COSMOS 2019 goes Immersive

Wed 17 Apr 2019

Abandon Normal Devices team are delighted to be one of the 20 teams selected to take part in CreativeXR, the industry-leading immersive content accelerator programme with Digital Catapult and Arts Council England.

CreativeXR supports new forms of creative content enabled by immersive (virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR)) technology. The programme provides access to immersive facilities and industry mentors, and gives teams a platform to focus on R&D to create riskier, content-driven projects, opening up novel ways of engaging audiences and telling new stories.

For CreativeXR, AND will be developing an immersive audio-visual experience as part of COSMOS, our art-science programme for the Lovell Telescope, bringing together Jodrell Bank Observatory’s groundbreaking heritage site and world leading research.

COSMOS is a collaboration between AND, The University of Manchester’s Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire East Council as part of SHIFT,  supported by Arup. COSMOS invites an international artist to create a new audio-visual work developed for the iconic site and showcased during bluedot festival. The commission includes a residency at Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, enabling artists to collaborate with scientists and researchers, experiment with data collected by the Lovell Telescope and others, and gain a new perspective on the observatory’s research.

The CreativeXR is an opportunity to prototype an immersive audio-visual experience, bringing together artists, scientists and technologists to visualise and engage audiences in the knowledge gathered about deep space at this a unique unesco world heritage nominated site .

Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult​ said: “CreativeXR is all about encouraging the development of new formats leading to new markets for cultural applications of immersive technologies. As a new medium, the ideas and approaches that can succeed are as likely to come from edges of contemporary art or from more commercially focussed industrial design. This year’s cohort is an inspiring combination of inventiveness, tech ability and commercial approach.”

Francis Runacres, Executive Director of Enterprise and Innovation, Arts Council England​, said: “It’s fantastic to be working with Digital Catapult again on a second round of CreativeXR. This year’s cohort show a huge diversity of ideas in projects combining artistic experimentation with technological innovation. Building on the success of CreativeXR’s first year, these prototypes show the teams pushing even further to explore the potential for immersive technologies to create new forms of creativity and cultural experiences.”

More details on plans for 2019 will be revealed soon, track our journey #COSMOS19

Image from COSMOS 2018, credit: Chris Foster

CreativeXR has been developed by Digital Catapult and Arts Council England, in association with Immerse UK. Verizon’s RYOT Studio has joined CreativeXR in 2019 as exclusive AR/MR partner. For more information, visit ​

COSMOS is a flagship international artists commission and residency for Lovell Telescope. Produced by Abandon Normal Devices, commissioned by Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire East Council as part of SHIFT and Abandon Normal Devices. Supported by CreativeXR, Arup, University of Manchester, bluedot, and with public funds from Arts Council England.

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