Panel: Computers in Theatre: New Dimensions for Stage, Actors & Audience
Theatre is the performance art that has used computers the least. In this presentation Pinhanez argues that one of the main reasons is the lack of an appropriate computational representation for the fundamental theatrical concept of action.
The talk starts by proposing a categorization for the different ways computer have been used in theatrical performances: electronic puppets, hyper-actors, computer actors, and computerized stages. The presentation addresses through examples how drama and comedy can be revolutionized by this new generation of non- human characters and actors, and by novel ways of audience participation.
As an example Pinhanez discusses his recent work `It/I’, a theatre play where one of the two characters is performed automatically by a camera-based computer system. The computer character reacts to the human actor actions on the stage following the internalized script of the play. After the performance, the audience can go up on the stage and play one of the scenes in the role of the human character.
The presentation also aims to provide the context and to introduce the main questions to be addressed in the panel. From the current technological limitations and developments to the new possibilities open to play-writers, the objective is to critically examine previous works, to assess current tendencies, and to dream of what theatre can be in the future.
- Claudio Pinhanez (USA)
Media Artist, MIT Media Laboratory, Massachusetts