SWCTN Immersion Showcase

Squidsoup AudioWAVE Photo Jon Aitken

With the SWCTN Immersion Showcase just over a week ago we across the network have been reflecting on the highlights of this fantastic day.

With 2 publications, 2 podcast series, 3 panel discussions, 4 talks, 8 prototypes, 9 demos, 27 fellows, 36 team members, 230 pack lunches and over 250 taking part in the day, the Immersion Showcase is a wonderful example of how the South West creative networks can be brought together to do something a little different.

We wanted to create a free event that was complex, challenging yet digestible for a wide range of sectors and disciplines. We were delighted when everyone turned up to take part. Thank you so much for your contribution, you came to discover, play, watch, listen, create, and talk with us and we are so grateful for your participation and enthusiasm.

We asked you to consider your question on immersion and we thank you for your thoughtful and provocative contributions. Here are a couple of examples that got us thinking:

The production and organisation was a massive team effort. We were so pleased to have been able to work with the Arnolfini and the Bristol VR Lab. The amazing crew behind it were drawn from Watershed, Kaleider, and the four partnering Universities, UWE, Bath Spa, Plymouth and Falmouth. The SWCTN Immersion Showcase would not have been possible without the support of our funder Research England and their funding also meant we could invite you all in for free.

We were delighted to shout about and share with you the thoughtful work of our Immersion Prototype teams. Here is a link to the wonderful  prototype showreel by filmmaker Jon Aitken, he did a brilliant job of capturing the essence of the developing prototype projects.  

With over 150 of you attending throughout the day the buzz was incredible. Playful questioning spread across our multiple locations, filling each space with wonderful curiosity. VIKA Books took over the Watershed café/bar with babies, BSL, bananas and badges with the launch of their new BabyBSL Buggie book.


VIKA Books Photo Jon Aitken

The Limina Theatre space was transformed into a playground of activity as people explored the beautiful Magic Leap work EarthSongs, the gaming experience of Triangular Pixels and the new Realtime Stagemaker VR Toolkit from Anagram.

In the Arnolfini auditorium we saw a mass of bodies moving through space, twisting and balancing to the voice of Ben Dunks. Upstairs we heard the swarming sounds of the SquidSoups AudioWAVE and delved deep into complex stories of objects with Coral Manton’s augmented reality prototype Shared Pasts: Decoding Complexity.


Renaissance Photo Jon Aitken

With demos and talks from the SWCTN Immersion Fellows and the UWE MA Virtual Reality Students the programme was a rich variety of ideas, research and questions.


We have been enjoying your feedback, here are a couple of snippets to share the love with the network…

“I’d be pushed to think of a more enjoyable and inspiring professional engagement. It was beautifully organised and coordinated”.

“Thank you very much for all the hard work that must have gone into the preparations. From a participant’s point of view, it was worth it”.

“What really shone out was Watershed’s ethos of authentic and positive communication, led from the front”.


Finally, do get hold of the Publication Framing Immersion written by Mark Leaver. You can pop into the Pervasive Media Studio at Watershed, Bristol to pick up a copy or download the PDF here: Framing Immersion

All in all it was an incredible day and as producer for the programme I would like to say a huge thank you for joining us on the day.  Please do keep in touch with the network and if you haven’t already, sign up for our newsletter here


Hannah Brady hannah.b@watershed.co.uk