At the edges: A question of audience invisibility, disappearance and failure

Miller, Lee ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8074-0591 (2023) At the edges: A question of audience invisibility, disappearance and failure. In: Ambient Stories in Practice and Research: Digital Writing in Place. Bloomsbury, UK. ISBN n/a (In Press)

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Abstract / Summary

If we understand that to watch performance is to watch someone dying right before your eyes, then the documentation of performance material, intentionally or otherwise, makes a bid towards what? Permanence? No, not that. Posterity? Maybe, although it seems a rather grand claim. Perhaps then, documentation is a candle in the dark, holding off the inevitability of disappearance, stretching, eking out the memory of our existence before those that might want to remember us are gone too. And we remember that dying is being done not only by the bodies you are watching, but by the body you inhabit. In the Shiva Swarodaya an ancient Sanskrit tantric text, we are told that each human being is born with an allocated, finite number of breaths. Each breath takes us another step closer towards vanishing, the failure of flesh, and the crossing of a boundary from one state into the next.

The idea of a boundary, a line which marks the edge of a territory, is particularly useful when considering what happens in the space between an audience and a performance. Philosopher Martin Heidegger’s assertion that a boundary is the point from which something emerges, offers a different perspective to the more commonly understood sense that a boundary indicates the point at which something ends. It is at this boundary that the intersubjective lies. This chapter considers how the intersubjective and affective exchange might be negotiated in interactive media performances and explore how failure in the space between author and audience is navigated.

All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. (Samuel Beckett, 1983).

Item Type: Book Section
ISBN: n/a
Subjects: Philosophy & Psychology
Courses by Department: Academy of Innovation and Research > Research
Depositing User: Lee Miller
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2023 10:19
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 10:19
URI: https://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/4904

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