Felix Meyer-Christian

Felix Christian-Mayer Photo





Transmedia Documentary Theater: Performing in Virtual & Reality

When working in documentary-based arts, reducing the distance between an audience and the subject matter at hand and the interview partners recorded on site, is one of the most vital aspects of the process. When the first 4K- and 8K- and thus projection-ready 360°-cameras emerged, they provided the opportunity for Costa Compagnie to surround the audience in 360°-immersive stage-settings, combined with 360°-film in a VR installation – and so approaching this goal within their cross-platform work “Empire of Oil”. With the pandemic, the relation of distance in documentary practice between artists, interview partners, filming locations, performers and audience completely changed. Here, XR-techniques provided interesting possibilities to practically re-think the future of theater, storytelling and audiences in various try-outs called “XR-Lab”. But documentary art practice must not be limited to human-to-human interactions but can also question the human-digital relation in form of artificial intelligence (or its last predecessor), as created in the choreographic work “OK, GOOGLE” from 2018, in which every dancer performed with a personalized Google Home device on a smart stage. In his talk, Felix Meyer-Christian will present examples of these methods and works, that were filmed in Iraq, Norway, Japan, and Germany and staged in the latter.


Felix Meyer-Christian is a director, author and the founder of the Berlin based, transdisciplinary artist group Costa Compagnie. He works in the fields of documentary theater, film, dance, performance, and visual arts. His multimedia pieces, many of which are filmed in areas of war and conflict, such as in Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, South Sudan, and others, focus on global transformational processes and the human within. They seek the connections between diametrically opposed realities and live from the direct exchange with those individuals on site, whose stories and voices are often underrepresented in mainstream contexts of politics, media, and art. In his productions Felix has been employing the use of 360°-cameras and immersive 360°-projection, VR and AR, as well as Artificial Intelligence on stage since 2017. His works have been funded among others by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the Cities of Hamburg and Berlin and have been presented in state and city theaters, the independent scene, as well as in art museums and galleries. His first award winning, documentary feature film premiered in 2023 and will tour the cinemas in 2024. Felix graduated (B.Sc. & M.Sc.) in Geography, International Law and Environmental Management from the Humboldt-University Berlin and the University of Lisbon, as well as in Theater Directing (B.A.) from the University of Music and Theater Hamburg and has been giving workshops, consulting, and master classes at various universities and educational institutions.