Monday, April 23, 2007

Presence?

Technological advance and what it offer is simply amazing. This dance performance provides a completely different perspective looking at performing art. This performance is a mixture of physical presence and virtual presence of actors. In this performance,'reception,' it is presented in the way that physical presence interacts with virtual presence. For the audience, it is hardly distinguishable whether the actors are physically present or mere images. The idea that the actors the audience sees might be distant provokes our sense of presence. It is questionable whether virtual presence is adequate while the audience expects 'presence' of the actors in this kind of art form. Moreover, in this hybrid form of art, it is appropriate to categorize this under the previous category. I see this performance 'controversial' in the way that it asks us numerous questions to think about.
One thing connects two presences--virtual and physical--is time. It reminds of telecommunication such as cell phone or video conferencing. In this way, this mixture is easier to be understood: we do not feel dilemma considering communication through the cell phone. However, it is not the audience that interacts. It is hard to make the audience feel that two parties of actors share the same time. Since the audience is only required to watch, it is possible to question whether it is 'real.' Do we necessarily believe what we see? we are brought to watch a performance by magician for example. If we see a person talking on the phone in some kind of movie, we, the audience, are not sure whether the person's action is genuine. In other words, can the audience feel a sense of 'presence' from virtual presence? For me, it seems challenging to answer

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10 Comments:

Blogger Shane_Wey said...

The performance showed how people can act with projected images. However, these projections still do not replace actual presence. A two dimensional only elicits two senses: sight and touch. We can not touch, smell, or taste (if that's what you're trying to do) that person. Also, the interaction is handicapped because we can not hear, feel, and see the same surroundings. There is no way to pass a document to the person on the screen to read. There is no way to point out out something funny in our surrounding. And there is no way to shake hands. It was interesting that the dancers tried to give the television properties of someone that was present by moving the screen around when the woman on the screen would blow. But there still does not seem to replace actually being present.

4/23/2007 12:14 PM  
Blogger Frank Song said...

true true

4/23/2007 12:20 PM  
Blogger Valerie C said...

I didn't really get the purpose of the projections. Yes, they produced a three dimensional image, but since it was projected on a two-dimensional screen, isn't that the same as showing a film or other images that still appear three dimensional. How does it differ from movies or even using a webcam? I also know that people can create holograms now too. So why is this technolgy used for the dancers so special? Just because it's live? So are webcams right? I think the greatness of the technology is more exciting for those actually using it and dancing within the screen. The fact that they virtually interact with others whey they physically aren't is fascinating for them, but from the audience point of view, watching isn't that interesting. Yes we see the virtual interaction, but that's as far as it goes. Also, the many levels of integration for all the technology disintegrates the picture for us, which makes it even less interesting because its hard to see.

4/24/2007 12:13 AM  
Blogger RachelK said...

The performance highlighted technology and media's importance as it played a central role. I know it was important in the performance but I agree with Valerie--I didn't understand the purpose of the projections. From where I was sitting, it was really easy to that the dancers were behind those projections, laying down, ruining the illusion.

4/24/2007 9:38 PM  
Blogger kalphonso said...

I agree with Valerie. When I first walked into the playhouse and saw the 'greenish' person dancing on the screen, my first thought was "Are you kidding?!". I didn't really understand what the big hype was about. Live television produces WAY better quality images, and that has been around for years! We also have video conferencing. Even though it does have a lag, you can actually see what the person looks like instead of just their general shape. The ideas that the narrator was considering during the first segment was quite thought provoking though...

4/26/2007 2:33 PM  
Blogger Dan Ben-Nun said...

I have to disagree with you on point Frank, you said in your post that "for the audience, it is hardly distinguishable whether the actors are physically present or mere images" I think it is clear that this is not true. Both of us can agree that everyone at the show could easily differentiate between which images were real and which images were projected. While the show did an impressive attempt and the recreation of human presence through images, it was still very far from recreating a believable human presence.

4/27/2007 4:10 PM  
Blogger Danica said...

"Do we necessarily believe what we see?" is a good question and one that Marina Grzinic addressed in her article. She believed you can feel that sense of presence from slower media, not through instant gratification. The blurry quality of the dancers image is an example of that. The movements were jerky and fractured, yet in her eyes, she believes this is what gives the best sense of presence.

4/29/2007 5:04 PM  
Blogger Tim McNally said...

That's a good point that we could not physically touch the two dimensional objects. Touch is an extremely important part of presence and 2-D object does not warrant touch.

4/29/2007 5:35 PM  
Blogger tomsproats said...

I agree with Dan that you can always tell when something is real or not real. I also believe that medias like television and the new high definition are allowing figures to become clearer and clearer and more life like-to the point where television seems the same as live shows.

4/29/2007 8:45 PM  
Blogger BrendaFregoso said...

I think you bring up an interesting point where the audience of a dance production does inadvertently expect a physical presence, and to get virtual presences is in an extent a rip off for the audience. I understand that the performance was described to be a telematic performance beforehand, yet the "virtual" presence take away from the physical presences in the performance, I am no longer focusing on the great dancing talent of the physical dancers, but on the "special effects" that the virtual presences bring to the performance. I see a whole new meaning to the phrase "live performance."

4/29/2007 11:14 PM  

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