Last year, the British theatre company Headlong produced a multimedia stage adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984. The show toured the UK, before transferring to the West End in London. Alongside the performance, Headlong developed the Digital Double application (app), a web service that allows users to explore some of the ideas in the production through an interactive online experience. Built from personal data that individuals have willingly placed in the public domain from posting on social media sites, the app examines the Orwellian ways in which digital technology surveys us, how we are tracked by various interested parties, and how this process is increasingly challenging our sense of what is public and what is private. The data gathered by the app has been displayed in theatre foyers before performances of 1984, and also incorporated into a stand-alone work of media art. In this talk by Sarah Grochala, who led the Digital Double project, and Michael Takeo Magruder who was commissioned to create the digital art installation PRISM, you will be prompted to make connections between Winston Smith and Edward Snowden and to consider the life of your own digital double – the online version of yourself.
※ The talk will be conducted in English and English-Korean translations will be provided.
Sarah Grochala (b.1973, UK) is an associate artist with Headlong for whom she produces and curates a range of digital content around each of their productions and explores the use of different digital platforms to create ‘theatrical’ experiences related to the company’s work. Sarah is also an award winning playwright. Her play S-27 won the 2007 Amnesty International Protect the Human playwriting competition, and has been produced in London, Sydney and Toronto. Sarah’s work as a playwright has been supported by the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre Studio and the Peggy Ramsay Foundation. Sarah holds a PhD in contemporary British playwriting from Queen Mary, University of London. Her research examines the use of new forms in contemporary British theatre and their political implications. As a dramaturg, she has written on theatre for academic journals, newspapers and taught performance practice and theory to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. She is currently Lecturer in Writing for Theatre at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Michael Takeo Magruder (b.1974, US/UK) is a visual artist and researcher who works with digital and new media including real-time data, immersive environments, mobile devices and virtual worlds. His practice explores concepts ranging from media criticism and aesthetic journalism to digital formalism and computational aesthetics, deploying Information Age technologies and systems to examine our networked, media-rich world. In 2010, he represented the UK at Manifesta 8: the European Biennial of Contemporary Art and several of his most well-known digital artworks were added to the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art at Cornell University. He is currently an artist-in-residence in King’s College London working across the departments of Digital Humanities and Theology & Religious Studies to develop a new solo exhibition entitled De/coding the Apocalypse that recontextualises The Book of Revelation within our present data-driven society.
Fee: N/A, but booking essential (on a first-come, first-served basis, 60 seats available per event)
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