The Mediated Body


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A first year lecture for pre-service drama teachers.

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The Mediated Body

  1. 1. the mediated body - the new media and performance in Australia kim flintoff
  2. 2. mediation: the act of channeling social knowledge and cultural values through an institutional agency to an audience O'Sullivan, Tim, John Hartley, Danny Saunders, Martin Montgomery & John Fiske (1994): Key Concepts in Communication and Cultural Studies . London: Routledge
  3. 3. <ul><li>The foundation of theater is a live, human experience, which is different from any other form of art that I know of. </li></ul><ul><li>Daniel Stein </li></ul>
  4. 5. People do not merely ‘have’ but ‘are’ their bodies.
  5. 6. <ul><li>The body figures alternately as object and subject of the practices we study, and sometimes it functions concurrently as object and subject. </li></ul>
  6. 8. <ul><li>The body is the inscribed surface of events (traced by language and dissolved by ideas), the locus of a dissociated self (adopting the illusion of substantial unity), and a volume in disintegration. </li></ul><ul><li>— Michel Foucault </li></ul>Michel Foucault, “Nietzche, Geneology, History,” in Language, Counter-memory, Practice , ed. D. F. Bouchard (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977), 148.
  7. 9. <ul><li>The ongoing critique of theatrical presence is . . . valuable insofar as it reminds us that no experience (no matter how ‘live’) is entirely unmediated. </li></ul><ul><li>- Roger Copeland </li></ul>Roger Copeland, “The Presence of Mediation,” TDR 34, no. 4 (1990): 42.
  8. 10. <ul><li>Bodies are both Zombies and Cyborgs. We have never had a mind of our own and we often perform involuntarily – conditioned and externally prompted. Ever since we evolved as hominids and developed bipedal locomotion, two limbs became manipulators and we constructed artifacts, instruments and machines. In other words we have always been coupled with technology. We have always been prosthetic bodies. We fear the involuntary and we are becoming increasingly automated and extended. But we fear what we have always been and what we have already become – Zombies and Cyborgs. </li></ul><ul><li>- Stelarc </li></ul>
  9. 14. <ul><li>Digital techniques have rendered the body modifiable to hitherto unseen extents. </li></ul><ul><li>Digital techniques morph the body from one shape into another… </li></ul><ul><li>… posthuman cyborg in performance art and films is another…. </li></ul><ul><li>… witness the working of the “cosmetic morph”, </li></ul><ul><li>transformations of the “real” body via plastic surgery… </li></ul><ul><li>Anne Jerslev </li></ul>Jerslev, A. (2006) The Mediated Body: Cosmetic Surgery in Television Drama, Reality Television and Fashion Photography. Nordicom Review 27:2 pp.133-151
  10. 15. Orlan
  11. 16. <ul><li>INTIMATE TRANSACTIONS The Transmute Collective </li></ul><ul><li>The two ‘Bodyshelf’ interfaces were embedded with an array of sensors which detected shifting balances of bodyweight and different types of backpressure. By using movements on the Bodyshelves the two participants conducted ‘Intimate Transactions’ that established indirect dialogue with each other and the computational creatures that inhabited their parallel virtual spaces. </li></ul>
  12. 20. <ul><li>The polarisation of the live and the virtual within performance discourse dates back to the debate concerning live theatre and mediatised performance, initiated by the differing perspectives of Peggy Phelan (1993) and Phillip Auslander (1999). While Phelan asserts the authenticity of live performance, arguing that performance is non-reproducible, Auslander critiques the concept of liveness arguing that it exists as a result of mediatisation. </li></ul><ul><li>Rosemary Klich </li></ul>