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Capturing Liveness: Using projections to illustrate the modern human experience

  • Author(s): Doughtie, Spencer
  • Advisor(s): Cuthbert, David Lee
  • et al.

The nature of “liveness” is the subject of much theoretical debate as our culture plunges deeper into the act of recording and reproducing performance. Theorists like Philip Auslander and Peggy Phelan have tried to define liveness as it opposes this “mediatized” condition, but as a millenial who has experienced a digital as well as physical existence, I ask why can’t liveness encompass both worlds? I turn to renowned scenic designer Robert Edmond Jones to explain the theoretical lens I employed in my design capstone project Random with a Purpose XXVI: Multiverse (RWAP). Using projected camera feeds, layered projection surfaces, and a system of live video mixing I sought to illustrate the multiplicity of self as it spans the live and mediatized. Regarding the sole performer as multiple allowed the audience to connect with them on a deeper level and experience a truly “live” event.

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