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080808 Upstage Cyberformance Festival

080808 UpStage Festival

Stories of identity and histories that connect countries, cultures and centuries are
among the performances selected for the 080808 UpStage Festival, which takes
place on 8 August 2008.

The festival features 14 live online performances by artists in 14 time zones, and will be
accessible to anyone with a standard internet connection and browser. People in
London, Munich, Oslo, Los Angeles and Wellington can also attend 'real life' access

A story of bridges unites the cities New York and Munich, while another performance
brings together the every-day lives of women 100 years ago in Turkey, Canada and a
Portuguese immigrant to the USA. Other performances feature a digital ego, a miniature
biome based on climate-warming data from the internet, live audiovisual mash-ups, the
celebration of the birthday of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, and much more.
One performance has already begun: "Calling Home" by activelayers introduces four
characters who are trying to find their way home. As well as the 080808 festival
performance, a build up of performances and appearances in UpStage and other online
environments is taking place. For more information, visit www.activelayers.net.
UpStage is software that allows audiences from anywhere in the world to participate in
live online performances, created in real time by remote players. Audiences need only
an internet connection and web browser and can interact through a text chat tool while
the players use images to create visual scenes, and operate “avatars” - graphical
characters that speak aloud and move.

Last year's festival, 070707, featured thirteen performances and was screened at the
New Zealand Film Archive as well as online. This year most shows will be performed
twice, and there will be 'real life' access nodes in London, Munich, Oslo, Los Angeles
and Wellington.

The artists involved range from experienced cyberformance practitioners such as The
Plaintext Players and activelayers, to children: the youngest performers are six years
old. In Belgrade, children attended a workshop before the festival to create their own

The full list of performances, artists, performance times and RL access nodes is on the
UpStage web site: www.upstage.org.nz. Live links to the stages will be accessible from
the UpStage web site on August 8; online audiences just need to click!
UpStage is supported by CityLink, MediaLab and Auckland University of Technology.

For further information, contact:
Helen Varley Jamieson