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The book presents a never-before-written case study of the UK-based organisation Secret Cinema – widely considered the leading provider of large-scale immersive experiences in the UK. They are used as a lens through which to understand the wider experiential economy. The book provides a comprehensive and encyclopaedic history of the organisation and its productions. It defines and examines the Secret Cinema format. It critically interrogates the work and operations of Secret Cinema as an organisation and analyses the many layers of audience experience. It combines rigorous academic study with practical industry insight that has been informed by more than fifty in-depth interviews with Secret Cinema practitioners and sector professionals who have worked on immersive productions in areas including performance direction, acting, video design, sound design and composition, lighting design, special effects, stage management, operations and merchandising. Framed within the context of the UK in late-2019, at which point the immersive sector had grown significantly, both through its increasing contribution to UK GDP and its widespread and global recognition as a legitimate cultural offering, we have captured an organisation and a sector that is in transition from marginal and sub-cultural roots to a commodifiable and commercial form, now with recognisable professional roles and practices, which has contributed to the establishment of an immersive experience industry of national importance and global reach. This book will appeal to scholars, students, film fans, immersive experience professionals and their audiences. It is written in an accessible style with rich case study materials and illustrative examples.

Abstract only
Sruti Bala

these quandaries with an explosively wide range of different interpretations of participation: devised works involving scripted and stylized audience participation, as in immersive performances2 or live art;3 those that manipulate or steer the public or intervene in a situation without the public necessarily realizing that they are participants, as in invisible theatre;4 delegated performance,5 where members of the public are specially selected or invited to take part in the artwork or performance; 5 BALA__9781526100771_Print.indd 5 09/05/2018 16:19 the gestures of

in The gestures of participatory art
Sruti Bala

the relationship of artists and artworks to audiences, against the backdrop of the neoliberalization of the arts, with attendant restrictions on the political conditions of the arts, and questions of precarity and contingency. The critique of participa84 BALA__9781526100771_Print.indd 84 09/05/2018 16:19 unsolicited gestures of participation tion in the arts pursues four core arguments. Here I include various domains of the arts, wherein participation has become a debated topic, such as community-based or applied theatre and performance, immersive performance

in The gestures of participatory art
Leif Eiriksson, the 1893 World’s Fair, and the Great Lakes landnám
Amy C. Mulligan

spatialising events associated with the 1893 World’s Fair, that is, mapped the Viking past and Vinland topography onto Lake Michigan. Through place-naming practices and immersive performances in new landscapes, powerful identity narratives were posed, enacted, contested, and embraced (though also rejected) by different ethnic communities as they worked to establish a past, but also a future, in America. The words of anthropologist Keith Basso, author of the brilliant study of the fusion of narrative to place entitled Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language among

in From Iceland to the Americas
Sarah Atkinson
and
Helen W. Kennedy

-based media were brought together with established stage craft and emerging immersive performance talents and techniques. The industrialisation of immersive experience that we have tracked through this book means that our ecosystem model of interconnecting organisations is more hybridised than ever – characterised by the emergence of super-hybrid experiences that were increasingly influenced by gaming and new technologies. The picture of 2019 that we painted in Chapter 1 , with mass-immersive-scale events at their zenith, looked very different in 2021, following this

in Secret Cinema and the immersive experience economy
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Repellent Fence and trans-Indigenous time-space at the US–Mexico border
Caren Kaplan

and spaces. 32 The diverse and shifting membership of the collective has reflected these complex, trans-Indigenous relational communities and politics. 33 While Repellent Fence was created with long-time collaborator Raven Chacon (Navajo), at present the collective is composed of two members: Kade Twist (Cherokee) and Cristobal Martinez (who identifies himself as mestizo, Alcadeno, or Chicano). 34 Resolutely interdisciplinary, the group works with experimental sound as well as visual materials with an emphasis on immersive performance. The group has become

in Drone imaginaries
Sruti Bala

landscape.23 Access to such documents, especially given the absence of an opportunity to participate directly in the event, provides a rich archive for analysing various aspects of 128 BALA__9781526100771_Print.indd 128 09/05/2018 16:19 delicate gestures of participation people’s participation in the artwork and the artwork’s participation in public life. The role of new (implying electronic) technologies in participatory works is a recurring topic in the scholarship on immersive performances, as their adaptation to the artistic context raises questions of liveness

in The gestures of participatory art
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Marcos P. Dias

states their interest in being close to the audience and how this enables unscripted interactivity: ‘I love the immediacy of this sort of theatre and being that close to the audience; you can’t sit back and not be part of it’ (O’Donovan in Murphy, 2014 ). Like Blast Theory and Rimini Protokoll, Dante or Die also produce site-specific performances for unusual places, such as department stores, car parks, ski lifts, leisure centres, hotel rooms and cafés. They collaborate with academics researching different subjects (such as social medicine, immersive performance and

in The machinic city
Reconfigurations of twenty-first-century audiences
Liz Tomlin

’m failing to notice how my capacity to imagine real political and economic change atrophies with every swoosh, every red pear, and waiting slipper. (42) It is no surprise that the corporate world has latched onto the marketing potential of immersive performance as demonstrated by Louis Vuitton’s engagement of Punchdrunk Theatre to host a performance for VIP guests in celebration of the opening of their new store in Bond Street, London (Garrett, 2010). Whilst immersive or interactive performance may not always share the economic agenda of the multi-nationals, or their

in Acts and apparitions