NET/TEN Shareback: Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater and Alaska Native Heritage Center - Working with Telepresence

2016-17 Exchange Grant Recipients

Pregones/Puerto Rican Travel Theater (Bronx, NY) deepened their relationship with Alaska Native Heritage Center (Anchorage, AK) and continueed a collaboration initially started in 2013 as part of Art Bridge at Artspace (Minneapolis, MN). The project engaged an intergenerational network of associate artists and community members in New York City and Anchorage in reciprocal travel and multi-discipline artmaking. The project used telepresence not just as a tool, but also as a creative medium.

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10 Rules of Thumb for Telepresence in Long-Distance Collaborations

This document provides practical recommendations based on the NET/TEN-funded creative exchange that culminated in experimental workshop performance of A Tale of Two Tricksters. Multilingual and intercultural, this original work was simultaneously produced and broadcast in their respective home cities by Pregones/PRTT and ANHC.

For more detailed description of each of the suggestions please see the YouTube video 10 Rules of Thumb for Telepresence in Long-Distance Collabs:

Click the image below to download "10 Rules of Thumb for Telepresence" as a PDF:

10 Rules of Thumb

  1. Telepresence is not a substitute for in-person exchange. Include opportunities for the collaborating artists to meet face-to-face, in the same room, at one or more points during your project.
  2. Define early on the role technology has in your project. The more clarity you have, the more you’ll be able to fully explore the artistic potential of digital video technology. See enclosed image of a few guiding questions.
  3. Allow the creative process to dictate the place technology occupies throughout the entire breath of the project, not the other way around. Build time for exploration, for play, for social engagement, and for reflection.
  4. Have plenty of back-up footage to support and/or comment on the work. Record rehearsals, exchanges, site visits. The footage may come in handy if you encounter technical glitches during a live streaming event.
  5. Your IT and Technical team must have a minimum of 3 members, dedicated SOLELY to telepresence matters: one in charge of each site/city, and the third one devoted solely to the live streaming between the two cities. See enclosed visual of the IT team that was required for our collaboration.
  6. Map the connection routes for each site, and invest in basic software and hardware to support footage you capture with your recording devices. We used ATEM Blackmagic Software with an ATM switch, both of which worked really well. Also highly recommend getting an H.264 Encoder. See enclosed images and our IT equipment layout.
  7. Make sure your lead IT person is fully familiar with the platform you plan to use and is up to date with the system’s latest versions.
  8. Use HowlRound’s commons-based, peer-produced online network to live stream your event! It’s a free and open platform for theatremakers worldwide, easy to link to and rebroadcast from other platforms: https://howlround.com/happenings/performance- tale-two-tricksters-pregones-theater-bronx-new-york-city-and-alaska-native
  9. Projection background matters! Backgrounds are a part of your composition. Do not overlook them if your work includes scenes of dialogue between two different sites. See visuals enclosed.
  10. There will be technical glitches. Count on them. Allow for multiple dress rehearsals. Be prepared to troubleshoot during live broadcast. Assign peers to be online and tell you how the sound and image qualities are coming thru. Stay calm. Have backup footage on standby — this is live television!

 

 

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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

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