By Gareth White (auth.)
This e-book asks that we think about the practices that facilitate viewers participation on equivalent phrases with different components of the theatre maker's artwork; it bargains a theoretical foundation for this new procedure, illustrated through examples from assorted participatory performances.
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Additional resources for Audience Participation in Theatre: Aesthetics of the Invitation
The creators of interactive performances are procedural authors, though narrative is not always as important to their work as it is to most game designers. In this chapter I will discuss how this concept is helpful, as well as some of its limitations. Does this mean that the procedural author is only in control up to the moment where the procedure creates a gap, at which point an audience participant steps in and takes control of the event? Clearly not. The exchanges that can happen between performer and participant are extremely complex, so that control – and authorship – is shared, and passed back and forth between them.
For a definition of subjectivity, he turns to Felix Guattari: ‘“All the conditions making it possible for individual and/ or collective agencies to be in a position to emerge as sui-referential existential territory, adjacent to or in a relation of delimitation with otherness that is itself subjective”. Otherwise put, subjectivity can only be defined by the presence of a second subjectivity’ (Bourriaud 2002: 90–91). He insists that we must de-naturalise subjectivity, recognising that as it comes into being through encounters with otherness, it is assembled and re-assembled through these encounters.
Each is either borrowed from or develops from earlier work in aesthetics, sociology or phenomenology; they provide the basis of the discussion for the rest of the book. Like most performances, those that include audience participation usually involve a lot of preparation. Like most performances they cannot be considered to be fully realised until there is an audience present to watch, listen and appreciate, and to interact. But the quantity and quality of the interaction that is needed to realise audience participation is different to that which is needed to complete a more conventional performance.
Audience Participation in Theatre: Aesthetics of the Invitation by Gareth White (auth.)