Re: jerwood spaces and telethings

Isabelle Jenniches (
Mon, 26 Oct 1998 14:30:09 +0100

>We were discussing some of the additional and potentially confusing layers
>of 'meaning' which are added via the teleporting in real time of imagery
>from one part of the world to another.

This is slippery ground, as I haven't seen the performance. I can imagine
situations where live images from another part of the world would create
meaning, as they could provide a seemingly first hand access to a distant
= foreign reality. The content of the imagery would preferably be very
strange to us, thus challenging the live performer's reaction and taking
the audiance onto a journey. To use telecommunication in a performance can
bring together different realities and that's exciting!

> I found myself thinking about the nature of
>live broadcast and which are the live telecast events which normally get
>our adrenaline rushing and why....

We travel in our mind, we are not only *there* but we are there *now* !
Time and space falling into each other, the earth ball shrinking to one
point... guess that's an arousing experience.

>Wayne's particular movement style (extreme hyperextension in
>joints, etc.) which is very videogenic
>I suppose it is always possible that if one
>desires the input of a particular performer such as Wayne into a media
>piece and you can't afford to bring him to Australia you can always
>teleport their uniqueness into the imagery.

Certainly some performers are especially gifted when in a live video
situation! I can imagine that with improving transmission quality in the
future we will have a new branch of actors/dancers that specialize in this.
Comparable to the TV-actor today, who usually doesn't work in theatre,
because the two mediums demand different qualifications.

>But this does not address the question of the 'live' broadcast coming from
>Australia. It could have just as easily been beamed from another space in
>South London... or another room in the Jerwood to explore the same
>phenomenon. Yes?

What was probably added to the incoming video signals was that special
asthetics: delays, distortions, unpredictability. Nothing you couldn't
achieve through carefully creating that same look in your realtime editing
program there on the spot. Still you could say it's coming in live from
Australia; suppose you did a good job in imitating the distance, it should
be believable. After all, we are making theatre, the usage of "real" probs
versus papmachee ones is most of the time a matter of taste and money, the
same should apply for the "distant" signal. (Actually something worth

>I had to suppress a desire to jump up into the
>performing space with Wayne and wave to you !!

This is a pitty, that you couldn't do so! Something probably easy to forget
these days, but one of the reasons to still physically go to a theater
performance is that you meet or at least see other people. This aspect that
in former times was so dominant (still to be found in old theatre
architecture as the view from Loge to Loge) has to be taken into account I
think when doing a show that's geographically spread out. You have to be
aware of these different groups of people that *together* form your public!
Plus, a performer can act as a transmitter during the show, but the
attraction of distance will have a greater impact, when the audience
members can get a taste themselves.

Best, Isabelle