This is a story about how Circus Oz, a medium-sized performing arts company in Australia has been working with RMIT University to develop a digital platform – the Living Archive – to change not only the company’s operational business and artistic practices but its relationship with and conception of its audiences.
Build a multi-skilled team which can both; think and make
This project fits into a relatively new area of research called ‘digital humanities’. In digital humanities we discover new knowledge, not by doing surveys or sitting in our studies writing books, valuable although these things are, but by making things. In this case, working with Circus Oz on building and testing the prototypes for the Living Archive and sorting out all of the associated problems; digitisation, intellectual property issues, software design, meta data, video storage etc. The really exciting thing, the great beauty of this project is that it brings together people from such diverse backgrounds to work together in the context of the arts. On our project team we have; interaction designers, computer scientists, digital media experts, and performance studies scholars. All of whom provide valuable expertise and perspectives. We have many animated meetings and workshops. This creative research partnership has allowed us to continually question exactly what we are doing and why and for Circus Oz to question their own assumptions and existing practices whether it be in the artistic department, the marketing department, or wherever.