The Great Idle

Interactive live performance by Benjamin Pompe

31 May 2023
19:30 — 20:30

Location: IMPAKT Centre for Media Culture
You are welcome to stay for a drink after the event – the bar will stay open until 22:00

Onsite participation: €5
Online participation: €2

On 31 May, IMPAKT will present The Great Idle, a mixed-reality performance by artist Benjamin Pompe. The Great Idle blends live performance with real-time interactive simulation – you can choose whether to experience it online or onsite at IMPAKT [Centre for Media Culture]. Travel to a virtual desert island and playfully explore the theme of storytelling agency in the online world of video games.

The protagonist of the story is a solitary character stranded on an island in the middle of a virtual ocean. The island location recalls many a well-known story – from classical mythology to medieval and pagan folklore. Play The Great Idle to explore this evocative setting and piece together its mysteries.

As the player, you control the character’s actions, which an actor performs live in an immersive, hybrid theatrical setting at the IMPAKT Centre. You can also actively participate in the narrative by choosing from a range of prompts that influence the storyline and the character’s environment. Together with other audience members (online and onsite), you become a vital component of the story, adding an element of unpredictability to the performance. The story unfolds in a captivating game of chance, control, action and idleness, involving the live actor, the audience and the virtual world.


If you have any questions about the event, please do not hesitate to contact us via Whatsapp +31 6 83488674 or at


Concept: Benjamin Pompe
Music, Voting Software & Game Programming: Nathan Marcus
Performer: Lide Groutars

Supporting talented Utrecht-based artists
In 2022, IMPAKT commissioned two hybrid artworks by Utrecht-based artists. The Great Idle is one of the two selected projects. The other project, Project Stargaze by Roos Groothuizen and Derk Over will be presented on 19–21 May Read moreThe commissions were funded by the province of Utrecht through its Talented Makers Support Package (Presentatieregeling talentvolle makers).

This commission is also part of the DOORS (Digital Incubator for Museums) programme by Ars Electronica, Museum Booster and ECSITE, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme; The New Social research project, a collaboration between IMPAKT, Framer Framed and Hackers & Designers that is supported by the Innovation Labs programme at Creative Industries Fund NL; and the two-year research project Going Hybrid, which investigates various aspects of the ongoing hybridity ‘evolution’. Going Hybrid’s partners are Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, MU Eindhoven, The Hmm, Hackers & Designers, Willem de Kooning Academy, Framer Framed, Varia and IMPAKT.


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