Thursday, April 16, 2015

Chapter 6 review

This chapter analyzes liveness as one of the key concepts of digital performance. It begins with opposed views of Walter Benjamin and Roland Barthes. It seems to me that Benjamin’s theory is more persuasive than Barthes’s. In one respect, today no one will think that ‘every photograph is a certificate of presence’ because it is easy to distort contents of audiovisual products via technology. Also at another level, Barthes’s theory cannot hold water since photography is a major form of visual arts rather than a reference of reality. At this point, the author mentions about the position of authenticity in the performing arts. He points out that liveness actually depends on the factor of time. “Liveness in itself has nothing to do with the media form, but at core concerns temporality. Put simply, for the spectator, liveness is just ‘being there’, whatever performance form is being watched.” (p. 129). It can be said that temporal and presence are two prerequisites of liveness. Furthermore, apart from culture and cognition, technology may have a siginificant impact on the experience of digital performance through real-time transmission and interaction. 

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