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P R A C T I C E - A S / B A S E D - R E S E A R C H 

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I/SPY: PERFORMANCE, POLITICITY  AND THE SURVEILLANCE TURN

The setting is London - the world’s most surveillance-ubiquitous city. Cells of participants engage in covert operations in public space.  The participants are case-studies.  The site varies between London’s streets, stations, and seeing-sites, namely, Tate Modern, The National Gallery, and Trafalgar Square, each extensions of British constitutional public space; all inside State ideology. 

The above operations converge Arts based Practice-as/based-Research and Auto/Ethnography; the practice resonates with flâneurie – solo following and literary/photographic documentation of such - the psychogeographic, city-centric collective method of dérive, and covert participant-observation. The supporting thesis examines four field investigations into surveillance as interpellative State apparatus of a democracy-surveillance ideological social atmosphere, and how the associated behaviour of its citizens plays-out in and rendering a social surveillant mis en scene. The thesis identifies, compares and theorises perceived ocular power dynamics, their associated behaviour in the tensions arising between resisting performance and performing resistance.  It unpacks how keeping the sleuth latent within the necessary body-appearing-in-public-consensus exposed needs to observe a Rancièreian ‘proper’ whilst increasingly exciting impropriety impulses and ultimately subversion. Chiming with Plato’s theory of unsustainable governments, this potential emergence of tyrannous impulses - from a democratic subjects’ excess sense of licence - informs my thesis that the politicity of social performance in immersive crowd settings (including theatre) lies in democracy- tyranny- surveillance triangulate tensions.   My thesis ultimately argues that and how surveillance culture reflects and hails our latent sleuth.

 PRACTICE -AS-RESEARCH IN PERFORMANCES

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To date, I have produced three practice as research in performance works-in-progress: Private I, Public EyeConSensus, and I/SPY

 

 

PRIVATE I . PUBLIC EYE . PUBLIC I . PRIVATE EYE  (2012)  was an experiential investigation into the ocular dynamics of surveillance and invisibility in visibility. It was staged subsequent to an experiment in surveillance, sousveillance and counter surveillance in Trafalgar Square and The National Gallery.  

 

ConSensus was devised with a cohort of other actors. It took the form of performance-as-research, and explored participant-spectatorship in relation to the culture of surveillance and its impact upon behaviour, particularly where rules upholding order are imagined but not known. Taking as its metaphor Panopticism, ConSensus explored audience behaviour in relation to the uncertain contractual terms of participation in immersive theatre: What are the rules? Is interactive space a democratic, freedom permitting space? Does it pretend to be? Is the agency inferred by being corporeally active contradicted by the negotiation of invisible, if existing, rules? Why do we obey? What do we think we are obeying?

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C O N F E R E N C E   P A P E R S

2016      Big Data: Public I/ Private Eye

               Performance and New Technologies Working Group

               TaPRA Conference at the University of Bristol 

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2012      Participation: About Turn (Concerning Spect-actorship) 

               'The Tyranny of Participation'

               TaPRA Conference at the University of Kent,

               Award: TaPRA bursary 

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2012      PUBLIC ‘I’: Intermediality, SurVEILance and the Interactive Turn 

               Performing Research: Creative Exchange Conference

               Central School of Speech and Drama

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2011     Intermediality: SurVEILance and the Interactive encounter

              TaPRA Conference, Kingston University

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2010     What Are You Looking At? Participant-Spectatorship and

              Thirdspace Intersubjectivity

              Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

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2006    Appropriating Inappropriateness: Transgression, Discomfort and Conscience

            (emerging a method/ology),

             MA, Central School of Speech and Drama

 

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