Aspects of the communication network in performance arts: connectivity, cultural and human exchange, power relations
By analysing the performance works of different generations of artists like Tadeusz Kantor, Joseph Svoboda, Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz, George Coates Performance Works, Stelarc, Guillermo Gómez-Pena, Rimini Protokoll or Blast Theory we look on how these artists explore the communication network. Ephemeral art performance might be particularly attentive to the special communication situation “here and now” which it creates. By restaging networked communication artists pay particular attention to the interface between the users and the media infrastructure as well as the effects of the mediatised communication. Connectivity and the general stability of the communication, the potential and limit of cultural and human exchange via communication technology and the different power relations involved are some of the principal topics addressed by the artists. By focusing on the perceptual conditions of the spectator, proposing different entrances (distinguished locations and media) to the artwork and emphasizing more the communicative situation itself than the artistic outcome, these works challenge traditional forms of art history and art conservation. As the artworks are often hybrid between media and performance art their analysis demands a renewal of interdisciplinary approaches.
Simon Hagemann holds a PhD degree in theatre studies (University of La Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3) and is a Lecturer for German language and civilization at the University of Franche-Comté. His doctoral thesis studies the place and utilisation of mass media on theatre stages during the 20th and 21st centuries. He contributed papers on contemporary performances to international conferences and published some articles on the relationship of theatre and mass media. His research interests include theatre and technology, intermediality, media art and the history of media.