Skip to main content

08 October 2021

Audience Labs at King's College London: Exploring the future of performance

King’s College London is delighted to announce that Annette Mees, Artistic Director of Audience Labs, is joining the university as a Visiting Fellow to develop and expand the pioneering practice of the Audience Labs which originated at the Royal Opera House.

People standing on a dark stage with lights above
Photo by Wendy Wei from Pexels

Over the last three years, Audience Labs has been an exemplar in unlocking artistic understanding of technology and the many possibilities it presents. Bringing together creatives, artists and technology companies to create contemporary opera and ballet experiences, it broke new ground in artistic expression, reaching new and diverse audiences with technological innovation.


Annette Mees 400

In this discovery phase at King’s (Oct 2021 - April 2022), Annette will be based in the Culture team, working closely with AHRC’s CoSTAR project team and with a network of experts and collaborators across and beyond King's to focus on critical questions surrounding the future of performance. The inquiry will explore questions about artistic innovation; ethics, audiences, diversity and inclusion; infrastructure for distributed cultural experiences; and development towards a Net Zero profile.

The initial aim is to convene a wider ecosystem of artists and cultural organisations, technology partners, researchers and students and local communities to explore how we work together to innovate and make great art with ethics, equity and inclusion at the heart.

I'm delighted to bring Audience Labs to a new home at King's. We live in a time of rapid change - economic shifts, social shifts, climate change and new digital infrastructures are reshaping the world and how we live. These are not superficial shifts but ones that bring profound changes in how we tell stories; who creates together, what we value, how we think about power and equity, access and production models. Audience Labs will bring diverse makers and audiences together to imagine shared, possible futures for theatre and performance.

Annette Mees, Visiting Fellow, Audience Labs at King’s College London

There will be a range of opportunities provided by Annette’s fellowship at King’s including guest lectures, workshops and roundtables exploring the future of art and culture, new technology, ethics and other themes of the ongoing work of Audience Labs, helping to build connections and relationships to wider ecosystems.

We're thrilled to welcome Annette and help to foster the development of Audience Labs. In the long term, Audience Labs can provide a model for how to make cross-industry collaborations work sustainably; and create a R+D space for artistic innovation and social and environmental impact. This builds on the longstanding tradition of building creative digital partnerships at King's, connecting research from across the College with industry, our local communities, and with our students.

Beatrice Pembroke, Executive Director Culture, King’s College London