Intermediality Performance and Mediology of Theater Testing Sustainability
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In the complex network of phenomena and practices related to the use and dissemination of digital media within the scenic and performative device that takes the name of intermediality performance, the issue of environmental sustainability is certainly central. In the performing arts, a particular sustainability model is negotiated and staged. First of all, just the particular conformation of the scenic medium that, since the advent of the cultural industry, becomes a space in which to think about technological obsolescence, and therefore about the sustainability of digital technologies, allows a close reflection on the themes of technology and environmental sustainability. Precisely for this reason, theater can be considered a sort of medium zombie, that is, as an obsolescent medium that continues its existence in the mediascape in different forms and continually reinvents itself, thus producing a sort of resistance to obsolescence itself in the name of a new model of sustainability. The theatrical show Black Clouds (2016) of the Belgian company Cie Artara, directed by Fabrice Murgia, is emblematic in this regard. The show focuses on the dark side of digital technology, in fact, it is set in a landfill where digital devices end up, which is populated by a guiding spirit that shows their decay, the difficulty of reuse and the substantial transformation into toxic waste. Black clouds shows the difficulty of producing a thought of sustainability through digital media where, in a materialistic perspective, they always turn out to be waste. But if on the one hand theater unmasks the flip side of digital media and their ambivalent relationship with the notion of sustainability (think, for example, of the often dramatic results of the production of our digital devices in Asia and Africa), on the other Contemporary intermediality performances produce new models of sustainability both on the technological level and on that of the shared imagination. In this regard, another paradigmatic show is interesting: Fra’ Diavolo (2017) directed by Giorgio Barberio Corsetti for which the entire scenography was produced by the WASP company with special 3D printers loaded with a corn paste, so that it can be re-compacted and reused once it has stopped being useful. The peculiarity of the scenography produced by WASP is that it is at the center of a dialectic between sustainability of materials and the lack of sustainability of the production process, showing how in reality, behind a thought of sustainability there is always a dark side made of garbage and waste. Finally, within the production of contemporary digital performances and online performances, it is possible to isolate notions and practices of sustainability whose foundation is the production of political performance with digital media coming out of the scenic space to invade the urban space. Thus producing pockets of awareness and social resistance.
keywordsSustainability performance; ecology of performance; obsolescence; zombie media; Murgia; Barberio Corsetti.
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