Rad istražuje mogućnost novih oblika dramaturgije, kao i drugih procesa i registara, u području suvremene digitalne umjetničke izvedbe. Kreiranje kontinuuma koji je samo privremeno stabilan, a konstituiraju ga međusobno različita sučelja, karakteristika je suvremene digitalne umjetničke izvedbe. Takva izvedba uspijeva u jednoj cjelini ujediniti i dramaturgiju tradicionalnoga kazališnog teksta, dramaturgiju kazališne izvedbe, kao i raznorodne prakse umjetničkog performansa i drugih oblika izvedbe u suvremenoj umjetnosti. Cjelina koja tako, privremeno i nestabilno, nastaje predstavlja se kao pozornica ili jedinstveno sučelje, a zato što se koristi svojstvima digitalne tehnologije poput ubrzanja, paradigme koegzistencije više različitih predstavljačkih prozora istovremeno, kao i sposobnost trenutačne dvosmjerne komunikacije korisnika i izvođača. U suštini takva predstavljačka cjelina formirana digitalnim sučeljem zapravo je samo još jedan izvedbeni sloj, posredničko čvorište u beskraju pozornica koje stalno nastaju i nestaju izvedbenim vremenom bez omeđenja. Ljudski izvođač uživo ne gubi svoju poziciju u takvoj digitalnoj umjetničkoj izvedbi, on je radije transformira. Zato će glavnina primjera iz umjetničke prakse u ovom radu biti primjeri rada i istraživanja umjetnika iz jugoistočne Europe. To područje, koje za potrebe ovog rada omeđujemo regijom koja obuhvaća nekadašnje države Jugoslavije i države koje su nastale nakon raspada posljednje inačice, posebno je zanimljivo za istraživanje dramaturgije suvremene umjetničke digitalne izvedbe Umjetnici jugoistočne Europe deriviraju svjetske tokove, novu tehnologiju, nove ideje i sve druge „ulaze“ u specifične hibridne i fragmentirane višeslojne umjetničke forme. Redovito takve forme imaju obilježje umjetničke izvedbe ili se koriste nekim dijelom sustava izvedbe. Takve forme, sastavljene od slojeva i komadića, prilagodljive su i mobilne, mogu lako mijenjati svoj status, podvinuti se novonastalim okolnostima, a sve kao samoregulacijski sustav koji jedino tako može opstati u uvjetima stalne društvene nesigurnosti i visoke napetosti. Umjetnici jugoistočne Europe ne uvode tehnologiju u svoju praksu samo kako bi ispitali neki određeni problem koji nastaje u umjetničkoj izvedbi uvođenjem neljudskog izvođača ili kako bi kreirali novi izvedbeni efekt kao dramaturški obrazac, već to čine zato da bi uspostavili mrežu novih odnosa izvođača i publike kao i transformirali šire izvedbeno sučelje, primjerice društvenu pozornicu. Ovaj rad strukturiran je u devet poglavlja. U Uvodu opisujem različite načine na koje je digitalna tehnologija ulazila u svakodnevicu. Od tehnologije poslovnog svijeta i vojnoindustrijskoga kompleksa do hakerske subverzivne kontrakulture koja je donijela eru osobnih računala. Posebno opisujem neobične izvedbene forme nastale u jugoistočnoj Europi kao odjek paradigme digitalne izvedbe na Zapadu. U sljedećim dvama poglavljima opisujem pojavu nestabilnog medija kao produkta novomedijske umjetnosti, a koja se isprepleće s digitalnom umjetničkom praksom. Dramaturgija postinterneta istražuje se i kao fenomen prije i poslije interneta, a kroz prakse umjetnika i umjetničkih kolektiva koji paradigmu digitalne komunikacijske mreže inkorporiraju i prije globalne dominacije digitalne tehnologije. U poglavljima od četiri do šest istražujem različite oblike novih dramaturških postupaka koji tvore heterogenu formu digitalne umjetničke izvedbe, a najviše na središnjem primjeru ovog rada, višeslojne digitalne izvedbe Mapa za izgubiti sebe KadeleGrupe iz 2009. Istraživanje se ne ograničava na dramaturške postupke koji djeluju unutar određene izvedbene strukture, nego i na one postupke koji omogućuju kreiranje kompleksnih sustava, kao što su permanentne izvedbe, emulacije festivala i reizvedbi, dramaturgija nevidljivog viška koja u srazu s dramaturgijom pozadine emitira stalnu predstavu i sl. U sljedećim poglavljima istražujem utjecaj neživih ili neljudskih izvođača na dramaturgiju digitalne umjetničke izvedbe. Obrađuju se prakse u kojima ravnopravnu izvođačku ulogu imaju i ljudski izvođač i njegov digitalni predstavnik avatar, podatkovno izvođačko tijelo, pa čak i praksa naslijeđene izvođačke moći koja se, primjerice, očituje u prisutnosti kamere. Istražuju se i mogućnosti izvedbenih sučelja poput ekrana i aplikacija suvremenih pametnih telefona, kao i dramaturških postupaka koji omogućuju funkcionalnu umjetničku izvedbu koja se istovremeno odvija u više različitih sučelja, od fizičkog preko miješanog do virtualnog, kao i u više međusobno različitih izvedbenih vremena. Zaključak o dramaturgiji suvremene umjetničke izvedbe moguć je jedino istraživanjem kakvu perspektivu takva dramaturgija ima u nadolazećem razdoblju u kojem će tehnologija još više učvrstiti svoje veze s ljudima, a koristeći se izvedbom kao komunikacijskim registrom. Predlaže se uspostavljanje mreže kao stalni izvedbeni proces, a u kojem ne postoje jasne hijerarhije između ljudskih i neljudskih izvođača, nego kontinuum izvedbe čije istraživanje i arhiviranje znači reizvedbu.
