[ISEA2022] Paper: G. Isla Borrell — Live data in live performance


Short paper, theme: Natures and Worlds: Data, performances and urban environments
Venue: CCCB, date: June 15

Keywords: data art, liveness, digital performance, data theatre, Gaia

Realtime data feeds offer a new kind of liveness in performing arts. They can enable natural phenomena like wind and tides to join in live performance as dynamic, unpredictable forces, thus contributing to a less anthropocentric portrayal of the world.

This short paper discusses the value and potential of live data feeds in live performance. Live data feeds offer a new kind of liveness – a characteristic that is prized in the performing arts. Dance and theatre experiments using movement and biometric data processed in real time have already taken place, using data from performers and spectators. Artworks by data artists such as Andrea Polli and David Bowen demonstrate the creative potential of data drawn from natural systems, such as meteorological data. Proponents of Gaia suggest that we adopt an understanding of the world as a multi-species network of living beings and systems, in which humans are integrated, not separate or superior. Using data from natural systems on stage could enable these phenomena to participate as dynamic, unpredictable forces, and thus contribute to a less anthropocentric portrayal of the world. https://datatheatre.eu

  • G. Isla Borrell is a doctoral student in theatre and performing arts at the École Doctorale Esthétique, Sciences et Technologies des Arts at Paris 8 University, France. Isla worked for several years in production design, props and set decoration for film and theatre before beginning postgraduate studies. Her thesis project, Data Theatre, la mise en scène des données à l’ère numérique, explores the creative potential of data on stage, particularly the use of live data feeds to generate image and sound.