Dr Jorge Lopes Ramos

Dr Jorge Lopes Ramos First Class BA hons, MPhil, PhD, FHEA, FRSA

Associate Professor in Contemporary Performance

Key details

Dr Jorge Lopes Ramos

Associate Professor in Contemporary Performance


Over the past two decades, Jorge's research has addressed a fast growing, yet significantly unresearched area of investigation: immersive, participatory and interactive theatre. His research contributions have helped advance the subject area, both nationally and internationally, through an extensive record of original, significant and rigorous research through publications in book chapters, research reports, conference papers and PAR outputs. Prior to joining the University of Greenwich, his research outputs formed part of University of East London's REF2014 submission.

Over the past 15 years, Jorge's practice-as-research outputs have taken the form of performances and productions, digital work, public installations and exhibitions in venues, conferences and festivals including TaPRA (Cardiff and Sheffield), IFTR Munich, London2012, Southbank Centre (Hayward Gallery), FACT Liverpool, LIFT Festival, The Lowry, Latitude Festival, Summerhall Edinburgh, Festival de La Imagen (Manizales), Festival du Nouveau Cinema (Montréal), University of Campinas (São Paulo), WorldCup 2014 Official Cultural Programme, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Concordia University (Montréal), amongst others.

His most significant production to date was Hotel Medea (2006-2012) - recognised as a pioneer in the field of immersive theatre in books by leading researchers Babbage (2011), White (2013), Sigal, Hodgman, Turner (2013), Trencsényi, Cochrane (2014), Alston (2016), Lavender (2016), Frieze (2017), Komporaly (2017) and Kekis (2019). Beyond academia, Hotel Medea reached over 7,200 audiences and secured international awards, 'critics choice' titles and 5* reviews in various publications (METRO, Time Out, Sunday Times, Scotsman), influencing a wide range of researchers and theatre makers internationally.

As co-founder and Executive Director of ZU-UK, he has also worked with Artistic Director Persis Jadé Maravala to create #RioFoneHack (2012-), Binaural Dinner Date (2016-), and Pick Me Up & Hold Me Tight (2018-), as well as creation and delivery of the DRIFT International Residency (2006-), Body Brain Bingo for UCL/Wellcome Trust (2017-18) and Garota Hacker for British Council's DICE Programme and Battersea Arts Centre's Co-Creating Change (2019).

For more information please visit: zu-uk.com

Responsibilities within the university

  • Co-Director of CLEI Research Group (Co-Creating Liveness in Embodied Immersion)
  • Joint Programme Leader for MA Contemporary Performance
  • Module Leader for Interactive Performance (MA CP)
  • Module Leader for Artistic Leadership (MA CP)
  • Joint Module Leader for Major Project (MA CP)

Awards

  • 2019 East London Innovator - HereEast, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
  • 2019 Leader in Participatory Theatre & Performance Art - Greater London Enterprise Awards
  • 2018 Developing Inclusive Creative Economies, awarded by British Council DICE Programme
  • 2017 Best of 2016 - Latin Culture Social Congress, Rio de Janeiro
  • 2016 Arts Council ELEVATE Programme - Creative Case for Diversity
  • 2014 THE SPACE Digital Theatre Prize Finalist
  • 2014 State of Rio de Janeiro Award for Socially Engaged Art
  • 2011 Herald Angel Prize for Hotel Medea, Edinburgh Festival
  • 2011 Prix Ars Eletronica (Austria) - Honorary Mention for category: Hybrid Art
  • 2010 Total Theatre Awards – Finalist category: Innovation
  • 2010 Oxford Samuel Beckett Trust Foundation Finalist

Recognition

  • External Examiner MA Virtual Reality at UWE
  • Editorial Board for the Journal of Future Robot Life (IOS Press, Netherlands)
  • Fellow of Rose Bruford College (awarded 2019)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA)
  • Member of International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR)
  • Member of Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA)
  • Former Member Young Vic - Genesis Directors Network (2006-2013)

Research / Scholarly interests

Jorge's research career started twenty ago in Brazil, after completing an intensive course with Augusto Boal on the key principles of Theatre of The Oppressed. Before meeting Boal and understanding the Forum Theatre methodology, he had not realised that extraordinary art and activism were not mutually exclusive and could be such powerful allies for personal growth and social change. Until that moment, he had not seen a place for himself in the world of art or indeed in academia. Jorge also understood that games and theatre were intrinsically connected, and that relationship never left his practice.

