Reading 3 – Jones, S. And Abbott, D and Ross, S. (2009), “Redefining the Performing Arts Archive”.

This reading investigates how performance can be represented in the archive, and whether it is actually possible to archive a performance and the methods in which to do this. There are many views and opinions on the discussion of performance within the archival setting one of these opinions is that a record within the archive should act as is a surrogate that provides a window into past moments that can never be recreated. It is however the users responsibility to interact with the record in a performative manner to reinterpret and re-enact the performance. The archive is a snapshot of something that happened at another time and place and is an attempt to capture the events so that others can view or experience then and transfer this experience in to positive inspiration for new work. Stanislavski and other practitioners believe that performance is something that happens once and is loved but should be allowed to disappear as in this disappearance performance is born.

This reading then goes on to talk about the fear of losing performance and that born from this is inadequate representations, therefore explain why there is such a strong need for solid process of how to represent performance in the archive. Although there is no answer yet as to how we can represent performance there are subject areas that must be covered, one is the relationship between performer and audience and the other is memory though embodiment, to correctly present performance both of these must be fairly represented. An example of where this was experimented with was Liz and her Robot, Liz was a dancer who spent a week embodying her robot till she walked and talked the same. This task enabled the robot designers to see how they should improve for future models but unfortunately it was still impossible to document this project. For now theatrical companies are running workshops that allow performers to bring to life the archival sources they discover.

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