December 15, 2022

Dance In The Metaverse: What is this project all about?

By Kelly Ruth

With all the buzz about the metaverse lately, tech companies are scrambling to become THE metaverse that rises to the top of popular engagement. What is the metaverse anyway? The metaverse is not a single place but rather the collection of 3D digital worlds where people gather. It is one component of what we are being told is the future of immersive computing on the internet. I have been working as an artist in virtual worlds and have been in and out of virtual worlds recreationally for over 20 years starting with text based Dungeon and Dragon type internet game worlds called MUDDS. Admittedly I am completely enamored by the creative potential of these spaces as places to create immersive art experiences. Places where audiences can engage on their own terms at any time of day and from anywhere in the world. Through the past three years I have experienced a joy of creation, play and exploration that had been missing in my art practice for some time. I have also built communities of peers from around the world who share my interests and we teach each other while collaborating on and sharing our projects with each other. If my experience is representative of the future of the internet then I think artists, arts orgs and culture in general will benefit greatly from working in virtual worlds. However, so much of this future is unwritten and I see an opportunity for communities of creatives to get in on the ground floor and help to build the future that they want to see. As part of this, MZD invited me to lead a research project exploring Dance in the Metaverse in partnership with Moment Discovery here in Edmonton. Joined by dancers eryn tempest, Sean Arceta, and Gerry Morita, together we are working with motion capture technology and VR headsets to test the limits of the platforms for transmediating live dance into social virtual worlds. Join me over the next couple of blog posts as I share more of our research unfolding.


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