Performance/documentation

: disrupting ontologies

  • Claire Read

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

This thesis looks at live-streaming between 2006-2016, taking London’s National Theatre as its focus. Looking at the use of technology, specifically live-streaming, the thesis considers the effect of live-streaming both in and of performance in relation to ‘performance’ and ‘documentation’. I question the ontological nature of performance and documentation, conventionally considered to work in a causal, linear relationship, and identify a mutual, non-linear relationship between the two states enabled via live-streaming. I use the chemical term of ‘sublimation’ to express this relationship indicated by a double-headed arrow that speaks as a reimagined model to illustrate the oscillating, cyclical movement that I propose between performance and documentation. I further identify the theoretical area established between two states as a zone of ‘unmarked liveness’. I evidence the zone using productions as case studies throughout the thesis; and focus equally on the work of director Katie Mitchell’s use of streaming within performance, as well as the live-streaming project, NT Live, established by the National Theatre in 2009. The later chapters follow the work of Mitchell and NT Live to the Barbican Centre, demonstrating their significance as innovative outputs, and the influence of the National Theatre as a beacon venue. The increasing use of streaming within performances, as documented within this thesis, marks the ‘unmarked’ liveness: challenging and marking the enduring modernist models of theories that represent the relationship between ‘performance’ and ‘documentation’, despite postmodernist and poststructuralist thinking and practice demonstrated in the cases of live-streaming identified.
Date of Award24 Sep 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Roehampton
SupervisorJennifer Parker-Starbuck (Supervisor) & Sarah Gorman (Supervisor)

Cite this

Performance/documentation: disrupting ontologies
Read, C. (Author). 24 Sep 2018

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis