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Lotus haptic devices in a row

The Question was a collaborative and immersive theatre project that explored haptic technology in relation to navigation, perception and knowledge. The research and development phase, culminated in a showing in June 2010 at BAC (Battersea Arts Centre),

The Question, funded by the Technology Strategy Board, was a collaboration between Extant (the UK’s only professional performing arts company of visually impaired artists), BAC (a space for cutting-edge theatre), the Computing Department of The Open University and specialists Adam Spiers, Paul O’Dowd and David McGoran.

This innovative collaboration between engineers, artists and academics invited participants to explore a tactile and audio environment in the pitch dark.  Audience members were guided by a haptic device, which used robotics technology and infrared sensors to change its form in response to their journey through the installation.

The Question focused on the senses of touch and hearing, and located the drama of the narrative in the body of each participant.  The story was a fragmented recounting of an abstract blind character, struggling with scientific, philosophical and cultural questions of sensory translation, knowledge and the ultimate impact of these on individual identity.

We are aiming to develop the project further in terms of both its performance and technology potential, so please contact us if you have any suggestions or contacts that you might have which would enable us to achieve this.

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