Platform / Technology

We have a situation! uses the web-based cyberformance platform UpStage to connect participants via the internet. Performances and discussions take place in this online space, enabling people around Europe (and the world) to take part. Developer Martin Eisenbarth created UpStage’s streaming feature in 2013 specifically for “We have a situation”.

Testing the streams in UpStage.

If you’re interested in installing your own UpStage server, you can download the latest version here.

UpStage was initially developed in 2003 by the globally dispersed cyberformance troupe Avatar Body Collision, and artist-programmer Douglas Bagnall. It is a server side application that allows real-time remote collaboration, using all kinds of digital media, live drawing and text. Since 2004 it has been widely used by artists, students, school children and others to create, stage and watch live online performances. In 2007 the second version of the software was released and celebrated with an exhibition and the first UpStage festival – which became an annual event 2007-2012. More information, including documentation of performances and how to get involved, can be found on the UpStage web site.

Interface projection at the London situation, showing the live stream in the UpStage interface.

In 2009, Martin Eisenbarth attended an UpStage workshop in Munich and became involved in the project, joining the community of open source developers who continue to maintain and develop the UpStage software. He soon began to have ideas about completely rebuilding UpStage, to take advantage of recent technological developments and to make the structure more open, flexible and extensible. In 2011 he completed a German Diploma thesis on the subject, outlining his ideas for DownStage, a new “engine” onto which the UpStage interface – or other, customised, interfaces – could be attached.

As of 2015, UpStage is at version 3.3, and this will be the last version of the “old” UpStage; the team are starting to plan for a complete rebuild under the leadership of developer Paul Rohrlach. Find out more about the rebuild on the UpStage website.