The Digital Weekender 2016

Running Time: Sat 12 -Sun13 November 2016

About this event

For two days, leading new media artists from around the world gather at Watermans to deliver an explosive programme of digital performances, dance, workshops, installations and interactive events.

Get a portrait of your body’s movements in Movement Alphabet, settle into a dentist’s chair to see your own brainwaves in Phrontesterion, or enter an immersive virtual reality performance in The Cube.

Many events are free and suitable for children 5+ as well as adults.

Movement Alphabet by Jan Lee and Tim Murray-Browne

Drop in sessions take place: Sat 12, 11am-2pm & 3-9pm; Sun 13, 11am-6pm

Movement Alphabet is an interactive work that transforms your moving body into a unique portrait capturing your physical presence.

In a one-to-one immersive experience with the artist, you are invited to explore your own physicality and memories. A digital imaging system analyses your movement and renders your portrait through a process akin to a calligraphy of the whole body. It then prints your movement portrait out for you to keep.

This is a free, drop in experience. Each session takes a few minutes, on a first-come-first-served basis. The experience is suitable for adults and accompanied children 5+.

Symposium – Digital Performance Today: CUTTING EDGE AVANT-GARDE or CULTURAL MAINSTREAM?

The world is digital now, so what does this mean for digital performance and the arts?

Featuring practice and research demonstrations, talks, round tables, provocations and coffee sessions, the Symposium will ask how the field of digital performance has developed over the last decade. Have digital initiatives such as Metropolitan Opera Live in HD, NT Live and BMW Tate Live, augmented reality and urban gaming applications, shifted digital performance practice and research from cultural avant-garde to the mainstream? Which are the most exciting current entanglements and intersections developed between performance and technology? What can be defined as digital performance at a time when performance is always already digital? (following on from Charlie Gere’s argument about the term ‘digital culture’ being a tautology as culture is already digital (2008)). And what is the role of digital performance research today?

The Symposium will launch two new Digital Performance initiatives:
• The Practice-as-Research cluster Laser Unicorns, encompassing artists and academics from the UK, Europe and USA
• The Digital Performance strand of London South Bank University’s Centre for Research in Digital Storymaking

Symposium Schedule
Symposium Chair: Maria Chatzichristodoulou (aka X) (London South Bank University) Keynote:
11am-12:15noon – Tassos Stevens, Artistic Director, interactive theatre making company Coney

Lunch Round Table:
12:30-2pm – Lunch with the Laser Unicorns
Jo Scott (University of Salford), Kerry Francksen (De Montfort University), Sophy Smith (De Montfort University),  AΦE cross media physical theatre company; Creative Residency artists

Coffee Round Table:
2:15-3:45pm – Coffee and cake table with the Digital Performance cluster, LSBU Centre for Digital Storymaking
fanSHEN theatre company, Studio for Electronic Theatre, Maria Chatzichristodoulou (aka X), Astrid Breel, Elena Marchevska and Jon Lee

4-5pm – Jorge Lopes Ramos, Artistic Director, Zecora Ura (ZU-UK) theatre company.

The symposium is a free event but tickets must be booked in advance. An express lunch will be available for £5.50 from the Guru Tandoori Kitchen, with a curry, naan, rice and side salad.

The Symposium is supported by De Montfort University and London South Bank University.

Image credit:

#RioFoneHack by ZU-UK (2015)
Link project:
Link website:

The Cube by Simon Wilkinson AKA Circa69

Sat 12 Nov, 11.30am-2.30pm & 4-7pm; Sun 13 Nov, 11.30-2.30pm & 4-6pm

The Cube combines virtual reality, live performance and kinaesthetic effects to tell the story of a mass disappearance that happened in Idaho in 1959. And you will be at the centre of it in a 3D virtual reality experience.

You awake to find yourself sitting at a table across from a stranger; you have no idea how long you have been asleep or where the rest of the group has disappeared to as you consider the question. You are the main player in this immersive experience that has toured internationally.

The Cube was created by artist Simon Wilkinson, AKA CiRCA69. Simon Wilkinson’s work has been featured at Tate Modern, tours the international circuit regularly, and has been translated into many languages.

You need to book a ticket for this event. Each immersive experience takes about 15 minutes. Four tickets are available per hour slot. Please arrive at the start of the hour slot and sign up for one of the 15 minute sessions, on a first come first served basis. You are then free to visit the other events in the building if you have to wait for your slot.


A Moment of Madness by The Other Way Works

Sat 12 Nov, 2pm, 3.30pm, 5pm, 7pm; Sun 13 Nov, 2pm, 3.30pm, 5pm

A brand new immersive theatre meets urban gaming experience from The Other Way Works in collaboration with game designer John Sear.

On the eve of the vote on radical new legislation to combat climate change, the revelation of a politician’s clandestine rendezvous threatens to destroy the coalition and scupper the bill. Your job is to make sure this doesn’t happen. Stay in your vehicle. Report everything.

This game is played in pairs so tickets are sold as pairs. Four players play at one time, so two pairs together. Sessions last The experience includes some strong language and is only suitable for adults 18+. A pair of tickets costs £10.

