Ben Carlin

Ben Carlin

Digital Artist | Storyteller

  • Location: Sheffield
  • Career stage: Early
  • Freelancer: Unavailable

As a digital artist I am interested in the fading boundaries between the virtual/digital and the physical world. It is fascinating to observe how virtual reality can affect the user, provoking a visceral bodily response. This new platform offers a paradigm shift in creating new theatrical experiences.

I aim to make my theatrical works accessible to anyone in the world, provided they have an internet connection and a VR headset. Additionally, I will not be limited by the same financial and spatial restraints as traditional theatre makers sometimes are. Virtual reality allows for more lateral ways of thinking in the devising process.

I want the user to see things in a way they have not experienced before and discover new empathies and connections to the subject matter. I also love the idea that people can be transported and experience places or environments they have never been before (seeing Earth from space; or standing dangerously on a skyscraper’s precipice). The potential to manipulate/shift the world around the user instantly is exciting and unique to VR.

Moving forward, building physical sets which will syncronise with the virtually rendered set will enable the user to have a far greater sense of immersion in my performances.

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I am the artistic director of Epiphany VR which is an an emerging Sheffield based art collective working in the intersection between virtual reality (VR) and immersive performance.

We are made up of theatre makers and technologists who are interested in exploring how performance and virtual reality can be combined to create new and engaging experiences for audiences of all ages.

Previous projects most notably include Memories of Now, winner of the Best Core Digital Project for O2 Think Big created in collaboration with Age UK. An intergenerational piece working with elderly residents of Sheffield, to record and retell their personal stories of the city. Merging their stories, rendered as 360 degree immersive video, and a video game world we brought their stories to life for younger generations. Memories of Now has been selected as part of the Battersea Arts Centre’s a Nation’s Theatre program.

In February 2015 we created New Template 1.0, which was the first work as part of our New Template Series which actively explores the use of VR in a performance context. The technique of recording live performers rendered in a 3D game environment, in which the audience can physically explore by moving around whilst wearing the VR headset. We are now working on New Template 2.0, our most ambitious work to date.

 

Education

Drama - BA (Hons) 1st. - Kingston University

Sep 2011 - Jun 2014

Portfolio

Network