Cybertheatres: Emergent Networked Performance Practices

Chatzichristodoulou, Maria. 2010. Cybertheatres: Emergent Networked Performance Practices. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis explores the emergent genre of cybertheatres or networked performance, that is, performance that employs the Internet and/or other types of networking technologies (telecommunication, mobile) and attitudes. I argue that networking technologies produce hybrid spacetimes or heterotopias (Foucault), which function as stages for networked performances, a novel and increasingly popular field of practice and research.

The aims of this project are to a) articulate networked performance as a distinct genre, which is a hybrid between theatre/performance and networking technologies, b) situate this within a lineage of performance practice, c) identify and analyse its principal ontological and dramaturgical elements and, d) explore appropriate curatorial strategies for its presentation to a spectrum of audiences. To achieve these aims I undertake a critical analysis of cybertheatres, starting from 1967 and focusing on current practices. My analysis unfolds through engagement with discussions along two pivotal conceptual vectors, and through applied exploration of two core elements of practice:

The conceptual vectors along which this thesis develops are:

1. Space: I examine the spatial nature of the networks that host cybertheatres, employing British group Blast Theory as my case-study.

2. Presence: I question the validity of the presence vs. absence dichotomy within networked environments. I investigate this through the work of Belgian duo Entropy8Zuper!, relaunched as Tale of Tales.

Further on, I undertake a practical exploration relating to the subject of the curation of cybertheatres. I reflect upon and evaluate the three-day event Intimacy: Across Digital and Visceral Pelformance (December 2007), which I initiated, produced, co-directed and cocurated, to propose curatorial strategies that are appropriate to emergent practices in general and cybertheatres in particular. I close by a shift of voice from the author to the collective: I join the collaborative project Deptford. TV as a method of studying artistic, curatorial and social platforms that demonstrate Web 2.0 attitudes, and argue for the genre's particular potential for new forms of social engagement within a computer-mediated culture.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

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cybertheatres, heterotopias, Entropy8Zuper!, Blast Theory, Web 2.0 attitudes



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Date Deposited:

15 Jun 2020 10:18

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 14:30


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