This issue of Interventions expands on the topics of the special issue ‘Encountering the Digital’ (Contemporary Theatre Review, 27.3). Through a number of intermedial and interdisciplinary exchanges, we highlight some of the many diverse ways digital technologies and approaches inspire artists to make new work and invite audiences to experience artistic production. The digital is at the centre of these Interventions both as platform and subject matter. Taken together, the contributions present encounters with the digital through embodied practices that reposition and challenge the theatrical medium.
In Kate Sicchio’s and Alex McLean’s ‘Sound Choreographer <> Body Code’, the dancer’s body meets live coding of sounds. The choreographic practice here is generated through the body’s responses to the specific code that offers sets of choreographic instructions. Through a score of code, video and sound the artists discuss and pose questions about the reliability and agency of both coding and the human body, the tensions that arise, and the dynamics in-between media and corporeal performance.
Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble (ROKE) and Jennifer Parker-Starbuck offer a playful intervention that echoes the company’s interest in ‘merging contemporary media with a sense of history’. Both the interviewer and interviewees appear framed within an old Palm Pilot device and discuss the channelling of pop culture in the company’s work, the building of community between the audience members and the magic of technology in art as well as in everyday life. Combining humour and irony this conversation echoes the aesthetics and artistic intentions of a theatre company that still sees technology as a playful tool of experimentation.
In a pair of 15-minute interviews with artistic/executive directors, Andy Lavender focuses on how leading-edge organisations 3-Legged Dog and The Space respond to transformations in artistic creation and production in the wake of digital developments. Kevin Cunningham (3-Legged Dog) reflects on how emergent technologies continue to change the ways that audiences experience and perceive art. Fiona Morris (The Space) is invested in the presence of the online audience and the different ways that users become interested in, share, like or reject specific content. For both, interactivity is yet to reach its full potential.
In the final intervention of this special issue, ‘Fluidity and friendship: the choir that surprised the city’, Elena Marchevska is in conversation with the activists and media researchers Nita Çavolli, Jana Jakimovska, and Katerina Mojanchevska. Their discussion unfolds the activities and practices of the self-organised choir Raspeani Skopjani. Social media offer another performance platform that expresses the choir’s resistance, as well as documents and disseminates its work. The Internet, alongside the streets of Skopje, facilitates a ‘micro-network’ for this new generation of self-organised citizens.
These four intermedial contributions showcase the ways that the digital domain introduces various instances of the ‘new stages for spectatorship and ever-changing interactions between participants’ that we discuss in our ‘Preamble’ to this special issue of CTR. We hope that you enjoy these Interventions alongside the various contributions in the print issue. Happy reading/listening/viewing/surfing!
Eirini Nedelkopoulou, Maria Chatzichristodoulou, Andy Lavender