All the World’s a Screen, featuring: The seven stages of man

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Charlotte Gould and Paul Sermon developed and presented this collaborative new artwork entitled All the World’s a Screen, a live interactive telecommunications performance, to link public audiences in Manchester and Barcelona. On the evening of Saturday 28 May 2011 participants at MadLab in Manchester’s Northern Quarter and Hangar Artist Studios in Poblenou, Barcelona were joined together on-screen for the first time to create their very own interactive generative cinema experience, complete with sets, costumes and props. The artists created a miniature film set in which the remote audiences acted and directed their own movie, transporting participants into animated environments and sets where they created personalized unique narratives. All the World’s a Screen was a site-specific work allowing the public audiences to engage and interact directly within the installation, merging urban environments with networked audiences, and creating an otherworldly space on-screen where people could interact with others across the two cities, allowing the participants to explore alternative networked spaces. For Charlotte Gould and Paul Sermon this immersive interactive installation represented an exciting new departure from their existing practice. Pushing the boundaries of telematic art and generative cinema, All the World’s a Screen combined the possibilities of telepresent performance with miniature scale-models and animated scenes; through audience participation it explored the way narratives may be revealed through the interplay between artist, audience and environment. With key features of the telematic stage, user generated performances and the dramaturgy of networked communication this project referenced Shakespeare’s infamous line ‘All the world’s a stage’ with seven rooms of a model film set (relating to the seven ages of man in Shakespeare’s As You Like It), thus providing a metaphysical backdrop to steer the unfolding plot. This project was co-hosted by the Museud’Art Contemporani de Barcelona MACBA Study Centre and on-going research and community building took place throughout the project to generate growing public attention around the research and the final development of the installation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-246
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2013


  • Ludics
  • community
  • embodiment
  • telematics
  • open-systems
  • telepresence
  • intervention


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