How could humans use digital avatars in the near future? How can we engage in social situations that include both human and automated avatars? And what technology do we need to explore these ‘hybrid’ spaces together? This is what SHARESPACE is all about – a European R&D consortium consisting of 14 partners from eight different countries, including the Ars Electronica Futurelab.

The main goal of the project is to bring extended reality (XR) to a radically, ethically sound, new level of presence and sociality by furthering the possibilities of interaction in a virtual space using avatars. In total, two university hospitals, three universities, five research institutes, and four companies participate in the three-year long research project running from January 2023 until December 2025.

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Shared Hybrid Spaces for humans and avatars

The backbone of the SHARESPACE project is the development of so-called Shared Hybrid Spaces (SHS). These are spaces that are shared by humans and avatars where both are engaged in embodied collaborative tasks. This is made possible by transparently capturing social sensorimotor primitives through mobile connected innovative sensors, and then reconstructing them using novel XR technology. During this research project the developed technology will be applied in three real-world scenarios (sport, health & art), and will be presented during high-profile events such as the Olympic Games 2024 and the Ars Electronica Festival 2024 & 2025.


The role of the Futurelab within the SHARESPACE project is to engage in an artistic exploration of the possibilities of the SHARESPACE technology. Through the creation of multiple artworks, the team aims to research what new additions this technology can make to the media arts. One exploration is executed by the Futurelab team itself, and two other works will be created by external artists recruited through an Open Call. The first round of Open Call closed in November 2023 with the jury selecting a young and talented artist team as the winners. The selected project has the working title ‘State of Play’. The team based in Berlin and London includes 3D artists, art directors, digital artists, and game developers. The project’s goal is to bring adults in touch with their inner child through the act of ‘play’.

Highly influenced and inspired by videogame ‘boss encounters’, ‘State of Play’ creates an expansive and interactive performance involving a central figure and the onsite participants. In the immersive environment of Deep Space 8K, the floor projection functions as a game controller for the onsite visitors, while the wall screen showcases gameplay. Both screens are utilized for cutscenes, enhancing the overall cinematic and immersive experience. The onsite participants are actively involved in collaborative gameplay, reminiscent of guild-style raids, working together to confront a formidable avatar or ‘boss,’ portrayed by a motion-captured performer.

You can experience the final result of the project at this year’s Ars Electronica Festival!

SHARESPACE was part of the Open Futurelab at the Ars Electronica Festival 2023.

Related Projects

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Interested in similar projects? The following Ars Electronica Futurelab projects are related to the ideas and concepts presented here. An overview of all our productions, cooperations and projects can be found in our project archive.