Three live performance experiments researching performer-audience-audience interaction. They are the empirical contribution of my PhD on ‘liveness’, and required the visualising performer–audience dynamics work.

Comedy Lab: Human vs. Robot

An experiment that tests audience responses to a robot performer’s gaze and gesture. In collaboration with Kleomenis Katevas and part of Hack the Barbican. For my PhD, it provides the first direct evidence of individual performer–audience dynamics within an audience, and establishes the viability of live performance experiments.

Comedy Lab: Live vs. recorded

The experiment contrasts live and recorded performance – directly addressing a topic that animates so much of the debate around ‘liveness’. The data provides good evidence for social dynamics within the audience, but little evidence for performer–audience interaction. While these audiences were indifferent to live vs. mediated performance, the results affirm that events are social-spatial environments with heterogeneous audiences. The results emphasise that both conditions are live events, as even though the recorded condition is ostensibly not live, a live audience is present regardless and it is this that matters.

Comedy Lab: Lit vs. all lit

The experiment contrasts being lit and being in the dark, when all around are lit or not. The data provides strong evidence for social dynamics within the audience, and limited evidence for performer–audience dynamics. Spotlighting individuals reduces their responses, while everyone being lit increases their responses: it is the effect of being picked out not being lit \emph{per se} that matters. The results affirm that live events are social-spatial environments with heterogeneous audiences.