|Abstract (english)|| |
This paper explores the possibilities of a new form of dramaturgy, as well as other processes and registers, in the field of contemporary digital artistic performance. Creating a continuum that is only temporarily stable, constituted by mutually different interfaces, is a major characteristic of contemporary digital artistic performance. Such a performance manages to unite the dramaturgy of traditional theatrical text, the dramaturgy of theatrical performance, as well as the various practices of artistic performance and other forms in contemporary art. An entity that thus, temporarily and unstably, emerges, presents itself as a stage or a unique interface, especially when uses the features of digital technology such as acceleration, the paradigm of coexistence of multiple different presenting windows, as well as the possibility of instant two-way communication between users. In essence, such a complete form of digital interface is really just another performance layer, an intermediary hub in endless stages that are constantly evolving and disappearing over time without restriction. The live human performer does not lose his position in such a digital art performance, but rather transforms. Therefore, the bulk of exemplary artistic practices in this work will be examples of the work and research of artists from Southeast Europe. Region that encompasses the former state of Yugoslavia and the states that emerged after the collapse of the last version, is particularly interesting for exploring the dramaturgy of contemporary artistic digital performance. For almost a century, artists in Southeastern Europe have been building their practice as fragments that wear high tension. This high tension creates constant political or economic crisis, war danger, poverty and bigotry, all in opposition and even in battle, with new tendencies coming as information or artifacts from all over the world. Southeastern European artists are transposing world current affairs, new technology, new ideas and all other "entrances" into specific hybrid and fragmented multilayered art forms. Regularly, such models have features of artistic performance or use some parts of the performance system. Such forms, made up of layers and pieces, are adaptable and mobile, and can easily change their status, take on new circumstances, all like a selfregulatory system that alone can establish existence in constant social insecurity and high tensions. Southeast European artists do not introduce technology into their practice just to examine some problem that arises in artistic performance by introducing inhuman performers or to create new performance effects as a dramaturgical work but have therefore to establish new relationships between performers and audiences, as well as transform broader performance interface, such as the social stage. This work is structured into nine chapters, the first of which is Introduction and the last is the conclusion, but it is also a research about the possible development directions of the dramaturgy of contemporary digital artistic performance. Each of the chapters of this work is titled according to an element of digital art performance dramaturgy that emerges because of the particular artistic practice described in that chapter. The dramaturgy register of digital art performance in this paper is constituted by the results of the performance practice of the Croatian KadeleGroup, an art collective founded in 2005, but also on the work processes and results of practice of many other artistic collectives and individuals from Southeast Europe and the world. I write about the various phenomena and procedures that lead to the creation of a functional digital art performance, especially when they are in some relation to live human performance. 1. INTRODUCTION In the Introduction, I describe how the use of new, digital technology, which in Southeastern Europe in the early 1980s of the 20th century was only available in the form of attraction, initiates ideas about a new form of artistic performance. From my own earliest artistic practice, I describe the consequences of the use of rudimentary digital technology in the early 1980s. in the context of artistic performance, but already using a kind of digital network dramaturgy, of what will become known much later in the context of the aesthetics of the postinternet. Digital technology for personal use then existed most often in the form of consumer electronics, and only as an echo of events in major world centers. It is this status of digital technology that in Southeastern Europe in the early 1980s. used outside the environment in which it was originally created and further developed according to the needs of the mass Western consumer society, that is, technology as attractions or even materialized information about events from a remote center, it allowed some kind