“Truth,” Technology and Transmedial Theatre in Europe.

O'Gorman, Siobhan and Scheer, Anna (2021) “Truth,” Technology and Transmedial Theatre in Europe. Studies in Theatre and Performance . ISSN 1468-2761

“Truth,” Technology and Transmedial Theatre in Europe.
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Recent scholarship has expanded upon the concept of populism as performance to include a focus on how it employs digital technologies. However, what happens when theatrical performances appropriate far-right populist discourse to potentially parody how it frames its nationalist rhetoric as an appeal to ‘the people’? How do the relationships between performers and spectator-participants in such artistic works differ from those forged through the public manifestations of populist politics? How have artists who engage with populism employed technology to increase the reach and interactivity of their performances, and how does this engagement seek to undermine, and/or generate a troubling ‘belief’ in, the supposed ‘reality’ of such projects? This article critically reassesses the transmedial theatre of the late German artist Christoph Schlingensief and the Tallinn-based theatre company, Theatre NO99, in relation to current understandings of populism within an increasingly digitized, post-truth society. Schlingensief and NO99 might be seen to employ strategies of ‘subversive affirmation’ and ‘over-identification’ in their aims to resist the rise of far-right populism. Yet, we argue that these approaches can be dangerous: artists can reinforce far-right populist agendas if audiences fail to self-reflexively decode and reject subtle yet effective forms of mass manipulation – which is more likely when the components of such projects are dispersed across multiple media platforms through which counterfactual information also increasingly circulates.

Keywords:Theatre and technology, performance and populism, subversive affirmation, over-identification, transmedial art, post-truth politics
Subjects:L Social studies > L243 Politics of a specific country/region
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
W Creative Arts and Design > W460 Theatre Design
L Social studies > L200 Politics
W Creative Arts and Design > W440 Theatre studies
L Social studies > L241 European Union Politics
L Social studies > L290 Politics not elsewhere classified
L Social studies > L240 International Politics
P Mass Communications and Documentation > P304 Electronic Media studies
W Creative Arts and Design > W430 Producing for Theatre
W Creative Arts and Design > W420 Directing for Theatre
L Social studies > L260 Comparative Politics
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Fine Arts)
ID Code:43234
Deposited On:11 Dec 2020 14:30

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