Joris Weijdom


Utrecht (NL)

Joris Weijdom is a researcher and designer of mixed-reality experiences focusing on interdisciplinary creative processes and performativity. He is a lecturer at the HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, where he founded the Media and Performance Laboratory (MAPLAB), enabling from 2012 until 2015 practice-led artistic research on the intersection of performance, media, and technology.

Joris currently leads the Mixed-Reality research group at the Professorship Performative Processes and teaches several BA and MA courses. As part of his NWO-funded PhD project, Joris researches creative processes in collaborative mixed reality environments (CMRE) in collaboration with University of Twente and Utrecht University.

For the Constant 101 project, Joris developed and  hosted several collaborative embodied design sessions in a mixed reality environment for the ‘Enter New Babylon’ VR installation concept. These sessions enabled the designer teams to understand the potential of Mixed Reality (MR) environments through direct embodied experience and visualize their ideas in VR together in an early stage of the design process. Furthermore, he advised in an early stage of the project the interdisciplinary dialogue between artistic/aesthetic ideas and the creative possibilities of VR/MR technologies. Finally, he coached the ‘Envision Mixed Reality’ project by the second-year Bachelor Interactive Performance Design (IPD) students of HKU Theatre, which served as an inspirational study for the ‘Enter New Babylon’ project.

Joris on Constant

Constant has always used many media to express his artistic explorations and vision. Additionally, he was a great advocate for the adoption and experimentation with new technologies. While some of his utopian expectations of technology freeing human society from time-consuming simple labor to sustain its existence might be somewhat naive, his open and curious attitude for embracing technology for its creative and artistic potential strongly resonates with my own praxis.

As the ‘Enter new Babylon’ and related ‘Envision Mixed reality’ projects illustrate; Virtual Reality (VR), and its embodied connection to a physical environment in a so-called Mixed Reality (MR), asks for a new way of designing an interactive experience. Here artistic disciplinary traditions of writing for performance and scenography are redefined by the possibilities and limitations of a new medium. Like Constant, the participating design teams consisting of writers, designers, and theatre-makers have re-invented their praxis by embracing new technologies as an environment for artistic expression. This process of exploration and dialogue with new technologies is never finished and should be considered an art form in itself.