Spectatorship in an Age of Surveillance: A Symposium, September 22-23, 2016

“Spectatorship in an Age of Surveillance” will convene artists and scholars for a dialogue on questions of performance, surveillance, and privacy, to be held at Bard College on 22-23 September, 2016.

The advent of twenty-first century mass surveillance, from the creation of facial recognition software to the collection of personal data on social media and through telephone providers, has made a profound impact on contemporary social and political conceptions of spectatorship and privacy. Theater and performance artists and scholars—who engage with an art form built on the act of seeing and being seen—are particularly poised to explore new ways of thinking about these subjects. A growing number of contemporary performance works, as well as works of performance scholarship, investigate the connections between theater and surveillance in the context of the evolving relationship of performance to new media technologies and new media culture. This symposium will explore such questions through a combination of keynote lectures, dialogues, and panel discussions, integrating scholarship with discussion of artistic work in progress by invited participants.

This event is co-sponsored by the Bard Theater & Performance Program, Live Arts Bard, Experimental Humanities Program, and Film & Electronic Arts Program, with support from the American Society for Theatre Research.