of naive and direct use in the context of artistic performance. I describe how early digital technology for personal use provoked the possibility of different procedures in dramaturgy and performance directing, thus initiating the search for new forms of artistic performance. So instead of using this new technology as it used to be then, it is used to complement existing artistic performance, as a kind of enhancer of the emotional relationship between the performer and the audience. In the following, I contrast the examples of institutional theaters that have full-spectrum digital technology but use it only as an amplifier of traditional traditional theater performance patterns, with the practice of their own early professional theater practice, which examines digital technology as a dramaturgical tool. In the Introduction, I also describe the different shifts in the perception of traditional dramaturgy of artistic performances that arise because of reflecting on the new role of digital technology in artistic performances. Considering whether interfaces are different from traditional performance interfaces such as the theater stage or the human body, many researchers can discover functional dramatic interfaces that support such a paradigm. Hutcheon announces new performance interfaces as well as their new hybrid dramaturgy. For example, Van Kerkhoven and Eckersall describe the dramaturgy of new media, and Lehmann and Primavesi end the dominance of text dramaturgy over dramaturgy of performance, sound, light, movement, etc. In this Introduction, I also describe the general paradigm of dramaturgy of contemporary digital artistic performances, which call it the deidentification or the process of constantly rewriting identity by performing in a digital interface, as Muñoz, Lehmann, or Vujanovic describes it. In the introductory chapter, I also describe the goals of the work, the structure of the work by chapter, describe the methodologies that I will use in my work, etc. 2. DRAMATURGY OF ABSENCE The second chapter, entitled Dramaturgy of Absence, contextualizes the material product of new media art, an unstable medium, as a possible temporarily functional object of digital culture, especially digital artistic performance. The various methods of archiving and re-performing such volatile media reveal a new role for performance in the digital age. Namely, unstable media can be re-rendered and temporarily maintained stable only by a kind of dynamic reconstruction that contains both data performance and dramaturgy of the digital network. Absence is the potential of presence, which is why it encourages the game to constitute what is absent, as simulation art does. It’s the art of constant change, or a kind of game, and what Huizinga writes about when describing how stable media becomes unstable through activation through play. Using examples of different artistic practices that question the stability of authorship, such as Sterle, Kordic, and Lepage, I describe the emergence of performance forms that manage to maintain functionality by acting in multiple different interfaces and “in front” of multiple different audiences, and at different performance times. I also describe the processes of simulating whole systems through different artistic practices, which inaugurates the possibility of artistic performance even in completely unusual interfaces such as political activity or bureaucratic obedience. By the end of the chapter, I describe two performances of the KadeleGroup that span ten years, both of which are constituted by the same principles of the hybrid dramaturgy of traditional theater and dramaturgy of the digital interface. I show how differences in perceptions of the same dramaturgical practices of digital artistic performance are established over a period of less than ten years. 3. POSTINTERNET DRAMATURGY The third chapter is entitled Postinternet Dramaturgy. In this chapter, I describe two complex KadeleGroup projects that emerged in 2005. and 2006. in the form of artistic exploration of the early possibilities of using the digital network paradigm in artistic performance. These are the Facebook Immanuel Kant and the Berlin Machinehaus. I first describe the various artistic performances that emerge from the aesthetics of the postinternet, but I also introduce the term before / after / the internet, describing artists and groups whose practices reflect the digital network paradigm in physical art performance, and before the emergence of a global digital trend. In this chapter, I also describe the significance of Zagreb’s New Tendencies in concluding a modernist view of artistic practice, and by exploring the early forms of digital technology paradigm performance in art, as well as the emergence and importance of the Zagreb curatorial collective Kontejner. A central example of this chapter’s artistic practice is the 2007 KadeleGroup project Immanuel Kant’s Facebook, which created an abstract machine in which the body of a living performer is a kind of bios, both as a cyber-competing bios and as an BIOS, which is the initial operational coordinator of the computer system. I also describe an earlier project, performed in Berlin, that sought to create a hybrid performance interface in which a human performers hands over all its properties to a machine. The chapter concludes with a description of the KadeleGrupa Art is War project in Bogota, which is a deliberately designed performance practice of dramaturgies of digital artistic performance in the paradigm of a traditional theater performance - a contemporary art project. 