific and technological research in tune with the needs and constraints of both sides.