Jorge was born at the end of the Brazilian dictatorship and raised within Borel (one of Rio de Janeiro's largest favelas) to a Polish and Romanian family. His grandfather was a watchmaker and his grandmother a street fruit seller in Rio. His mother was the first person in her family to get a University degree, and his late father dedicated his life to his two passions: art and politics, being one of the founders of Brazil's Workers Party in the early 80's. As a working-class 18-year-old student in Rio de Janeiro, what eventually brought him to the UK was a deep sense of curiosity about another cultural context, coupled with a desire to understand his own culture from the outside. As a result, his research career was shaped through a rich set of international, multi-cultural and cross-disciplinary relationships and driven by this newfound commitment to personal growth and development. This personal experience as an outsider has deeply informed him about the professional practice and research through MPhil and PhD (available below), and always defines why he makes the work he does and who he makes it for.

The overlap between immersive theatre, game-design and interactive technology has never been so relevant. This presents us with new challenges - from the sustainability of the professional practice to the ethics of audience participation. Therefore, since 2012 as a result of his work with Hotel Medea (2006-12), Jorge has led on a series of research projects to develop the scalability of intimate performance whilst retaining the quality and care in the live experience (2014-19) in over 5 conference, labs and symposia.

As well as his research practice, Jorge is committed to increasing access to postgraduate opportunities through the new MA Contemporary Performance, and working with colleagues to advance the field through the CLiCI research group (Co-Creating Liveness in Critical Immersion).

PhD available to download:

Ramos, J. 2015. (Re-) Constructing the Actor-Audience Relationship in Immersive Theatre Practice. PhD Thesis University of East London Arts and Digital Industries

Download link:

https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/8552w

Funded Research Projects

Body Brain Bingo (2017-18) Funded by: Welcome Trust   https://www.ucl.ac.uk/culture/projects/body-brain-bingo

Playing with Intimacy & Intensity Network (2019-20) Funded by: AHRC https://www.piinetwork.org/index.html

Urban Heat – Festivals in Transition (2015-18)  Funded by: Creative Europe http://www.theatrefit.org/urbanheat.php

Garota  Hacker (2019-20) Key Themes: Sustainable Fashion; Income Generation; Interactive  Performance; Technology; Games. Funded by: British Council DICE Programme and   Battersea Arts Centre's Co-Creating Change Network PartnersZU-UK (London),  Lá Da Favelinha (Belo Horizonte), Creative Youth Network (Bristol), Centro  Popular de Conspiração Gargarullo (Rio de Janeiro) and others.

Recent publications

Article

Lopes Ramos, Jorge , Dunne-Howrie, Joseph, Maravala, Persis Jadé, Simon, Bart , ZU-UK , T.A.G. Montréal (2020), The post-Immersive manifesto. Taylor & Francis. In: , , , . Taylor & Francis, International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, 16 (2) . pp. 196-212 ISSN: 1479-4713 (Print), 2040-0934 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/14794713.2020.1766282) NB Item availability restricted.

Maravala, Persis Jade , McLaughlin, James, Lopes Machado Ramos, Jorge (2019), ZU-UK – Training for interactive performance. Taylor & Francis. In: , , , . Taylor & Francis, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 10 (2) . pp. 245-249 ISSN: 1944-3927 (Print), 1944-3919 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/19443927.2019.1625626).

Dunne, Joseph , Zisels Lopes Machado Ramos, Jorge, Maravala, Persis Jade, ZU-UK (2018), Good night, sleep tight (remix). Taylor & Francis. In: , , , . Taylor & Francis, International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media, 14 (2) . pp. 215-223 ISSN: 1479-4713 (Print), 2040-0934 (Online) (doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/14794713.2018.1505385).

Book section

Lopes Ramos, Jorge and , Maravala, Persis Jade (2017), A dramaturgy of participation: participatory rituals, immersive environments, and interactive gameplay in hotel Medea. Palgrave Macmillan. In: , , In: James Frieze (ed.), Reframing Immersive Theatre: The Politics and Pragmatics of Participatory Performanc. Palgrave Macmillan, London, UK (1st) . pp. 151-169 . ISBN: 9781137366030 (doi: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-36604-7_12).

Installation

Zisels Lopes Machado Ramos, Jorge , Maravala, Persis Jadé, ZU-UK (2017), Binaural Dinner Date [Live Performance]. ZU-UK. In: Binaural Dinner Date, various, various , . ZU-UK, (Touring Production (UK and International)) (doi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2wv4zRggYI&feature=youtu.be).

Video

Zisels Lopes Machado Ramos, Jorge , Maravala, Persis Jadé, ZU-UK (2017), Audience Testimonies from Binaural Dinner Date [Live Performance]. ZU-UK. In: , , , . ZU-UK, (doi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUCrgLFCK1g&feature=youtu.be).