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remote | together: digital-stage.org

A project from ITI Zentrum Deutschland
in Berlin, Germany

During the covid-19 lockdown many artists try to generate income through online performances. Your donation helps the non-profit initiative digital-stage.org to develop further the software which is needed for that.

Th. Engel
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About this project

New ways for culture during lockdown and beyond

Individual artists and ensembles are trying to make up for the harsh consequences of the covid-19 lockdown, such as cancelled rehearsals and performances, as well as a lack of income of up to 100%. At the same time digitalisation also represents an important potential for innovation in culture. The non-profit initiative digital-stage.org is offering the necessary software for this. To be able to offer it for fair conditions and ideally free for the artists themselves, we need your donation for the third development phase of this project.

The usual video conferencing systems cannot really be used for artistic projects since they are altering the sound, only allow 2 to 3 voices to be heard at the same time and have a high latency for both sound and video transmission. Acceptable commercial alternatives are often expensive, complicated, only offer some useful components or need a special infrastructure. This is where digital-stage.org comes in, developing an open-source solution optimized for cultural activities, with the possibility of gathering online 10 to 30 people from different places (depending on the version) for common rehearsals or live performances for an online audience. The prototype of the software has been in testing internally since November 2020. 

The version digital-stage-web can be used through an internet browser with the normal devices people usually have at home. It will still have a latency of up to 100ms, which is more than what you have on a 15m wide stage in real life (about 45ms), but it will still allow theatre and dance rehearsals and up to a certain point also musical rehearsals (for example for choirs) with some loss of quality. For these groups the best solution will be digital-stage-pc with only up to 50ms of latency if you install a software on your computer. The top solution is digital-stage-box, which is based on the technology of project partner ORLANDOviols, a mini-computer with the pre-installed software. 

The software can also be the basis for artistic innovation and can lead to new performance formats for example. The development is supported by the inter-disciplinary community which has come together in the project digtal-stage.org and which also open doors for cross-sectorial integrative cultural projects. 

Digtal-stage.org is an initiative of !KF - Institut für Künstlerische Forschung Berlin in cooperation with the German Centre of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) which functions also as the organizing institution of the project in 2020. The initiative evolved from the Hackathon #WirVsVirus of the German government. The initiative’s monthly newsletter informs about the progress of the project: https://digital-stage.org/newsletter/