Episode 7 of See Things Differently features an interview with the founders of Darkfield who produce critically acclaimed audio experiences
David Rosenberg and Glen Neath are creative entrepreneurs and the geniuses behind Darkfield.
They create immersive experiences at the forefront of technology and theatre.
Over 250,000 people have stepped into the strange worlds unfold behind the doors of shipping containers that they have deposited all around the globe. One the audience step inside they might find themselves on a commercial airliner, at a séance or in a bed that could be in a hospital or maybe an asylum. You are asked to put on a set of headphones and from they you enter an immersive audio adventure which utilises binaural 360-degree sound, complete darkness and a variety of sensory effects, where you are situated at the centre of intense, evolving narratives.
During Covid, Darkfield rapidly pivoted being unable to deliver public experiences. They pivoted to create Darkfield Radio which is an app based immersive audio experiences to audiences at home that provided an innovative new form of entertainment directly responding to the new age we are living in. Darkfield Radio immerses audiences in strange and curious worlds, bringing new meaning to the familiar spaces we inhabit.
The first season of shows launched in July 2020 to critical acclaim, featuring in major film festivals such as Venice International Film Festival, IDFA and Raindance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, and winning Columbia’s Digital Storytelling Lab’s Breakthrough Award in recognition of the year’s most innovative narrative. Season 2 was recently released.
Darkfield Radio was described by The Guardian as “unsettling audio that turns your home into a sci-fi dystopia”
Darkfield experiences are built on an App interface called Wiretapper that David is also a Co-Founder of which delivers immersive audio-based shows directly to you via your Android or iPhone. The events take place in public spaces and at home which fits the requirements of the different Darkfield experiences.
They are influential serial creative entrepreneurs in the UK and as we find out Darkfield was not their first rodeo.
Before the likes of Punchdrunk, Secret Cinema and more latterly organisations such as Meow Wolf and TeamLab mainstreamed immersive experiences, David was a member of a creative collective that founded Shunt Vaults (which Glen was also involved in later on) which was hugely influential in kicking off a movement that is now sweeping the world. In a series of cavernous spaces at London Bridge station that have since been transformed in a multi-million dollar redevelopment they helped pioneer site-specific performance which was what immersive experiences were know as back in those days. The format was extremely entrepreneurial where the team operated one of London’s largest and most edgy hospitality venues that helped underwrite the immersive performances and experiences that were hugely popular with the patrons.
In our conversation we explore what lessons can be learned from their experiences at Shunt and how they could be applied to cities as they emerge from the pandemic. We investigate whether collectives could be a model to nurture bold new ideas before we fast forward to the present and delve into the incredible work they are doing with Darkfield.