Virtual Vaudeville: Simulation and the Risks of Positivism
The Virtual Vaudeville Project is a 3-year effort, funded by the National Science Foundation, to simulate the experience of attending an historical theatre event using 3D models, motion capture and high-performance gaming technology. The broad goal is to develop a flexible set of techniques and technologies that scholars and theatre practitioners can use to simulate a wide range of performance genres, from Greek tragedy to medieval pageant plays. The short-term objective is to complete a fully-functional simulation of a vaudeville performance at New York's Union Square Theatre in the year 1895.
In this talk, David Saltz will present the project's work-in-progress, and offer a critical reflection on the challenges of the project's underlying premise, in particular the risk, inherent in any immersive simulation (digital or material), of reinforcing positivist assumptions about history.
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