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Analog Continuity, Digital Granularization and the Challenge of Using the Digital Medium to Study the Historical Record of Performance

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Kimon Keramidas

on 27 July 2015

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Transcript of Analog Continuity, Digital Granularization and the Challenge of Using the Digital Medium to Study the Historical Record of Performance

Therefore, every tragedy must necessarily have six elements according to which the quality of the tragedy is determined: (1) plot, (2) character [indicants], (3) thought, (4) spectacle, (5) diction, and (6) music. We thus have three parts (1, 2, 3) which tell us what the tragedy proposes to achieve an imitation of, one (4) which tells us how it proposes to do so, and two (5 & 6) which tell us the means to be used. These constitute all the parts. Therefore, just about all the dramatists use these constituent forms–which is very natural since every drama equally admits of spectacle, character [indicants], plot, diction, music, and thought.
- Aristotle , The Poetics p. 13
Tragedy, then, is an imitation, through action rather than narration, of a serious, complete, and ample action, by means of a language rendered pleasant at different places in the constituent parts by each of the aids [used to make language more delightful], in which imitation there is also effected through pity and fear its catharsis of these and similar emotions.
- Aristotle , The Poetics p. 11
http://nicolas.sceaux.free.fr/einstein/
Trial Two / Prison

LAWYER : MR BOJAGLES

(Text written by Christopher Knowles ; To be recited at bar 19A2.5.)

The song I just heard is turning
(The song in where)........
Tis thing
This will be the time that you come
This has heen addressed to all those girls
All this one has been very American
So stop
When you see when it was it has been
When you Hey Mr Bojangles
Hey Mr Bojangles
Hey Mr Bojangles
This has
This song wear a black and white then this has heen
This about the things on the table
This will be counting that you allways wanted has heen very very tempting
So stop
Hey Mr Bojangles
Hey Mr Bojangles
Hey Mr Bojangles
This has
This scarf of wear in black and white
That this has been........
This about the things on the table
This will be counting
This has heen addressed to the girls where
The song of (Satan) where it could be
Into where into where a
Hey Mr Bojangles
Hey Mr Bojangles
Hey Mr Bojangles
Ah this hah this scarf of wear of black and white that this about the
things on the table
This will be counting but
This has been addressed to those girls
All this one has been very American
So stop
When you see where has been
Hey Mr Bojangles
Hey Mr Bojangles
Hey Mr Bojangles
This has red blue
Allways run very quickly in a mad world
Say this
That call you Piggy in the sky
Like up in the........
This is written
John Lennon for from Christopher Knowles'actions where that (major) star
Paul McCartney
George Harrison
The peoples
Where I this has also worked
This has been reflections
Has been lucky as the sky
This has heen like...
So this one has
If you be so arrogant
It could be somewhere like to those ones
So learn what is so
So well like into a satchel like into where like a monster
If you know like gong like like a gong gong gong gong gong gong
Hey Mr Bojangles
So like if you see a little (nose) beggar with baggy pants

WITNESS : PREMATURELY AIR CONDITIONNED SUPERMARKET

(Text written by Lucinda Childs ; To be recited from lying on bed through exit, repeating as necessary.)

I was in this prematurely air-conditioned super market
and there were all these aisles
and there were all these bathing caps that you could buy
which had these kind of Fourth of July plumes on them
they were red and yellow and blue
I wasn't tempted to buy one
but I was reminded of the fact that I had been avoiding
the beach.

LAWYER

(text written by Christopher Knowles ; to be recited from the Patty Hearst moves through the exit.)

So uh this is abut the uh things on the table
so this one will be counting up
If you see any of those baggy pants, chuck the hills
And if somehody asked him, it was trees

the uh scarf of where in black and white
that this one will be sittin'
this about the uh things on the table
this will be counting up

so uh uh this is about the uh things on the table
the uh scarf of where in black and white
that this one is sittin'
this is about the uh things that were
If you see any of those, then this could be one of them
so stop here so stop this so look here
so this is written
Hey Mr Bojangles
Hey Mr Bojangles
Hey Mr Bojangles
so this could be the one that was
so if you see this one, then...

(Inserts at the machine gun and/or the music change [25]) :

Gun gun gun gun
Hey Mr Bojangles
Hey Mr Bojangles
Hey Mr Bojangles
Christopher Knowles bank robbery
so if you know
bank robbery bank robbery bank robbery is punishable by
20 years in federal prison so this is written
so if you know this is one so so look here
so Christopher Knowles and the Beatles
so so

(Repeat ‘Hey, Mr. Bojangles’ until exit.)

