Randall’s assessment report comments on the hyperessay has raised some interesting points that I would not have noticed before and has stirred my project into a clearer direction. He expressed that the next step after establishing my interest in creating theatre in a virtual space is to find a narrative that establishes a necessity for the medium. In other words, find a reason or dramatic situation that relies on and even demands the Internet in order to tell the story and function as theatre. The idea of long distance relationships quickly came to mind. While I admit that my generation spends too much time on our phones and computers, being on exchange in Singapore has made me extremely grateful to those devices that allow me to keep in touch with my friends and family. If I wanted to see my mom’s face, I could just request to Facetime her and she appears almost immediately. I think I want to look into either create a narrative surrounding a long distance relationship and use the Facebook timeline to depict their story from when they first meet. Another idea that comes to mind is to show the obstacles that my generation faces when trying to meet people romantically. For example, Grindr is an application where you put up a picture, have the opportunity to rate and approve other people’s pictures and subsequently get paired up. While I used to watch my friends in disapproval as they flip through people’s pictures as if they are dispensable, Grindr has become so popular that it has turned into a social norm. I would be interested in creating a narrative that reveals how reliant we are in using social media to meet new people.
Influences from Readings/Course Covered Material
- “The hybrid notion of blurring the real and the virtual is expanded in the third space through distributed presence, in which the participants of the third space are in remote physical spaces. The third space extends the notion of the real and the virtual by creating a new kind of hybrid space that allows remote participants to interact both with the work, and with each other.”
Using Adobe Connect as a classroom has really helped my understanding of a third space, which has been a concept that I had trouble fully grasping before. What I did not know before is that the distributed space does not have to be experienced live, but it can be realized asynchronously. However, this does not change the fact that people get the same experience and information exchange from the space. It still brings people together.
- HUIS CLOS/NO EXIT- TOUT VA BIEN, ANNIE ABRAHAMS
Videos are obviously heavily linked to film and cinema, but it can also be seen as theatre. Youtube and Vimeo videos contain elements of theatre, where what is being presented can be linked to the action on a stage with the viewers being audience members. While this work by Annie Abrahams brings people together because they are experiencing the same art if they choose to watch the video, I think it also brings artists together. Without technology, these people probably would not ever come into any contact with each other. As mentioned before, I see theatre as a way of bringing people together, so this work influences my final project because it reveals another aspect of how it can be done. It also highlights the advantage of technology, where artists can collaborate and create with one another.
- WAITINGFORGODOT.COM, DESKTOP THEATRE (1997)
“Can drama still exist when separated from the body, voice and shared physical space? What new possibilities for language exist in this forum? . . .The concern is no longer with the fourth wall (between “actor” and “audience”) but instead with the firewall.” –Adriane Jenik
Rather than inventing a narrative in the virtual space, WaitingforGodot.com presents Beckett’s play in an online chatroom space. In my opinion, presenting the well-known drama in a virtual space with avatars as actors and audience members does not lower the quality of the theatre. Instead, I see it more as an attempt to bring the story to a generation that may not normally be exposed to the theatre. Rather than bringing people to the theatre, the desktop theatre brings the theatre to the people in a way that is relevant to our generation’s trends (technology). This work also brings up the concern in my final project: whether I want to give the possibility for audience members to be able to insert themselves into the drama, or stick to traditional theatre etiquettes (as much as I can) be able to actively navigate through my theatre but still be observers of the action that I present?
- EUGENE SOH, GALLERY.SG
Using Unity, Eugene created a virtual interactive environment in which he spent a portion of a class bringing the class around the world that he has created. It felt as if he was the tour guide and we were in his space, however, there was an active component that lies on the participant to navigate around in order to keep up. While we looked into Eugene’s project to understand more about identity multiples, this special instance made me feel that the viewers were just themselves and the virtual space serves as a means for accessibility (so that people can meet up conveniently to experience a piece of work). This is what I think I want to achieve with my final project – while I know that there is going to be an interactive aspect to my creation, I still want my participants to feel as if they are part of an audience and that whatever they are experiencing is worth watching. I want it to feel as if they are interactive in the sense where they enter a world/space that I’ve created.
Influences from Other Sources
- THE EXTREMELY PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF PRIVACY
This was the theatre piece I explored in my hyperessay introduction and it serves as an inspiration to my final project. It is influential to my work because it sets a successful example of how media is used to tell a story by creating theatre in a virtual space. It reveals the relationship between 3 characters who meet online. It is a three part piece that tests the boundaries of the real and virtual world by merging them to lure the audience into experiencing the story in the third space. “We are making a piece not about the Internet–but inside the Internet. “
- FACEBOOK STORIES
Facebookstories is a website that was recently launched to commemorate Facebook’s 10th year anniversary and you can connect your Facebook account and use your photos and videos to turn it into a visual story. Kimmy Kirkwood shared her story of her relationship with Will Stacey, which had gone viral as “a story of love and loss told through Facebook”. Theatre to me brings people together. Therefore, it is one of my goals for my final project to find a way to bring people together to meet in a virtual space to experience a story. I think that Kimmy’s story successfully achieves this because I’ve had several friends from different occasions send me the link to her creation. There also feels as if there is an element of her story where you feel as if you are an audience member as well as an interactive component as you navigate through her page.