Live performances involve complex interactions between a large number of co-present people. Performance has been defined in terms of these performer–audience dynamics (Fischer-Lichte 2014), but little is known about how they manifest. One reason for this is the empirical challenge of capturing the behaviour of performers and massed audiences. Video-based approaches typical of human interaction research elsewhere do not scale, and interest in audience response has led to diverse techniques of instrumentation being explored (eg. physiological in Silva et al. 2013, continuous report in Stevens et al. 2014). Another reason is the difficulty of interpreting the resulting data. Again, inductive discovery of phenomena as successfully practised with video data (eg. Bavelas 2016) becomes problematic when starting with numerical data sets – you cannot watch a spreadsheet, after all…
A spoken paper presented at the International Symposium on Performance Science, Reykjavík 2017. The talk is a good way to see what I got up to during my PhD… and hey, there’s no stats and lots of pretty pictures.
- Recording of ISPS2017 presentation - https://vimeo.com/205481355
- Dataset - https://github.com/tobyspark/ComedyLab
- Visualiser - https://github.com/tobyspark/Comedy-Lab-Dataset-Viewer