Toasterlab Tools were generated through Toasterlab’s Mixed Reality Performance Atelier. Funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Mixed Reality Performance Atelier was a two-year initiative exploring the use of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and immersive media technologies in live performance. Running from July 2019 to June 2021, this project brought together artists and technologists to add AR/VR capacity to a diverse set of arts projects and develop accessible tools and best practices for mixed reality art making.
In total, the Mixed Reality Performance Atelier boosted 16 performance projects through providing equipment, expertise, and consultation to partnering productions that integrated mixed reality methods including VR, AR, motion capture, live streaming, and geolocation. Every four months, mixed reality and performance makers presented progress on their Atelier projects and related productions at a symposium hosted by Toasterlab and the Atelier’s Advisory Board. These six symposia took place as workshops, panels, live streams, a hackathon, and in VR, reaching an audience of thousands around the world.
The Advisory Board was made up of leading artists and technologists working extended reality, theatre, and dance. As the boosted projects were completed, Advisory Board members interviewed in the projects’ creators and distilled the lessons learned and techniques discovered—resulting in Toasterlab Tools for best practices in mixed reality art making.
Interviews with mixed reality makers and project profiles can be accessed directly through the Search Page.
There is an iterative, cyclical relationship between content creation and technology. Each one informs and builds on the other.
The development of new technology should be introduced to solve and essential requirement of the experience. Is there a platform that already exists? Will it work as a web app? Do you have to create something brand new?
Technical know-how is great, but time, and therefore money, are limiting factors in creation and testing. And always allow enough time for testing.
There will always be problems, but the project is the culmination of technology and story. Solve what you can through story and dramaturgy.