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.
Physical Culture and the Nationalist Socialization of the Body
Dr. Jannarone will be presenting work in progress from her book Mass Performance: Systems and Citizens, a book that investigates the way the power of synchronized mass movement has been recognized and regularized by ruling powers in the era of nationalization. This excerpt focuses on the path from German physical culture clubs in the immediate aftermath of World War II to the system of rallies, gestures, and unison calls-and-response so well known from the rallies of the NSDAP in the 1930s. Taking a close look at the physiological bonding generated by thousands of bodies moving together in synchrony, the work elucidates how the harnessing of visceral and kinesthetic energies was integral to modern mass politics, and how performance studies might help us understand a little piece of the unthinkable.
Kimberly Jannarone is Professor in the Practice of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at the Yale School of Drama and Affiliate Faculty with the Theater and Performance Studies program. She spent 2017-18 at the National Humanities Center working on her book, Mass Performance: Systems and Citizens (forthcoming, University of Michigan Press). From 2001-19, she was Professor of Theater Arts at UC Santa Cruz. Her books include Artaud and His Doubles (Honorable Mention, Joe Callaway Prize for best book in drama) and Vanguard Performance Beyond Left and Right. She directs experimental performance and has co-translated, with Erik Butler, several contemporary French plays.