[ISEA2023] Paper: Susanne Thurow, Dennis Del Favero, Michael J. Ostwald & Helena Grehan — Augmenting Creative Symbiosis Using a Cyber/Physical Aesthetic


Full Paper. Theme: Immersion(s) Subtheme Symbiotic Organizations

Creative arts organizations are constituted by intricate symbiotic relationships between diverse stakeholders, including creatives, technicians, software programmers, and producers. These thrive when facilitated by clear, seamless and swift communication. Cyber/physical systems can support such exchange, yet require careful aesthetic design. Inspired by Manuel DeLanda’s philosophical framework, the paper introduces iModel, a new networked modelling system that facili- tates operatic rehearsal design via an interactive cyber/physical spatial aesthetic. After mapping its conceptual framework, we detail iModel’s architecture and functionalities that provide a shared workspace for distributed teams. iModel is capable of assimilating diverse data formats and enabling real-time manipulation and seamless previsualization of complex interactions between all components of operatic production including orchestration of set ensembles, video content, cast movements and lighting design, all synchronized with the musical score. The paper reflects on iModel’s real-world application in 2022 in the design and technical production departments at Opera Australia, Australia’s largest performing arts organization. We conclude with a reflection on the coalescence of philosophy, art and technology as a powerful conduit for catalyzing creative practice toward realizing new symbiotic imaginaries on and beyond the screen.