By Steve Dixon
The prior decade has visible an awfully extreme interval of experimentation with desktop know-how in the acting arts. electronic media has been more and more included into reside theater and dance, and new varieties of interactive functionality have emerged in participatory installations, on CD-ROM, and on the net. In Digital Performance, Steve Dixon lines the evolution of those practices, provides targeted debts of key practitioners and performances, and analyzes the theoretical, creative, and technological contexts of this kind of recent media paintings. Dixon reveals precursors to latest electronic performances in previous varieties of theatrical expertise that diversity from the deus ex machina of classical Greek drama to Wagner's Gesamtkunstwerk (concept of the complete artwork), and attracts parallels among modern paintings and the theories and practices of Constructivism, Dada, Surrealism, Expressionism, Futurism, and multimedia pioneers of the 20 th century.
For a theoretical point of view on electronic functionality, Dixon attracts at the paintings of Philip Auslander, Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, Jean Baudrillard, and others. To record and examine modern electronic functionality perform, Dixon considers alterations within the illustration of the physique, area, and time. He considers digital our bodies, avatars, and electronic doubles, in addition to performances by way of artists together with Stelarc, Robert Lepage, Merce Cunningham, Laurie Anderson, Blast conception, and Eduardo Kac. He investigates new media's novel methods to making theatrical spectacle, together with digital fact and robotic functionality paintings, telematic performances during which distant destinations are associated in genuine time, Webcams, and on-line drama groups, and considers the "extratemporal" phantasm created through a few technological theater works. eventually, he defines different types of interactivity, from navigational to participatory and collaborative. Dixon demanding situations dominant theoretical ways to electronic functionality -- together with what he calls postmodernism's denial of the hot -- and gives a sequence of boldly unique arguments of their place.
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Additional info for Digital Performance: A History of New Media in Theater, Dance, Performance Art, and Installation (Leonardo Book Series)
Sixty four They notice that these days many artists fascinated with laptop programming would possibly not consciously conceive their paintings as adopting a “system” or ever use the time period; yet unavoidably they're utilizing a conscientiously scientiﬁc, formal process in perform. sixty five Dada, Surrealism, and Expressionism If futurism types a primary philosophical and conceptual foundation for modern electronic functionality, and constructivism offers its mathematical version and formalist technique, then the opposite pursuits of the early ecu avant-garde (Dada, surrealism, expressionism, and Bauhaus) supply fountains of proposal for a lot of its content material and sorts of inventive expression. now we have already mentioned the significance of Bauhaus artists corresponding to Schlemmer and Gropius to electronic performance’s lineage, and an equivalent declare might be made for the dadaists and surrealists. electronic functionality ordinarily explores representations of the unconscious, goals, and myth worlds, in addition to different critical subject matters of early 20th century surrealist artwork, ﬁlm, and theater. The collages and cutups of French Dada and surrealism circulation right into a digital realm, with the pc changing into the picture manipulator par excellence whose cut-and-paste montages are de rigueur. Dada’s cut-up legacy to hypermedia and interactive ﬁction has been famous by means of many, together with Jay Bolter, Sarah Sloane, and Benjamin Wooley, who additionally observes how Tristan Tzara encouraged William Burrough’s experiments into “narrative disintegration. ”66 Futurism and the Early-Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde sixty seven Figure three. eight The spirit of Dada and the Cabaret Voltaire is evoked by way of the Hungarian team Vakuum television. Dadaist functionality constructions, comparable to Hugo Ball’s Cabaret Voltaire occasions in Zurich from 1916, which combined “bits” of functionality, tune, manifestos, conception, and artwork photographs, were reinvented to foreground electronic bytes. a desirable instance is the Budapestbased staff Vakuum television, which provided ﬁfty-three eclectic dwell cabaret occasions among 1994 and 1997 combining functionality, brief ﬁlms, “multimedia choreography,” and interactive parts among the viewers and performers. the crowd conceive those interactions and interventions to reflect “the context of the relation among desktop and its person” and kinds of video games are a standard function, designed to enrich “the associative process of VakuumNet which simulates web surﬁng”67 (ﬁgure three. 8). Vakuum television performances are usually staged inside of a wide TV-style body, and the eclectic and fastchanging functionality components improve the feel of channel-hopping and web-surﬁng. individuals of the corporate speak about their paintings by way of an intimate dating among artwork and play, and emphasize their shut afﬁnity to the early café theater performances of Cabaret Voltaire. Their performances became more and more technological through the years, incorporating complex electronic projections and animations in occasions reminiscent of The Parallel of person (2000), an idiosyncratic quasi-Dada exploration of the evolution of robotics and the emergence of the cyborg, what the corporate name “a bizarre montage of low-tech futurology”68 (ﬁgure three.