4. EMULATION OF FORGOTTEN DRAMATURGIES The fourth chapter is Emulation of Forgotten Dramaturgies. The practice of emulation is significant to explore the development of early forms of digital art performance dramaturgy. I describe it as a common form of digital computing practices, that is, a process that restores not only objects or relationships between objects, but also all the conditions in which such objects arise. Such emulation enables the reproduction and survival of a forgotten or absent object or medium. In artistic performance, emulation involves, unlike in simulation, an awareness of the performance of all participants in the process. The awareness that emulation is a process within a process defines a kind of performance situation that could be compared to the theater paradigm in theater. Through the example of the Orange Dog project, I describe how surpluses or tensions are created from the relationship between the authentic and the staged. Such surpluses encourage further artistic performance, which can also be distributed through digital interfaces. The production of surplus, and what Phelan also writes about, in the context of digital culture also encourages the emulation of entire systems. Thus, the activities of the curator or collective are not only supporting or theoretical, but are activated as a performance potential, for example through festivals and hybrid projects. I describe the founding of MaxArtFest as an emulation, as well as the re-production projects that are so produced. The entire second part of the chapter is devoted to the description of the Mysterium, a heterogeneous art performance by KadeleGroup, started with fragments of performance projects at MaxArtFest, continued through a self-destructive art workshop and completed with video performances on the digital network. I establish the parameters for the possible definition of dramaturgies operating in emulated systems. 5. DRAMATURGY OF INVISIBLE SURPLUS The fifth chapter is entitled Dramaturgy of the Invisible Surplus. I describe the changes that are taking place in the digital culture with the advent of the Web 2.0 paradigm, or the transition from a centralized way of managing a digital network to a distributive way of interacting with standalone hubs. Such a paradigm drives frequent arbitrary and less centrally controlled creative interventions and performances on the digital network. Such dramaturgy of the constant creation of surplus also influences a kind of theatricalization of physical reality and its artistic performances. Performing discourses of delaying dismissal, dislocation of the audience, multiple performance times, renewed decades earlier through the works of contemporary artists such as the Gorgona, which Bago and Majača write about, or even establishing trends like the one Szeemann promoted with When Attitude Becomes Form. A performer in a new, digital art performance can retain his physical body but is constituted as a posthuman subject or mathematical-informational entity, as Hayles writes about, to act in various interfaces simultaneously. I describe a series of art projects of KadeleGroup in Japan and Europe that explore the dramaturgies of camera presence, random performances, the digital network community as a dramatic character, the fluctuation of performance heroes through various interfaces, etc. All of these projects prove ultimately to be part of the whole digital art performance system, which constantly runs in the background, just guided by a kind of background dramaturgy. I describe the creation of a digital interface dramatic character called the Network Hero, which combines the qualities of a traditional drama hero, including anti-hero, with the characteristics of a user-performer on a digital network. The artist becomes an information hub that is not uninterested, as Šuvaković writes. The dramaturgy of the performance of such an artist and such an interface works by procedures such as deliberate mistake, modeled on Peterle writings, maintaining apparatus with antagonism and conflict in temporary online digital communities, establishing a performance discourse by bringing a technological form into the performance space, such as a camera, etc. 6. WITHOUT DRAMATURGY The sixth chapter, entitled Without Dramaturgy, describes the re-performance of the unstable