Re: anti-theatre/technology/education

Scott deLahunta (
Wed, 24 Dec 1997 10:09:13 +0100

I am taking the option here to jump into the discussion here... rather than
working my way responsibly back through the Mark/Philip thread ---

Very interesting to read about Streb's work Mark (btw, I was in one of her
pieces in 1991 at the Kitchen... and one night watched Merce and John come
in and sit in the back, a performing career highlight for me). They were
fans apparently. Streb was miking the mats back then... but very interesting
to read about how she has 'amplified' on the use of media as well as
continuing to build what sounds like a massive stage apparatus. Sounds like
Lepage's set for 'elsinore' but decidedly without the 'magic'.

To move on to a brief reaction on Johannes good question as regards
'effects' (recall Susie Ramsey's post a while back on 'dumb-type' at Ars
Electronica). I wonder if it is safe to speak of 'effects' as a temporary
condition as a representation/ manifestation of technology prior to an
assimilation into the human condition. At what point in time does the
assimilation occur, when the machine, as an extension of our bodies, has
been around long enough to acheive a status in cultural memory that
signifies 'human' as much or more than it signifies 'technology'. Think of
the sound of the 'sewing machine' or the look and sound of '8 milimeter
film'... (hmmm, sounds...?) --

Might there not be some point in time when putting a future incarnation of
the 'mididancer' suit will conjure up memories of performances of
interactivity (in the broadest sense) embedded deep in the psyche somewhere?

Johannes asks the specific question about what is being prepared in
schools... I could say that the phrase which holds my attention today more
than any other in relationship to education is "learning environment" -- in
the sense that the responsibility of the educator is to create the very best
circumstances within which learning will occur given the situation. In
technologically 'rich' circumstances this means making choices about which
are the most appropriate to use -- in circumstances, as Johannes mentions,
where certain technologies are not so available, it might still be possible
to extract the learning potential from a technological situation (such as
'immersive VR' for example) and applying it via other means... even if these
are abstractions. Education 'about' technology for example.

Conference on *Arts Education ? New Media*
12-13 December 1997 in Amsterdam
Scott deLahunta and Susan Rethorst
Writing Research Associates, NL
Sarphatipark 26-3, 1072 PB Amsterdam, NL
tel: +31 (0)20 662 1736
fax: +31 (0)20 470 1558