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Young Vic-RCA AKT Postdoctoral Associate

Royal College of Art - Photography

Location: London
Salary: £41,847 to £45,374 per annum pro rata
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 1st March 2024
Closes: 6th March 2024
Job Ref: 016-24
 

Purpose of the Post:   

This project is an Accelerated Knowledge Transfer (AKT) partnership between the School of Arts and Humanities at London’s Royal College of Art and the Creators Program at The Young Vic Theatre. 

Mobile phone usage is not permitted in theatres. The risks of distracting performers or other audience members, or generally facilitating an environment of impertinence are too high. However, our relationships with our mobile phones are sometimes more intimate than our marriages and dearest friendships. 

In this project, we will explore ways in which theatres, and theatre makers, can use mobile devices to bridge a gap between audience and the storytelling of a piece of theatre. Through sharing media, text messages or indeed using our audiences’ phones as part of the lighting or sound design, we hope to integrate audiences into productions in new and tailored ways. Rather than passive observers, audiences become complicit story-tellers. That which is usually a transgression in our theatres will become an additional means of audience engagement. 

The proposed technology is something that has only been tentatively explored in theatre, and in cruder less integrated ways. Our aim is to give the production control of what audiences receive and when, with an attempt to keep directives of how or when to interact to a minimum. Interaction will be intuitive and fully integrated. Our work will be focused on canonised pieces, and trying to create new terms of engagement with classical texts. 

This project will allow people, in an era defined by a lot of numbness and predictable/fatigued responses to stimuli, to reconnect in new ways with their own interpretations or receptions of the live work they are seeing. Being an active participant not only increases reception of the work, but also makes audiences more responsive to what engaging with the work is generating within themselves. It cements an individual sense of ownership or investment in a piece of work – allowing people to see a part of themselves in it – and be really held/hosted by the experience. A richer internal engagement leading to a richer external engagement, and therefore an enhanced communal experience overall. 

The AKT Associate will hold a degree in a relevant field, and will have experience working creatively with emerging technologies, via related projects, postgraduate studies, or in industry. The post is full-time, and the AKT Associate will be based between the Royal College of Art (1-2 day / week) and The Young Vic Theatre (3-4 days / week).  

The post holder must be available for immediate start in the week commencing 18th of March and for the entire duration of the project. Job share may be considered, and remote working is also possible.

Working as a key member of the project team, the successful candidate is an accomplished researcher with proven knowledge of creative coding and software development methods. The post holder will have an interest in the relationship between art and technology, and experience in the creative use of Machine Learning and AI. This is an exciting opportunity to be a key member in a research project of international importance, supporting the investigation and testing of new modes of theatrical experience. Working from the RCA, the researcher will be supported and mentored by an experienced multi-disciplinary team of researchers.

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