A Telepresence Story: Come Hill or High Water

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This artist talk presents the development of a telepresence story experience COME HILL OR HIGH WATER by Paul Sermon (2022/23), presented at ISEA2023 under the sub- theme Symbiotic Imaginaries. As an invented world, this work is more dystopian than utopian, depicting a redundant world, already very present in a post-brexit Britain. It pre- sents two online telepresent participants (actors) trying to carry on as normal, waking up in flood water, distilling their own fuel and driving into the hills to escape with no real plan, only to find themselves back where they started, but worse. The work is a dark absurd satire on ecological igno- rance told through a symbiosis of storytelling and telepresence. Informed by the recently completed AHRC funded Covid-Response project Collaborative Solutions for the Performing Arts: A Telepresence Stage (December 2020 to May 2022), the work builds on its online telepresence techniques such as green-screen compositing, networked video production and virtual set design to provide coexistent telepresent interactions between remote performers. By us- ing background segmentation instead of green-screen tech- nology COME HILL OR HIGH WATER has been developed as a networked telepresence artwork for online public partic- ipation, requiring only a computer, webcam, Internet con- nection and web browser to participate.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2023
EventREWILD - University of Brighton, Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 May 202326 May 2023


Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Telepresence
  • Telematic
  • Performance
  • Theatre
  • Storytelling
  • Narrative
  • Proprioception
  • Phenomenology
  • Interaction
  • Agency


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