Stephan Silver (
Wed, 20 Oct 1999 22:50:24 +0100

>From my experience in staging sensory environments, it seems like the
audience is more prone to watching than actually participating themselves.
This of course depends on the actual parameters of the design, but the
public is used to watching. A sort of conditioning from our passive era of
the movie and television.

If dancers are present in a space, the audience is trained to stand back and
gaze even if the artistic intention is that they interact with the dancers.
The dancers could reach out and encourage the audience members to dance
along, but it will be most likely than not, only certain key individuals
that are either performers themselves or very outgoing people who will get
up and dance (participate).

Cautious steps have to be taken to gradually encourage audiences to feel
comfortable with interacting with sensory devices. This can be done by
firstly introducing them to the capabilities of the equipment, and secondly,
that they realise that it is permissible to actually use the equipment.
Sensory devices pass on the control of altering the parameters of a
performance space to either the performers or audience, but in giving the
control of the performance space over to the audience puts them into a role
akin to creator. Quite the opposite form the passive audience member.