The Performer and The Machine: Some Aspects of Laurie Anderson’s Stage Work

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.


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