Distant Bodies & Different Worlds

Karin Verelst, Carina Erdmann, Sébastien Hendrickx, David Tann. In collaboration with Ash Eliza Smith

During this three-day workshop, the participants will explore in depth what it means and entails as a maker and a player to step into the frame of the screen, to move between real, virtual, and symbolic worlds. The digital world itself is rooted in the material world but not identical to it. What exactly happens when we transition from one into the other? We will explore the ontological steps that we have to take as a participant to engage our bodies in virtual game worlds.

Through methods of Collective Worlding and Life Action Role Play (LARP) a Remote Reality Game will be created, in which a technological transition from the player’s present world to a digital avatar world is made possible, turning the school building into a multilayered gamespace. Players play and are played simultaneously. As designers, students will learn to deal with the fundamental effect that the introduction of a screen brings into their experience. Based on the intuitive and spatial ‘world’ in which they are situated that is explored through preliminary observational exercises and a subjective mapping within cosmograms, they will set up a narrative context in which these movements between worlds become as natural as a classic Fourth Wall situation.

Playfully, thus participants develop a critical understanding of the relationship between people and their digital proxies and learn to generate and reflect on the narrative frameworks and game mechanics that enable different forms of agency in interaction through and with screens

Workshop upcoming at RITCS School of Arts, Dept. of Animation, Brussels