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Virtual Vaudeville

david_saltz Computer Simulation as a Tool for Research and Preservation in the Arts and Humanities

March 2, 2006

http://www.virtualvaudeville.com/

David Z. Saltz
Associate Professor
Head of the Department of Theatre and Film Studies
University of Georgia
Founding Director of the Interactive Performance Lab

The Virtual Vaudeville website uses 3D computer animation and motion capture technologies to transport scholars and students back to the nineteenth century. Users can watch a rigorously-researched recreation of a vaudeville performance from multiple perspectives, and move freely through a richly-detailed theater to explore the architecture. The animated simulations are linked to extensive hypermedia notes that provide background information and digitalizations of archival source materials. The project, supported by the National Science Foundation, draws together an interdisciplinary team of historians, digital artists, motion capture specialists, programmers, and theatre practitioners from seven universities. Virtual Vaudeville is a prototype for the “Live Performance Simulation System,” a fully generalizable system for simulating live performance events from any historical period. The project models a powerful new tool for teaching performance and cultural history, and for scholarly research, digital publication and archival preservation in the arts and humanities.

BIOGRAPHY
David Z. Saltz, principal investigator of the National Science Foundation funded Virtual Vaudeville project, is associate professor and head of the Department of Theatre and Film Studies at the University of Georgia. As founding director of the Interactive Performance lab, he has directed theatrical productions and created interactive installations incorporating interactive technologies such as motion capture and robotics. His essays about the theory of live performance and digital technology have been published in Theatre Research International, Performance Research, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, the Oxford Encyclopedia of Theatre and Performance, and Blackwell Companion to Digital Humanities.

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