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Live technologies in theatrical performance in a post modern perspective

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  1. Introduction
  2. The work of Robert Lepage and Laurie Anderson
  3. The temporal element of video art
  4. The use of sound in The Passing and Hotel Methuselah
  5. The multidisciplinary quality of multi media performances
  6. The characters in Hotel Methuselah
    1. A stage presence
    2. Putting the audience in a position of not knowing who is governing the actions
  7. Performance artist Orlan
  8. The disembodied and unstable aspect of the technological 'presence'
  9. The use of technology in live performances
  10. Conclusion
  11. Bibliography

How does the use of live technologies in theatrical performance comment on our own positioning in a post-industrial technologically based society? How does this in turn exemplify some of the concerns of the postmodernists?

Postmodern cinema is rich in intertextual references, and is often self-reflexive. However, the same can be said of theatre performances that use technology, as it enables more possibilities for communicating in other ways than through the spoken text on stage. These references therefore be perceived through mediums such as visuals and sound. As composer Philip Glass (in Powell; 1997: pg.un) observed ?technology is a lot of things. The grand piano was a piece of technology.' Douglas Coupland (1995) also stated that ?Language is such a technology.' . Indeed, ?technology' can mean many things and postmodernism encourages the fusion and juxtaposition of many disciplines such as film, music, and the time-based medium of video art. As Auslander (1999:24) observed, ?live performance now often incorporates mediatization such that the live event itself is a product of media technologies'. This highlights the inevitable positioning of the performer and of ourselves as the product and object of the technology being used and as cyborgs in our post-industrial and technologically based society.

[...] This goes back to the main idea at the centre of the concept of cyberculture. Indeed, what cybeculture has done is not kill one medium for the development of another or replace the body with a machine. Rather, it has highlighted their inevitable interactions in a post-industrial and technologically based postmodern society. Bibliography A Clockwork Orange (1971). Stanley Kubrick (director), Anthony Burgess (novel). Anderson, L (2005). On The Waters Reglitterized. Auslander, P (1999). Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture, London: Routledge, p (1997). From Acting to Performance, London: Routledge, p Birringer, J (1991). [...]

[...] ?Staging Meaning: performance in the modern museum' in The Drama Review, fall 2005, volume 49, number Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, p.88. Coupland, D (1995). Microserfs, New York: Regan Books, pg.un. Dixon, S (2004). ?Metal Performance: humanizing robots, returning to nature, and camping about' in The Drama Review, winter 2004, volume 48 number Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, p.26. Etchells, T (2001). The Dream Dictionary for the Modern Dreamer. London: Duck Editions, pp 119-120. Glass, P (1997) in Powell, A. ?Laurie Anderson - aural-visual artist' in Interview, March 1997. [...]

[...] However, the synchronisation of different technologies also results in the difficult integration of what happens on stage, as observed in Hotel Methuselah: There is always a gap in time, a hole, which exposes the fact that the live and recorded can never be fully integrated. It's a time-lag that the spectators also experience, since, in a strange echoing of the performers, they are also unable to fully co-join the presence of the live body with its projected image. (Quick; 2005:10) We never really know whether the live ?presence' of the characters is following the ?absent' projected images of themselves or the contrary. [...]

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