VR Ulysses Live in AltSpaceVR

13th June 2021
VR Ulysses Live in AltSpaceVR

VR Ulysses Live in AltSpaceVR was a creative project investigating the possibilities of live performance in virtual reality (VR) by exploring a section of the opening scene of James Joyce’s classical modernist work of literature. It was performed live in AltSpaceVR on Bloomsday 2021 and it enabled individuals to experience a dramatic re-enactment of James Joyce’s Ulysses live in virtual reality (VR), for the first time.

In this cutting-edge production of VR drama, computer science and drama researchers reimagined a section of the opening scene of Joyce’s classical modernist work of literature in a way that was engaging for 21st-century audiences by using state-of-the-art interactive digital media technologies.

VR Ulysses Live is the second part of a series of creative–cultural experiments investigating questions around preservation, access, reactivation, and transmission of intangible cultural heritage (drama and literature) in the context of interactive digital media technologies. Continuing the collaboration with Joycean scholar Paul O’Hanrahan (director), this episode expanded on last year’s version, MR Ulysses (released on Bloomsday 2020), which reimagined the same scene using cutting-edge volumetric video techniques.

In VR Ulysses Live, audiences were invited to either put on a VR headset and ‘virtually’ attend the Martello tower-top or watch via a live stream of the performance <https://youtu.be/uFy2VFIuQ_I>. Whereas the live stream was available to all, spaces for the virtual tower-top performance (in AltSpaceVR) were limited. To attend in VR, the audience needed an AltspaceVR account set up and ready to go, and sign up for the event for a private invitation.