Is this thing on? XR Stories R&D projects are rolling

Our initial R&D projects into the creative and commercial potential of immersive and interactive digital storytelling are commencing. Over the next 6 months, vital new academic-industry collaborations are creating new content and developing new ways of delivering rich audience experiences.
XR Stories is here to support the creative screen industries in Yorkshire and The Humber to growth through targeted funding in immersive and interactive digital storytelling.

Our region is large and its creative industries are numerous and diverse, taking in traditional screen industries of TV, film and games, as well as design, performing arts, publishing, craft, and museums and galleries, and a wide range new, multi-modal creative digital agencies.

Our initial awards of R&D funding in many ways reflect this diversity. We have been able to support performing music artists to work with world-renowned media artists and music academics to develop new visual and audio styles and to enable new forms and modes of performance. We have been able to support forwarding thinking theatre companies to reach new audiences on trains, online and in the streets.

Partnerships involving key regional institutions and organisations are a key feature of the funded projects, and the ’triangular’ model of an academic institution bringing state of the art knowledge, a creative technology partner bringing leading-edge innovation and a cultural institution or national company in which to locate the innovation shows real promise, particularly in terms of reaching new audiences. We are supporting projects that include the National Railway Museum, the National Science and Media Museum, Opera North, and Northern Rail as active partners, with a combined visitor / customer base annually into the hundreds of thousands.

One other emergent approach that we are following with interest is Artist-centred Creative R&D. The idea of a creative residency is not new (just this weekend I gazed with happy wonder at the studios of The Design Museum’s ‘In Residence’ Studios), but is more often used to support the individual artists’ growth rather than the growth of companies. The PERSONA project offers a unique approach: the creative, academic and technical resources of KMA, York Mediale and the University of York, supporting an artist – the electronic music artist Gazelle Twin – to explore the role of spatial and immersive sound and contemporary music performance, live and on screen, harnessing immersive technologies to create innovative and viable products, services and artistic concepts. The regional creative industry companies involved directly benefit form the creative process they are involved in, helping them to solve existing problems and develop new capabilities, to secure their growth. And the artist produces something new and innovative through the unique collaboration: all grow.

Other projects focus on industry partners driving forward digital storytelling both for their own growth and that of their industry. Surround Stories: Immersive Screens for Cultural Exhibition involves Live Cinema UK, the UK’s leading organsiation dedicated to producing, promoting and researching live cinema events. Immersive screen venues represent a huge opportunity for audiences to experience a wide range of content in new ways, but creatives are only just beginning to explore the artistic and narrative possibilities of these spaces. The Surround Stories project will develop a new and original immersive showcase, mapping work into a 360 screen environment. The work will be presented to audiences and enable Live Cinema to develop industry-leading practice for 360 degree, interactive content and live performance in cultural and other venues.

Head over to the Current R&D Projects section of the website to learn more about these projects. Each project page will expand as the projects progress.

Published on October 31, 2019

Filed under: Blog, News, R&D Projects, Uncategorized