On 20th June, in occasion of the World Refugee Day and during 'The Art and Society Festival Happy City 2018', a performance employing virtual reality, "'New Territory' live VR", produced by Powszechny Theatre under the umbrella of Atlas of Transitions, was performed three times in public space - in front of the theater.
In 1992, a box full of plastic ducks fell out of the ship that was transporting them. Thirty thousand plastic toys landed in the Pacific and led by the sea currents they began a journey through seas and oceans towards Canada, the United States, South America, Australia and Europe, which eventually reached.
For the director, Krzysztof Garbaczewski, and the group of actors and creators cooperating with him, this story is a pretext for a conversation on mass migration and the role of humankind in an increasingly polluted ecosystem.
By employing virtual reality, the VR technology, which allows the artists to directly access the experience of 'the other’, the ideas concerning identity and empathy proposed by Jerzy Grotowski, who first proposed the play together with Krzysztof Garbaczewski, are continuously questioned and explored here.
At the same time, during the show the challenges that technology poses to performative arts are represented, as well as the way in which technology can develop and change our perception of art and performance as a whole by interrogating whether technology can really alienate individuals and whether it can become an instrument for the creation of a new form of community. In other words, "'New Territory' – live VR" poses the question: Does virtual reality separate us from the real world or does it rather allow us to experience it more deeply and consciously?