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Live Art & Digital Cultures

Spring 2021

Collaborators

  • Abdriel Ramos, Student
  • Anna Christie, Student
  • Daniela Castro, Student
  • Guo Yu, Student
  • Jess Niazian, Student
  • Lily Myrick, Student
  • Lindsay Bertram, Student
  • Raven Goldston, Student
  • Tre Williams, Student
  • Alice Yuan Zhang, Collaborator
  • Andrea Paciotto, Collaborator
  • Billy Clark, Collaborator
  • Erik Ehn, Collaborator
  • Marcela Mancino, Collaborator
  • Nuntinee Tansrisakul, Collaborator
  • Tong Wu, Collaborator
  • Yuguang Zhang, Collaborator

Partner Organization

CultureHub

Department

Marlboro Institute for Liberal Arts & Interdisciplinary Studies + Business of Creative Enterprises

Contact

ioana_jucan@emerson.edu

What is liveness and what does it mean in the context of a highly mediated society? Can digital art and performance be used to comment on social issues? Is being “present” online the same as being present in a physical space? These are some of the questions tackled by the students in Live Art & Digital Cultures, a course taught by professor Ioana Jucan, which combines creative and critical thinking in order to explore different ways of “being present while at a distance.”

Digital Creativity

For several years now, artists and activists have relied on digital technology to create live art. This “marriage” between art and technology has become even more important under COVID-19, which has driven us deeper into our already committed relationships with the digital world. Having temporarily lost access to traditional live art and performance, we must reimagine them in a primarily digital landscape. We must also ask ourselves how digital technology may allow for intimacy and access and how it can amplify the possibilities of audience engagement. Fittingly, during the pandemic the classroom itself has become a virtual space. The students in this course have had a chance to experience some of these questions firsthand, learning how to collaborate remotely and be present while distant. They have performed short live exercises and have created their own live online experiences, which have included virtual art exhibits, theater readings, and a virtual movie night.

Cross-Cultural Partnership

The course partners with CultureHub, “a global art and technology community that was born out of decades of collaboration between La MaMa and the Seoul Institute of the Arts, Korea’s first contemporary performing arts school,” as described on their website. Students participated in guest lectures and workshops led by CultureHub-affiliated artists, creative technologists, and Billy Clark, the artistic director of CultureHub and Seoul Institute of the Arts professor. This partnership also involved a creative exchange with the “Telematic Performance Exchange” course at the Seoul Institute of the Arts. Due to time differences, the exchange was asynchronous. Students in both courses shared short videos introducing themselves in the present, as well as representations of their future selves without using spoken language in order to address the challenge of language barriers and push against the dominance of the English language, testing their creativity and challenging them to communicate in a nontraditional manner with an audience an ocean away. In addition, the students in both courses shared projects they created over the course of the semester in an online space that also hosted many collective resources.

Students in Live Art & Digital Cultures have also participated in CultureHub’s Local Report, a project in which young people from around the world show moments of their daily lives and environments in short, twenty-second videos “woven into an audiovisual tapestry that is presented as a durational livestream in Re-Fest and as a projected installation around the world.”


Student Projects

Primary image for Live Art & Digital Cultures thesis page.
Images Courtesy of CultureHub

Photographs by Jean Garcia, Theo Cote, Junee Woo, & Lívia Sá


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