A Networked Performance Installation by Paul Sermon in collaboration with Randall Packer, Gregory Kuhn & the Third Space Network

Pandemic Encounters reflects a collective global response to a pandemic that has turned our reality and social behaviour on its head, where we have retreated to the isolated confines of our homes to communicate via video-chat. But even as we start to live out our new found existence on screens, we are still restrained by web-cam boxes, stacked up like contestants on a TV show. This performance provides a radical alternative to this online video-chat phenomenon, one where we are free to coexist and experience a new sense of togetherness, in what we refer to as the deep third space.

In this new work, Paul Sermon performs as a live chroma-key figure from a green-screen installation in his own home in a deep third space audio-visual environment, interacting with 'action-performer' participants from around the world – artists, musicians, dancers, media practitioners and scientists – a collective response to a global pandemic that has triggered an unfolding metamorphosis of the human condition.

Action-performers: Annie Abrahams (France), Clarissa Ribeiro (Brazil), Roberta Buiani (Canada), Andrew Denton (New Zealand), Bhavani Esapathi (UK), Tania Fraga (Brazil), Satinder Gill (US), Birgitta Hosea (UK), Charles Lane (US), Ng Wen Lei (Singapore), Marilene Oliver (Canada), Serena Pang (Singapore), Daniel Pinheiro (Portugal), Olga Remneva (Russia), Toni Sant (UK), Rejane Spitz (Brazil), Atau Tanaka (UK).

Initial ideas and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in this online performance were first posted by Paul Sermon on the University of Brighton, Creative Futures blog on the 21 April 2020: Be creative with your videoconferencing, make it memorable, it makes a difference

Reflections and incites on the Pandemic Encounters performance were posted by Randall Packer on his blog ‘Reportage from the Aesthetic Edge’ on the 24 May 2020: Our First Plunge into the Deep Third Space

Further project information, background and chat transcript from the performance are available on the Third Space Network website

Pandemic Encounters was hosted and presented as a Global LASER (Leonardo Art Science Evening Rendezvous) event for Leonardo/The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo/ISAST): A non-profit organisation that serves the global network of distinguished scholars, artists, scientists, researchers and thinkers through their programmes, which focus on interdisciplinary work, creative output and innovation.

The Third Space Network, created by Randall Packer, is an artist-driven Internet platform for staging creative dialogue, live performance and uncategorizable activisms: social empowerment through the act of becoming our own broadcast media.