Through these weekly projects, I found myself researching topics and situations I had not seriously considered. While not a field I think I will enter, I found the subjects of 3D printing and the interactive elements used for performance to be heavily engaging. The prospect of a physical object, created and designed completely by digital means brings to mind classic science fiction movies and television series. Works of fiction that were created with the intent of such devices, such as Star Trek’s replicators, someday existing. However, their creation was predicted to happen much later than now, some time in the 22nd or 23rd century. The advances being made recently, with experiments going beyond printing with just plastic, advances in printing with human tissue for medical purposes, and edible materials for custom food, have created a reality far closer to science fiction, much earlier than speculated.
Advances with integrating interactive elements, such as lighting and sound, into a live performance, are yielding some very promising and engaging results. The Royal Shakespeare Companies recent production of The Tempest has bucked their usual trend, and integrated interactive animations, CG motion capture, and live action actors to bring to life the creatures depicted in Shakespeare’s notorious play. These integrations give the theatre a move cinematic approach, something that can draw in those less likely to see standard Shakespeare on the stage, creating a wider audience.