WITNESS : I FEEL THE EARTH M0VE

(Text written by Christopher Knowles ; Recited at the music change [35] after the reveal as gone out.)

I feel the earth move... I feel the tumbling down tumbling down... There was a judge who
like puts in a court. And the judge have like in what able jail what it could be a spanking. Or a
whack. Or a smack. Or a swat. Or a hit.
This could be where of judges and courts and jails. And who was it.
This will be doing the facts of David Cassidy of were in this case of feelings.
That could make you happy. That could make you sad. That could
make you mad. Or
that could make you jealous. So do you know a jail is. A court and a judge could
do this could be like in those green Christmas Trees. So Santa Claus has about
red. And now the Einstin Trail is like in Einstine on the Beach. So this will.
So if you know that fafffffffff facts. So this what happen what I saw in. Lucy or
a kite. You raced all the way up.This is a race. So this one will have eight in
types into a pink rink. So this way could be very magic. So this will be like to
Scene women comes out to grab her. So this what She grabbed her. S if you lie on
the grass. So this could be where if the earth move or not. So here we go.
I feel the earth move under my feet. I feel tumbling down tumbling down. I feel if
Some ostriches are a like into a satchel. Some like them. I went to the window
and wanted to draw the earth. So David Cassidy tells you when to go into this on
onto a meat. So where would a red dress. So this will get some gas. So this could
This would be some all of my friends. Cindy Jay Steve Julia Robyn Rick Kit and
Liz. So this would get any energy. So if you know what some like into were. So...
So about one song.
I FEEL THE EARTH MOVE
CAROLE KING
So that was one song this what it could in the Einstein On The Beach with a trial
to jail. But a court were it could happen. So when David Casidy tells you all
of you to go on get going get going. So this one in like on WABC New York...
JAY REYNOLDS from midnight to 6 00.
HARRY HARRISON
So heres what in like of WABC.......
JAY REYNOLDS from midnight to 6 AM
HARRY HARRISON from 6 AM to L
I feel the earth move from WABC...
JAY REYNOLDS from midnight to 6 AM.
HARRY HARRISON from 6 AM to 10 AM.
RON LUNDY from 10 AM to 2 PM.
DAN INGRAM from 2 PM to
So this can misteaks try it aga9...
JAY REYNOLDS from midnight to 6 AM.
HARRY HARRISON from 6 AM
This could be true on WABC.
JAY REYNOLDS froj
This can be wrong.
This would WABC.
JAY REYNOLDS from midnight to 6 AM.
HARRY HARRISON from 6 AM to 10 AM.
RON LUNDY from 10 AM to 2 PM.
DAN INGRAM from 2 PM to 6 PM.
GEORCE MICHAEL from 6 PM to 10 PM.
CHUCK LEONARD from 10 PM to midnight.
JOHNNY DONOVAN from 10 PM to 3 AM.
STEVE-O-BRION from 2 PM to 6 PM.
JOHNNY DONOVAN from 6 PM to 10 PM.
CHUCK LEONARD from 3 AM to 5 AM.
JOHNNY DONOVAN from 6 PM to 10 PM.
STEVE-O-BRION from 4 30 AM to 6 AM
STEVE-O-BRION from 4 30 AM to 6 AM
JOHNNY DONOVAN from 4 30 AM to 6 AM
THE EINSTEIN ON THE BEACH PROBLEM
http://www.ubu.com/film/glass_einstein.html
bri·co·lage [bree-kuh-lahzh, brik-uh-lahzh]
noun, plural bri·co·la·ges [bree-kuh-lah-zhiz, brik-uh-lahzh]
1. a construction made of whatever materials are at hand; something created from a variety of available things.
2. (in literature) a piece created from diverse resources.
3. (in art) a piece of makeshift handiwork.
4. the use of multiple, diverse research methods.
Analog Continuity, Digital Granularization and the Challenge of Using the Digital Medium to Study the Historical Record of Performance
Artistic Man can only fully content himself by uniting every branch of Art into the common Artwork: in every segregation of his artistic faculties he is unfree, not fully that which he has power to be; whereas in the common Artwork he is free, and fully that which he has power to be. . .

The highest conjoint work of art is the Drama: it can only be at hand in all its possible fulness, when in it each separate branch of art is at hand in its own utmost fulness.