Q&A Session with the Creators of A Moment of Madness by The Other Way Works

Sun 13 Nov, 12pm, 45 min in Studio 2

Do you make interactive theatre or real-world games? Do you work with technology in your creative practice? Would you like to?

Come along to this Q&A Session with Katie Day, theatre maker and producer and John Sear, developer and game designer and find out more about how they’ve brought their two practices together to create their new immersive experience ‘A Moment of Madness’.

The Phrontesterion: EEG and Dreamachine sonified by Luciana Haill

Sat 12 Nov, 12-2pm, 3.30-5pm & 6.30-8pm; Sun 13 Nov, 12-2pm & 3-5pm

Experience sensory installation ‘Phrontesterion’ by digital fine artist Luciana Haill which transports you into a meditative state via a dreamachine and monitors the impact on visitor’s brainwaves.

In this interactive, participatory artwork the brainwaves of participants are monitored whilst experiencing a hypnotic light sculpture ‘The Dream Machine’ and creating the phenomena Flicker.

The resulting Hypnagogic brainwaves are fed-back to the participant via neurofeedback within a soundtrack, and change the sonification, emergent frequency guides and voices recede, as relaxation increases, new ideas come to the fore, entoptic patterns are experienced and dreaming whilst awake takes place.

This is a free, drop in experience. Children must be accompanied and have the permission of a responsible adult.

Whist by  AOE

Sat 12 Nov, 11.10am-5.30pm; Sat 13 Nov, 12-5.30pm

WHIST is a Mixed Reality dance piece exploring the notion of consciousness influenced by Freud’s case studies and avant-garde film maker Shuji Terayama. Project comprises dance, physical design installation, 3D sound and 360 degree film, accessible via Virtual Reality headsets.

Created in partnership with Digital company Happy Finish and composers Jozef van Wissem (winner Cannes Film Festival best score for feature film ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’) and Scott Gibbons (credits include award-winning theatre productions, and compositions appear in Swiss National Exposition, Louvre and ARS Electronica Festival); 3D audio artist Two Big Ears, installation designer James Michael Shaw (nominated Design Museum Designs of the Year, winner Arc Chair Design Award) and psychoanalyst Emilia Raczkowska (Freud Museum).

The event is free and will take place in the times above in the Box Office foyer.

Supported by Arts Council England, Gulbenkian, South East Dance, Old Market, Watermans, Ashford Borough Council and Jasmin Vardimon Company.


Technology is not neutral gallery tour

Sat 12 Nov, 5-6pm followed by launch reception

Join the artists and curators for a tour of the Technology is not Neutral exhibition. giving you insight into what lies behind the work and this collection of it. Followed by exhibition launch drinks and a chance to meet the artists (6.30-8pm)

This is a public event and tickets are not necessary.


Trust: Mixed Reality by Kate Genevieve

This one-on-one mixed reality experience is an experiment in trust and contact. Using head goggles, multi-sensory illusion and touch, visitors are invited into an exploration of interpersonal relationships and transformation.

This will take place during the following times, on a first-come-first served drop in basis:

Saturday 12 Nov: 6.30-8.30pm

Sunday 13 Nov: 2-5pm

Part of – a project inspired by the Golden Disc aboard the Voyager probes and its speculative intention of communicating life on earth with extra-terrestrial life. Of the Spheres explores the human attempt to communicate being alive on planet earth across borders of language and shared understanding.

The 4th Floor – Kaffe Matthews

Sat 12 Nov, 8pm, 45mins

The first woman to receive the Edgar Varèse professorship at TU Berlin, Kaffe Matthews returns to the stage with a new performance, making massive beats from tiny elements weaving architectural rhythms that never conclude.

Kaffe Matthews was last at Watermans with Sonic Bed in 2013 and more recently the shark sound installation at the River Weekender: You Might Come Out of the Water Every Time Singing. What links her work is the power of sound to transform how you feel.

Once branded the Pope of the virtual violin, (WIRE 1997), Kaffe Matthews‘ pioneering strides into the field of electro-acoustic music making live knows no bounds. With 6 solo CD’s under her belt, in 2006 she left the performance stage to design and build multi-channel installations reaching wider audiences with Sonic Beds, Sonic bikes and sharks, gathering material in rivers, canals, the Pacific Ocean, working worldwide with orchestras, sonification, children and communities.

Hear Kaffe talking about her work in the video below.

Dreams Rewired (15)

Sun 13 Nov, 2pm

Directed by Manu Luksch, Martin Reinhart and Thomas Tode

Dreams Rewired traces the desires and anxieties of today’s hyper-connected world back more than a hundred years, when telephone, film and television were new. As revolutionary then as contemporary social media is today, early electric media sparked a fervent utopianism in the public imagination – promising total communication, the annihilation of distance, an end to war. But then, too, there were fears over the erosion of privacy, security, morality. Using rare (and often unseen) archival material from nearly 200 films to articulate the present, DREAMS REWIRED reveals a history of hopes to share, and betrayals to avoid.

Book Your Tickets


Click here to find full details for those with access requirements.

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