I am wondering if me performing on the day is taking up time and space that I could potentially use demonstrating other issues regarding technology. I have been reading a paper written by Silvija Jestrovic called “The Performer and The Machine: Some Aspects of Laurie Anderson’s Stage Work”. I came across the paper while looking for information on Jiri Veltrusky. It made me revise what am I using technology for, what do I want it to do, more specifically how can technology generate traces of liveness into performance? For me, liveness is about the here and now of performance, where meaning is created through the fluidity or unfixed nature that creates value to what is live. A chapter on “Liveness” in The Routledge Companion to Theatre references Phelen with whom I would agree mostly when she says “what makes performance exciting and gives it social value is not so much its sense of presence as its sense of absence- the sense that performance is forever escaping and cannot be reproduced.” (pp169:2006) but then I wonder if by using technology or recorded media in my performance, could it be responsible for the performance to be a “fixed and passive form” (pp169:2006) For now my attention will be focus on how to avoid this fixed and passive form while still using technology and recorded media.
“Art exists that one may recover the sensation of life; it exists to make one feel things, to make the stone stony. The purpose of art is to impart the sensation as things as they are perceived and not as they are known. The technique of art is to make objects “unfamiliar,” to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged. Art is a way of experiencing the artfulness of an object; the object is not important.”
This is a great quote, I like it for its simplicity, directness and that it reminds me to play, play play.
I am now in the middle of the process and coming against many difficulties, mainly the section on the live and the recorded. This section of the performance event is looking at issues regarding liveness and presence of the actor both live and mediated. I will be using a script that I wrote last yr for the simple reason that I know the script off and this will save time. This requires one performer (Amanda) to be played through a projected video while the other (me) will perform live against the video. However, Amanda can no longer commit to the project. I cannot say that i know where to go from here, should I play both parts or should I get another actor?
“ A single text or site is too confining and claustrophobic for the Wooster Group. Putting more and more complication into it, by way of other texts and other media, points to a way out of it. “(pp113:2004) Technology navigates a way out of this ‘claustrophobia’ that confines the company. It seems that speaking from the position of making theatre, technology enables the company to source a truth that liberates the making of art.
Marranca describes the use of ‘computer-generated sound score’ as ‘The many forms of production constituting the narrative tracks’ (pp112:2004) Marranca, on a point previous to the above quote says that the speeches are drawn from many styles; video speech, stage speech, and uses the different performance languages to juxtapose the different media. The ‘narrative tracks’ seem to be the performer (s), or at least LeCompte necessity to create a sound structure that represents the visual structure. An example of technology that constitutes this narrative track is In House/Lights, that includes Gertrude Stein’s Dr. Faustus Lights the Light. “In House/Lights, on-stage “characters” in Stein’s play have their speeches punctuated by a computer-generated sound score of “quacks” and “bings” and “blips.” The MacinTalk voice demonstrates its potential as yet another audio track to add to the many forms of production constituting the narrative tracks of a Wooster Group work.” (pp112:2004)
Marranca continues to elaborate on the aesthetic use of technology “The tension between nature and culture in the works is paralleled in the relationship between inside and outside (or between three-dimensional design and video). Sometimes, the performers need to get outside the live event and find freedom in filmic space. The contrast between different spaces offers a key to the individual works.”(pp113:2004)
“The Wooster Group takes to heart the idea of theatrical production and reproduction, offering both the performance and its documentation within the same event. A live performer may interact with others in real time, on . lm or on pre-recorded video, or the voice may be separated from the body. At times the same scene is enacted in two different media, . lm and live performance or live performance and a radio play of the same text. Some speeches are heard on tape or telephone or records or computer. A live actor and an actor on video converse in real time. In one sense, this is a post-actors’ theatre in which the live performance situation forces performers to confront images and recordings of themselves in an ongoing analysis of the nature of “presence.” “(pp114:2004)
Callens, J (eds). 2004 “The Wooster Group A Dictionary of Ideas” The Wooster Group and its Traditions. Brussels & New York: P.I.E.- Peter Lang