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Visceral Dramaturgies: Curating Sensation in Immersive Art

Klich, Rosemary (2019) 'Visceral Dramaturgies: Curating Sensation in Immersive Art.' Body, Space and Technology, 18 (1). 175 - 197. ISSN 1470-9120

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This article examines audience engagement in immersive, headphone and headset enabled performances looking specifically at the audience member’s experience of their own interoceptive processing. Interoception, the appraisal of one’s internal systems, is a key modality through which such artworks perform. Interoception includes two forms of perception: proprioception (involving signals from the skin and musculoskeletal system) and visceroception (involving signals from the internal organs such as heart rate, breath and digestions) (Pollatos et al, 2016), and interoception has been has been identified as critical in one’s sense of embodiment and wellbeing (Farb and Daubenmier, 2015). Through the use of binaural recording, headphones, and three-dimensional film, as well as a visceral dramaturgy of sound, text, image and narration techniques, artists are able to target an audience member’s awareness of interoceptive sensation. The article addresses three key examples: headphone theatre production Séance (2017) by Glen Neith and David Rosenberg; Whist (2017), an AR/VR and dance work by company AØE, and; Daphne in Three Movements (2017), an ongoing practice-as-research project combining videography, sound design and physical theatre. Following the consideration of how these productions stimulate interoceptive awareness, conclusions will be drawn about the reliance of these works on a visceral dramaturgy that targets the audience’s somatosensory system. Giving consideration to the cultural context of ‘hyperaesthesia’ and offering comparison between headphone theatre and practices such as ASMR, the article will examine how the director/designer of such performances functions as a curator of sensation, building a performance text that triggers sensory effects as a means of developing texture, theme and affect.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: interoception, immersion, performance, sound art
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > East 15 Acting School
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2019 11:40
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2019 11:40

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