Seeking Human Connection in the Metaverse

Do you ever find yourself getting lost in the clouds?

Well, Maitree in collaboration in Yum Cha Arts has been at work creating an experience where you find yourself navigating through “The Cloud”, a human’s shared networked experience online and a site of collective exchange. The Cloud can be full of possibility but also a dangerous place. In a more literal sense, it can be seen as a representation of the Metaverse.

Cloudlines, is a collaborative process between Australian and Malaysian artists that has been ongoing since 2020 funded by the Australian Council for the Arts. The project is currently in its second development where the center of the creative process involves creating a multiplayer ritualistic experience that will leave the audience shedding their old ways and embarking into the world with a new found awareness.

Cloudlines employs social media, augmented reality platforms, and live and pre-recorded sound to transform the performance space and create a collaborative performance where traditional theatre/storytelling techniques are blended with contemporary art forms. The premiere performance will be performed simultaneously in Darwin and Penang.

Cloudlines will present itself as a search for a character that paradoxically reflects self discovery and intervention in The Cloud. The message behind Cloudlines creates a sense of community in a shared space where players collectively join forces to escape The Cloud.

The final development of Cloudlines will be presented as a Mixed Reality Theatre Experience. Theatrical elements of the live performance portion of Cloudlines will take the form of a site-adaptive work allowing local interpretations of the in-person progression into the XR experience. Hence, the development and significance of the VR headset experience resembles universal understanding and ideas that can be translated and interpreted differently around the world.

Will we find human connection in the Metaverse? Stay tuned.

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