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Wed 25 January

LNF23: Creative Tech 101: An introduction to creative technology and the arts

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Join The Lowry and Submerge Festival for a panel discussion with experts in the field of creative tech, performance and immersive experience making as we explore the intersection of technology and the arts. Chaired by Dr Joanne Scott, Reader in Performance and Co-convener of the Practice as Research Centre of Excellence at the University of Salford, our panel also includes Hilary O’Shaughnessy, Director of Commissioning for UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK and Myra Appannah, writer, director, creative technologist, and one half of BRiGHTBLACK and Maitreyi Maheshwari, Head of Programme at FACT. 

The panel will delve into the exciting world of creative tech, examining how technology is revolutionising the way we experience the arts. We will explore the use of technology in theatre, performing and visual arts, and discuss some of the most exciting projects from the past, present, and future. 

Myra Appannah (BRiGHTBLACK/Somnai)
Hilary O’Shaughnessy (Unboxed, Playable Cities)
Maitreyi Maheshwari (FACT)
Chaired by Joanne Scott (University of Salford) 

Co-produced by The Lowry and Submerge Festival (

Submerge is an artist development organisation and international arts festival of innovative performance, music and creative technology in Manchester. Through their biennial festival Submerge brings artists, audiences, participants and communities together through radical contemporary arts events which amplify marginalised voices, challenge the status quo and demonstrate alternate ways of being, doing and thinking. 


Full Festival Line-up



Writer, Director, Immersive Specialist & Co-Director of BRiGHTBLACK 

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Myra was Creative Lead on SOMNAI, a multi-sensory layered reality experience credited by UKRI as one of the most influential immersive productions of the last 20 years. She is a BAFTA and Sundance selected writer and artist. She set up BRiGHTBLACK with artist Simon Wilkinson in 2019, exploring the radical potential of immersive technologies to create playable, interactive experiences that democratise, disrupt and decolonise our culture. They have toured to over 36 countries on 5 continents, run hundreds of labs with universities and institutions such as The Royal Shakespeare Company, The British Council and Sydney Opera House, with the aim of creating a new paradigm for culture that gives power back to the individual and the community. Most recently they have been working with Unreal Engine, Epic Games and Industrial Light and Magic to explore virtual production for live experiences.


Director of Commissioning UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK 

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Hilary O’Shaughnessy is Director of Commissioning for UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, a celebration of creativity that’s been taking place in 2022 across the four nations of the UK, with 10 major commissions resulting from collaboration across science, tech, engineering, arts and maths. Hundreds of events – live, online and on television – have brought an audience of 18 million, plus thousands of jobs. 

Hilary is the former Lead Producer for Playable City, managing the delivery and international exchange of the award commissions, designing and facilitating the international labs and delivering Playable City “City Question” workshops to local government and universities worldwide.   

Maitreyi Maheshwari

Head of Programme, FACT 

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Maitreyi Maheshwari is Head of Programme at FACT, Liverpool where she is responsible for overseeing their programme of exhibitions, residencies and events. FACT stands for and celebrates film, art and creative technology. It creates projects connecting art, science and digital technologies to engage people with some of the most pressing challenges of today. 

Maitreyi was previously Programme Director at Zabludowicz Collection, and has also worked on the Youth programme at Tate Modern and the Interaction programme at Artangel. 


Reader in Performance, Programme Leader MA Contemporary Performance Practice, Co-convener Practice as Research Centre of Excellence, University of Salford 

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Jo Scottis a practitioner-researcher and Reader in Performance at the University of Salford, UK. Her research explores the positions, affects and workings of computational digital processes in live performance. She also researches through making live media performances, installations, fixed media works and sound walks. Her current practice as research project is exploring non- and more-than-human wildness in urban spaces, particularly as it manifests in wild nature and ‘smart city’ processes.Seewww.joanneemmascott.comfor further information and documentation of projects.