The ‘Blinding Virtual Reality?’ lab. On the potential of virtual reality for blind and visually impaired persons by and with Steven Solbrig, Matthias Nagel and guests / 18.3.2023, 4:00-5:30 pm.
Together, in this idea lab, we explore the potential of performative formats of virtual reality for blind and visually impaired people, and look for a plot, for initial impulses for a digital storytelling and performing.
Since the first lockdown of the Corona pandemic at the latest, for some performers and theatre makers, digital art and culture seem to have emerged to be a promising format for making it possible for performances to be more accessible to large sections of the population. In addition, this has unfurled innovative possibilities for storytelling, along with the integration of virtual reality as well. The latter refers to the representation and simultaneous perception of an apparent reality and its physical properties in a real-time computer-generated, interactive virtual environment. Virtual reality is mainly visual, both in the digital world of theatre and in performance.
But how accessible is this virtual reality for blind and visually impaired people? What does blind or visually impaired mean? Which environmental and attitude-related barriers are people with blind people or with visual impairments currently facing in the analogue and digital world? What about the current visibility and decision-making participation of blind and visually impaired persons in the analog and digital performing world? Doesn't the format of virtual reality in the performing world actually exclude blind and visually impaired people? How can their stories be performed in this format? Is "blind culture" a counterpart to "deaf culture"? How can theatrical productions and performance spaces be transformed into digital environments for people who are blind or visually impaired? (How) can an integrated audio description as a performative format create aesthetic access from them?
This and other questions will be explored in this idea lab by and with Steven Solbrig and Matthias Nagel, the blind inclusion project officials for children and youth work at the Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft offene Jugendbildung (LAGO) (state working group for open youth education) Baden-Württemberg, along with other guests. Together we are looking for a common storyline, for initial ideas for digital storytelling and performances for blind and visually impaired people.
The ideas laboratory will take place on 18.3.23 as part of ‘Schaudepot-Spezial V’.
With audio description.
Accessibility information can be found here.
‘Blinding Virtual Reality?’ is funded by the state capital Stuttgart in the program 'Stuttgart für alle inklusiv’.