Covid-19 has unfortunately currently curtailed our work on Digital Catapult’s 5G Testbed programmed for SMEs. Relative Motion was busy exploring a use-case for live-streaming performance made for virtual reality, facilitated by 5G’s mega bandwidth and ultra-low latency capabilities. We were looking forward to showcasing our efforts in May 2020.
As practising theatre-makers, we’re musing daily on the emotional, social, cultural and economic impacts social distancing and travel restrictions have wreaked on the live events industry. This turmoil is testing the resilience of artists, musicians and those in the creative industries to their core. At the same time, remaining hopeful, we’re speculating on what’s next: What do we fight to reconstruct? Can the creative industries regrow into a more robust cultural and economic powerhouse? What might the new parameters and opportunities be?
Our experience of lock-down has reminded many of us of the vitality of a solid and fast data connection. We’ve often been surprised by just how effective and, at times, comforting remote presence can be. Musicians and theatre-makers have so far struggled to fully adopt live video and audio links into their practices – lag, cost, unstable connections and sometimes the sheer inhumanity of mediatization has meant that working face-to-face is still our default. We wonder if that might be now set to change more rapidly, forever. Will we ever forego the rehearsal room? Yes, there are serious questions to be answered about safety, data security and ownership but will 5G enable us to meaningfully connect and collaborate with the nuances we rely upon and crave? Will 5G allow us to reach our audiences of the future?