medium Map for Losing Yourself, which we know from the previous two chapters of this paper as different performance fragments and theatricalizations of digital interfaces. Such fragments are preserved as a performance potential in a state of databases, which are not narratives but lists of objects, as Manovich writes. I describe the establishment of the hero character Junak2.0, who acts both as an audience and as a performer, but also as a director and playwright in multiple interfaces at the same time. Dramaturgy of digital artistic performance takes on the contours of the dramaturgy of labeling, and when it operates in a heterogeneous performance interface. I describe the creation of mediating characters that act as actant functions, such as digital Prophecies. The chapter describes four acts of digital art rendition of A Map for Losing Yourself, performed in India, in four Indian sacred places. Describes procedures that resemble the dramaturgies of new media but that trigger live artistic performance. The process of subsequent text entry is described, as well as the formation of a dramatic situation after the performance itself, using a digital interface. The consequence of the change in the actant’s functions in the performance itself, that is, the transition of the function from one performer to another, located in different cities or different interfaces, is also described. The position of the performer of artistic performance in physical reality, who is simultaneously the performer of artistic performance in digital reality, is reviewed. The temporary online digital community is a group dramatic character who speaks as a single dramatic character but who can no longer hide the way consensus is reached, which is conflict and competition. The chapter concludes with an exploration of the possibility of delaying and distributing catharsis, which is realistically physical, but is currently transformed into information and distributed into interfaces that delay it. 7. THE AVATAR SEEKING THE AUTHOR Chapter Seven, Avatar Seeking the Author, describes changes in performance interfaces such as the theatrical stage that are created by a different attitude toward creating a performing identity through lyrics. Instead of performing, a performance is created in which the characters negotiate or attempt to win the stage, as Fergusson wrote about Pirandello’s theater. The theater paradigm is expanding with technology into the reality, for example with Piscator and Brecht. I describe the establishment of digital online communities as stages that act as a kind of performance dramaturgy. A central example of the chapter is the KadeleGrope project The Fall of the Sony House, designed to explore artistic performance in which the digital interface and digital paradigm dominate the human performer. Describing the project, The Fall of the Sony House begins by considering Pirandello’s insights into the stage as the interface of multiple realities, as well as dramatic roles that can be recovered from its original interface in the search for an author. The basic object of exploratory observation is an avatar, representative of a human performer in a digital environment. The similarities and differences of avatars with the dramatic character are described, comparing this position with that of the performer and the audience in traditional performances where there is no human performer or a dramatic action developed through text, such as Roger Bernat’s participatory theater or a artistic performance such as Lips of Thomas by Marina Abramović. I describe performers in Asian theater, as well as audiences and performers in eighteenth-century theater in Europe, that regulate performer or spectator emotion by moving performance beyond the regular, linear flow of performance. I also describe how in the early period of the development of digital culture there was a conflict between the concept of computers as business machines and the concept of computers as a subculture. From this conflict came the concept of digital technology for all, resulting in the era of personal computers and smartphones. Such a concept has also enabled new creative paradigms such as machinima, which is an example of the need for artistic, unparalleled performance within a strictly functionalist system. Such a quest for the author is the dynamic between the avatar and the one the avatar represents. The Fall of the Sony House project explores the different dramaturgies of digital art performance, from the background dramaturgy that creates a constant and invariable running time in the mall as a control space, through the double liminality that emerges when creating avatars, to a deliberate mistake as a dramaturgical process that ensures the artistic viability. 