BetaSkroz

BETASKROZ

 

@BetaSkroz is the first ever performing arts project in which live action and the interaction on social networks & applications are treated as equally valid performance strategies.

TwitterInstagram & Soundcloud, on equal foot with speech, movement or music.

Performance isn’t simply transmitted over the abovementioned services. Instead – performers take part in it with both their physical and digital identities, in front of the live theatrical audience as well the one on-line.

The audience chooses whether it wants to witness the event from the auditorium, via their computer, smart phone or in a gallery space and by doing so chooses one out of the numerous performance facets that co-exist and interact continuously.

 

…contraversial theory of identity: that our lives are best lived when we have a single identity that persist over time, so your grandparents get the same experience of you that your lover does, your boss sees the same side of you that your toddler does…

Cory Doctorow: Google Plus forces us to discuss identity
Guardian

 

ADVENTURES IN MICROSOCIOLOGY

 

…O be some other name!
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet….

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

 

Sometime in 1956, a Canadian-born, Erving Goffman, wrote a book that turned out to be a landmark in modern sociology.

The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, as it was entitled, was Goffman’s study in – to cut the long story short – human interaction as a performing arts discipline.

One morning, a whole lot of years later, Goffman’s concept woke up, and found itself naked in a TV studio, where everyone was calling it Reality, although it felt more like Porn.

It soon realized times were hard since its contract made it tour Eastern Europe, with multiple gigs in the Balkans. Life was tough.

And so we met.

Just about that time, Skroz started to question if a performing arts event can consist purely of human interaction, with no script, no plan, no logo and most definitely no opening song.

You know: what if there was just a set of tasks? And two people trying to create their own bubble in the midst of a community. Like, in life? But with no biographical porn?

Right.

Life, the bastard that it is, in the meantime started to pack social networks too.

So, here we are.

Trying to give it a go.

 

RISK

 

…every entity shall be identical to itself…
…a misdemeanor fine of up to one-tenth of a cent would be imposed on aynone or anything caught being unidentcal to itself within city limits…

Jonathon Keats, Berkly Law of Identity proposition

 

@BetaSkroz is a derivation of the research in performance risk maximization – for the performers, authors and audience alike – which we started back in 2009.

Croatian National Ballet’s Prima Ballerina, Edina Pličanić and publicist / musician Ante Perković, risked by trying out a completely new performing discipline, and together we created a set of tasks as a starting point of the future performance. However, which of them, how, in what order and by whom will be carried out – is decided by dice – during the performance itself.

The creation of a private world, as the only reliable stronghold within the public space of the performance, actually forms the show in accordance with Tim Etchells’ thesis that what draws us into a performance is – the performers’ investment.[1]

During the second part of the research, we further increased the risks involved by keeping the performance venue a secret, for both the performers and the audience. The actual location – a jazz bar, cinema lobby, gallery and such – was revealed just 2 hours prior to a show. In 2010. the project was selected for the Dubrovnik section of the Perforations festival.

The research of all of the abovementioned risks, in @BetaSkroz gets extended to a simultaneous performance of both digital and ‘analog’ identities of everyone involved – authors, performers and audience alike.

 

CONTEXT


Public surveillance violates a right to privacy  because it violates contextual integrity as such, it constitutes injustice and even tyranny.

Helen Nissenbaum: Privacy as Contextual Integrity
Washington Law Review, VOL 79, No 1, 2004


In order to experience the performance, the audience must (in advance), choose ‘the consummation’ context:

–          the auditorium in an apartment without the ‘protection of the fourth wall’

–          the original Twitter interface, where the performance will be introduced into their previously exiting timeline

–          the performance interface, whose timeline is made up entirely out of other spectators and two performers

–          the smart phone, while ‘on the go’ in real life

–          a gallery space where the performance will be transmitted over the abovementioned interface but within the
documentation of the previous performance of the same piece

The performance itself as well as all of audience’s feedback is than documented in order to examine weather Erving Goffman’s[2] rules of performative identities microsociology apply equally to a digital as they do to a physical world? How can those two identities co-exists in what Nissenbaum[3] calls contextual integrity? And last but not least – can all that be examined by a live performing arts event?

 

[1] ‘investment (is) the line of connection between performer and their text or their task. When it works it is private, and often on the very edge of words. Like all the best performance it is before us, but not for us. (…) investment draws us in. Something is happening – real and therefore risked – something slips across from the private world to the public one – and the performers are ‘left open’ or ‘left exposed‘.

[Tim Etchells, On Risk and Investment, Certain Fragments, Routledge, 1999.],

[2] Presentation of self in everyday life, Anchor Books,1959.

[3] Nissenbaum, H, Privacy as contextual integrity. Washington Law Review, 2004