Futurist Dramaturgy and Performance Abstract

Kim and Cortney are headed to Toronto in a few weeks to present a paper titled: “The Cyber-Futurist: Rethinking Futurist Performance via the Internet.” This is the abstract for the paper.

Günter Berghaus argues that we are currently on the brink of a Second Modernity with a post-avant-garde that “must be the result of a critique of the old avant-garde; but such a dialectic opposition also recoups substantive components of its predecessor and transforms them into a new gestalt” (Avant-Garde 261). This new form will result out of artists’ ability to “reconnect with a lost practice in order to disconnect from a present way of working felt to be outmoded, misguided, or otherwise oppressive” (Hal Foster qtd. on 261). The research for this paper will begin with exploration in performance, which will reflect current modes of consciousness and the virtuality of contemporary life. The goal of this performance is two-fold, and this paper will examine the internet as the space which provides this retheatricalization by, through its inherent virtuality, extending the performance space beyond the screen, moving into the performer/audience member’s body. How can we integrate the virtuality of the internet into the hypermedium of theatre as to create a synthesis of body and mind, and of affect and perception. Hans-Thies Lehmann also describes avant-garde theatre artists as “[demanding] an intellectual mental/nervous and also physical attack on the spectator” (Postdramatic 61). The Futurists used provocation to shake people out of their political and social passivity and apathy. How does this provocation relate to the internet as a new political performance space? By integrating live bodies with digital representations of live bodies, can we then provoke the audience to engage critically with the form and with the material.


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