BEYOND First Speakers & Showcases Announced: Creative Convergence for Climate Change

We are delighted to announce the very first of our BEYOND showcases and speakers. Dealing with themes and ideas critical to 2020, these projects put cutting-edge technology to use in connecting us to the world around us, helping us to understand the challenges we face post-pandemic and endeavour to help us to build back better, together. The projects included below particularly focus on the ongoing climate crisis, revealing new tools that help us to understand how we must collectively adapt to move forward sustainably.

Munkination is the inaugural winner of the Immersive Opera Lab Award – a collaboration between GUAP and Audience Labs at the Royal Opera House.

SHOWCASE: ‘Munkination’

Munkination is an immersive hip hop-opera which places the audience at the centre of an Afro-futuristic adventure story about climate change. Winner of the Royal Opera House/ GUAP Immersive Opera Award in 2019, the project is a crossover collaboration between trap/hip-hop producer and illustrator HAM the Illustrator, opera director Isabelle Kettle, and is produced by Audience Labs at the Royal Opera House.

The project takes inspiration from the originating artist, HAM’s, ancestors: the Khoisan, ancient nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes of South-Western Africa, who lived in harmony with the cyclical nature of their environment. These traits are seen by some climate scientists as key: adaptability, a new approach to planetary stewardship and new economic models that depend on responsiveness to changes in natural resources.

Due to be showcased at SXSW in Texas 2020, the experience will now be presented at BEYOND 2020 as a mobile, augmented-reality app. The project has been developed through the Creative XR 2020 programme led by Digital Catapult and Arts Council England.

The project mixes styles and genres, combining live performance with a distinctive graphic world.

INTRODUCING: HAM The Illustrator

HAM the Illustrator

HAM the Illustrator, multi-award-winning digital artist and illustrator, music producer and illustrator, and co-creator of Munkination joins the BEYOND 2020 programme to speak about this project. Specialising in creating engaging content, he has worked with a wide range of clients including Nike, Warner Music, Atlantic Records, MTV and Highsnobiety.

“I created this experience because I want to engage my community. There aren’t many stories by and for people like me, and I want to tell a story that puts us at the forefront; our heritage, our perspective, and that history of living in equilibrium with nature, because we don’t have much time left, and we all need to be involved.”


Annette Mees, Royal Opera House

Also speaking at BEYOND 2020, Annette Mees is an award-winning artist and immersive theatre director. She advises on the future of culture, artistic innovation, creative R&D and models of art that allow dialogue with audiences.

Annette is currently the Head of The Audience Labs at the Royal Opera House – dedicated to exploring the artistic possibilities of immersive technologies. It partners leading artists with cutting-edge creative immersive technology and inter-disciplinary creative teams to create world-class work that innovates and pushes boundaries.


Keeping with the climate crisis theme, the following projects will also feature at BEYOND 2020 exploring how creativity is converging with technology to explore climate change.

FRAMERATE is a contemplative artwork, a research tool and a spatial documentary prophecy. Created by ScanLAB Projects from thousands of daily 3D scans of the British countryside, the work observes change on a spatial and temporal scale, impossible to see with the human eye or the lens of traditional cameras.

FRAMERATE is created from thousands of daily 3D scans of the British countryside

In today’s society, where people’s movement is constrained by social isolation, FRAMERATE gives us time to pause and think. It allows us to see subtle, unseen movements on the planet’s timescale. It allows us to see NOW, what we might all see in the future.

SHOWCASE: Siemens & Keele AR Demonstrator

This showcase sees MAADIGITAL commissioned to create a demonstrator for Keele University, to convey their work to date on their ongoing project of reaching a net zero emissions by 2030. Using AR they have built a digital twin of the entire campus, starting initially with seven key buildings and then linking them into Siemens’ energy monitoring system to access real-time data with the augmented reality version of the buildings.

“MAADIGITAL has created a uniquely easy-to-use digital twin that helps us show the positive effects of the Keele University SEND project in augmented reality to a wide range of people. Brilliant!” Ian Lloyd, Head of Microgrid Solutions, Siemens plc.


To experience the showcases and speakers featured in this article, tickets for BEYOND are on sale now. Join us from 30 November – 3rd December 2020 for this year’s BEYOND – a unique, annual gathering of current and future innovators focused on Research and Development across the Creative Industries. The all virtual BEYOND 2020 is a space where thinkers, makers, investors and researchers across the creative industries come together to explore the relationship between creative research and business innovation. Find out What’s On and register for updates for all the latest.