The true Drama is only conceivable as proceeding from a common urgence of every art towards the most direct appeal to a common public. In this Drama, each separate art can only bare its utmost secret to their common public through a mutual parleying with the other arts; for the purpose of each separate branch of art can only be fully attained by the reciprocal agreement and co-operation of all the branches in their common message.

- Wagner, "Outlines of the Artwork of the Future" 4-5
Gesamtkunstwerk - meaning, literally, "global (or whole) work of art"
- Pavis, Dictionary of the Theatre, 159
Distant reading: where distance, let me repeat it, is a condition of knowledge: it allows you to focus on units that are much smaller or much larger than the text: devices, themes, tropes—or genres and systems. And if, between the very small and the very large, the text itself disappears, well, it is one of those cases when one can justifiably say, Less is more. If we want to understand the system in its entirety, we must accept losing something. We always pay a price for theoretical knowledge: reality is infinitely rich; concepts are abstract, are poor. But it’s precisely this ‘poverty’ that makes it possible to handle them, and therefore to know. This is why less is actually more.

- Franco Moretti, "Conjectures on World Literature"
It is possible-and indeed an easy matter-to use a computer to transform Woolf's novel into lists of tokens in which each list represents the words spoken by the characters ordered from most distinctive to least distinctive term. Tf - idf, one of the classic formulas from the field of information retrieval, endeavors to generate lists of distinctive terms for each document in a corpus. We might therefore conceive of Woolf's novel as a"corpus" of separate documents (each speaker's monologue representing a separate document), and use the formula to factor the presence of a word in a particular speaker's vocabulary against the presence of that word in the other speakers' vocabularies.

- Stephen Ramsay, Reading Machines, 11
A computer is just an electrical device, but when we exploit its affordances for symbolic expression we make possible new genres that hold a similar possibility for changing what we can know and what we can share with one another. (21)
Information is a more useful term than content for what media convey, because it points us toward issues of information design, such as how best to label and organize media segments so that we can retrieve and navigate them…As designers we should be looking for ways to restructure legacy formats to create satisfying interactions and more expressive genres by exploiting the affordances of the digital medium. . . (12-3)
Content is not a useful concept for designers because digital design is not about filling a neutral technical container with a preexisting package; digital design is about shaping interaction within new combinations of the format and genre conventions that make up a new medium.
- Janet Murray, Inventing the Medium
Performance’s only life is in the present. Performance cannot be saved, recorded, documented, or otherwise participate in the circulation of representations of representations: once it does so, it becomes something other than performance. To the degree that performance attempts to enter the economy of reproduction it betrays and lessens the promise of its own ontology. Performance’s being, like the ontology of subjectivity proposed here, becomes itself through disappearance.

Performance occurs over a time that will not be repeated. It can be preformed again, but this repetition marks itself as "different." The document of a performance then is only to spur a memory. An encouragement of memory to become present. . .

To write about the undocumentable event of performance is to evoke the rules of the written document and thereby alter the event itself.

- Peggy Phelan, Unmarked, 146-8
Bibliography

Aristotle. The Poetics of Aristotle. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1942.

Moretti, Franco. “Conjectures on World Literature.” New Left Review no. 1. II (February 2000): 54–68.

———. Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for a Literary History. London ; New York: Verso, 2005.

Murray, Janet H. Inventing the Medium: Principles of Interaction Design as a Cultural Practice. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2012.

Pavis, Patrice. Dictionary of the Theatre: Terms, Concepts, and Analysis. Toronto ; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1998.

Phelan, Peggy. Unmarked: The Politics of Performance. New York: Routledge, 1993. http://www.loc.gov/catdir/enhancements/fy0648/92007895-d.html.

Ramsay, Stephen. Reading Machines: Toward an Algorithmic Criticism. Topics in the Digital Humanities. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2011.

Sceaux, Nicolas. “Einstein on the Beach: Philip Glass.” Accessed November 8, 2013. http://nicolas.sceaux.free.fr/einstein/.

“The Definition of Bricolage.” Dictionary.com. Accessed November 8, 2013. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/bricolage?s=t.

“U B U W E B - Film & Video: Philip Glass & Robert Wilson - Einstein on the Beach: The Changing Image of Opera (1985).” Accessed November 8, 2013. http://ubu.com/film/glass_einstein.html.

Wagner, Richard. "Outlines of the Artwork of the Future" in Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality. Randall Packer, and Ken Jordan, eds. New York [u.a.]: Norton, 2002.
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