The Pointless Chatroom: Coping with Absence in Online Performances

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Materialities and Networks

Presentation Title:

  • The Pointless Chatroom: Coping with Absence in Online Performances

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Abstract:

  • This paper addresses the role of chat functionality when included in online performances that do not fundamentally require it. The explanation that chats are included to reintegrate forms of co-presence is supported by a series of interviews but immediately challenged by the author. This papers argues that the need for co-presence is not a universal one, but is rather rooted in theatre practice. Online performers with a background in the visual arts tend instead to emphasise a purely visual relationship between audience and artwork. This study also elaborates on the use of chat logs as a form of documentation.

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