A small, actor-facing screen showing a feed of performance capture is called a “vanity monitor” or a “confidence monitor.” Implicit in either term is a kind of a backhanded compliment, a condescending acknowledgment of the backfooted relation between captured object and capturing apparatus. The performer—whether understood as vain or insecure—is judged for volunteering vulnerability. This talk examines technological media as a means of self-monitoring, from the early days of personal video to the present epoch of compulsory telepresence, and builds on my work connecting performance practice to the history of information theory and informatics.
Ariel Sibert is a doctoral student at the Yale School of Drama and a dramaturg of the multi-media performance collective Fake Friends. As a dramaturg and a producer of film, she has contributed to work shown at the Park Avenue Armory, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Ars Nova, Next Door at New York Theatre Workshop, Spectrum Arts, the Exponential Festival, BAM, Yale Repertory Theater, and the Yale School of Drama. Her writing has appeared in the Brooklyn Rail, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Theater, and American Theatre. Currently, she is a teaching fellow at the Yale School of Drama and a lecturer at Quinnipiac University. Her dissertation examines the influence of information theory on avant-garde and experimental performance practices.