8. VIRTUAL REALISM Chapter eight is entitled Virtual Realism. The virtual realism of modern times involves the technological stimulation of various human sensory receptors to gain a sense of presence in virtual space and time. The sense of reality that arises from such an assembly, human and machine, is a "consensual hallucination" rather than an aseptic mathematically ordered projection. The interface between the machine and the human creates an interface, as a third party, which is its own image of each participant in the process. That is why I begin the chapter with a description of the creation of personal realism, for example, that artificial realism that Guatari defines by writing about reinterpretations of paintings by the old masters of American artist George Condo. Artificial realism is created by confrontation, the frame emerges as a temporary stable set of meanings and signifies the temporary absence of the conflict that created it. I describe video and computer games that evolve with unusual parameters for computer games, in order to exist as works of art in cyberspace, instead of indulging the basic source of human satisfaction, the perception of patterns, as Laurel writes. I describe the work of some Southeast European artists using computer game systems or virtual reality technology as an artistic practice. I continue to describe various hybrids of physical and virtual reality, such as virtual religious ceremonies, or ceremonies such as marriages that have real effects in physical reality. The functionality provided by the dramaturgy of trust is evident in the creation and survival of processes that we perceive as objects, such as virtual currencies. Such a dramaturgy of trust is applied in artistic performances as well as in the materialization of the artistic process when the chain of trust is used as an object which is then bought or exhibited. I also describe art projects created by the dramaturgy of bitchain, the chain of bits, the same dramaturgy of trust that constitutes virtual currency. The final part of the chapter is a description of the Desaparacion KadeleGrupe project, which is being implemented over twenty years within many interfaces. 9. TOWARD THE CONCLUSION OR ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NETWORK The ninth chapter is also the closing chapter. It is entitled Towards the Conclusion or Establishment of the Network, because the final conclusion on the dramaturgy of contemporary digital art performance is impossible to draw in the transitional age in which this work is produced. The chapter summarizes the various dramaturgies of digital art performance that have been mentioned in this work and which have been tested through artistic and research practice. I also describe a recent work by KadeleGroup called CyberFaust, performed periodically, as fragments of different performance interfaces and different dramaturgies. The project explores the movement of artist identity and how that movement creates artistic performance in different interfaces. It then follows how performance in the second interface triggers a different set of dramaturgical processes. The chapter discusses the dramaturgy of contemporary digital art performances as a process of networking, not a process that leads to finality by the development of a linear dramaturgy, a kind of dramaturgical choice, as Pavis calls it. I describe the functionality in the physical reality of many artificial personalities, dolls, holograms, virtual and material performance machines, robots. It describes how movement in the performance of inanimate performers approaches the status of the living. There is a continuous double performance, as Gieskam writes, but not in machine-coded dramaturgy. Such schematic codification is carried out by social engineering performances, grouping people according to general data from digital social networks. Various digital art performances are emerging that use codified patterns to elicit emotional response from the audience, such as YouTube channels that the artist addresses to the individual viewer. There is also a dramaturgy of the inherited power that technology distributes as a process of performance, indexing in fact patterns of human action. Instead of a conclusion that would confirm or disprove the existence of some specific digital performance dramaturgy, I propose the formation of tools for analyzing artistic performances that take place in a number of different interfaces. I find the model for such a tool in the Milgram Continuum of real and virtual, in fact a way to determine what is present in the virtual reality process, and at what position of immersion the analyzed element is located. The dramaturgical continuum real virtual could in the future be a tool to locate the presence of certain dramaturgies within, which it consists of several different performance interfaces, digital and non-digital. Chapter, and conclusion, I end by thinking about the need to stay in trouble, as Haraway describes it, by writing about living in an age in which the registers of digital culture are still to be defined, including dramaturgy of digital artistic performance.