Playdate experiments with immersive art and artistic games.

These new bastards of art and pop culture cross-breed f.e. immersive theatre, installations, BDSM and new technologies in order to bring game worlds right under your skin. Playdate is a club and an interdisciplinary playground for the arts which gives you an opportunity to try out raw game, art and theatre concepts still in development. And even though all the concepts are still in process, they’ve all been developed far enough to enable play tests with the audience.

Each time we test one art work or game still in development. The event was organized for the first time in December 2015 in co-operation with Eskus – Performance Center. On the first time the artistic directors and producers in charge of the event were the artistic director of The Center for Everything Sami Henrik Haapala and dance artist and producer Kaisa Kukkonen. In addition to them playtests were also led by dancer, choreographer and dj Antti Lahti, game designer and conceptual artist Pekko Koskinen, new media artist Aku Meriläinen, live art maker Julius Elo and a performing arts company Bombina Bombast from Sweden. DJ sets were twiddled by Samba Klaus, A. Lahti and Lemppari.

Playdate returned in a new form on Saturday 29. 9. 2018. The aim is to create a recurring event where each time one maker of immersive art or artistic games is in charge of the event. On the first time The Center for Everything took the lead and tested their already finished concept ‘Sensory Cocktail Bar’ by expanding it to cover the whole evening. The evening was divided in two. In the beginning of the evening professionals, art students and advanced amateurs gathered together in a workshop to develop multisensory performances for an audience of one. After the workshop the evening was opened for the public to test the sensory cocktails developed in the workshop. As per the rules of Sensory Cocktail Bar these cocktails can be experienced this one time only.

The evening also consists of a discussion about a current issue in immersive, participatory or game art. In the first session the subject was negotiating consent in participatory and immersive performances. The discussion was facilitated by the artistic director of The Center for Everything Sami Henrik Haapala. The event was sold out.

Next Playdate is on Sat 12. 10. 2019. Photographer: Jukka Kiistala.

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