Maureen Thomas

Picture of Maureen Thomas

Maureen Thomas, a Senior Research Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge, helped in 1998 to found the Digital Studio of the Department of Architecture, where she is a PhD Supervisor and Senior Research Associate. Her practice-based research focuses on spatially organised narrative and computer-enhanced location-specific dramaturgy for interactive digital media. A professional dramatist, screenwriter, librettist and director, Maureen is also Visiting Professor in Narrativity and Interactivity at the Norwegian Film School, Lillehammer University, and, in 2004-2007 Visiting Artist and DA Mentor in Interactive Drama, Performance and Screen Media at the Crucible Studio (Media Centre LUME/Media Lab) of the University of Art & Design, Helsinki, Finland, where she developed a multimedia music/dance performance, RuneDance (RunoTanssi), based on Finnish mythology and sung tales, using chance operations (Gloria Theatre, Helsinki April 2006; Kuopio International Festival, June 2006. Press: ‘A successful tapestry of new and old .. a world …mythic and mysterious, yet accessible...’ Karoliina Yli-Honko ). From 1993 – 1998, Maureen was a Head Tutor at the National Film and Television School, UK, and from 2000-2003 Senior Creative Research Fellow at the Interactive Institute’s Narrativity Studio, Malmö, Sweden, where she made an interactive multimedia installation, Vala, bringing the Nordic cultural heritage to a new audience (Nedslag, Fylkingen Centre for Music and Intermedia Arts, Stockholm; Electrohype, Malmö, Sweden; Rencontres Electroniques, Rennes, France; Cambridge International Film Festival, 2001 - shortlisted for BAFTA award nomination). A later version, Vala’s Runecast, was showcased at the UNESCO/Nordic Culture Fund expo/symposium on Cultural Heritage and New Media, Reykjavik 2003. Press: ‘Vala’ realises dreams of a fusion between computer and art - I have never seen anything like it. I felt for the first time that I was personally being addressed by a digital performance, managed by a computer, as though by a living being. Vala is truly engaging’ (Malena Janson, Svenska Dagbladet) ‘I cannot remember encountering such profound and harmonious multimedia before’ (Arja Maunuksela, Helsingin Sanomat). In 2004-2007, Maureen is developing a new, project at the Digital Studio, RuneCast, which builds on these experiences, handling Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian myth. The project is part of an EU Framework 6 IST 12-partner Integrated Project (cross-media content for leisure and entertainment), ‘New Millennium – New Media’ (‘NM2’) <>. Maureen is also working with colleagues from the Electronic Text + Textiles Organisation, Riga, on a tangible interface for the installation, which uses weaving (in particular, traditional sashes from Eastern Europe). Maureen is on the Editorial Board of the journal Digital Creativity (ISSN 1462-6268), and a member of the Board of Directors of Screen East (UK Film Council Screen Agency).

Country:United Kingdom
Projects:MIST: museum interfaces, spaces, technologies, NARRASCAPE: Urban Environment as Narrative System in the UK and China, Discursive Formations - Place, Narrative and Digitality in the Museum of the Future
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