Zeta Kolokythopoulou

Interweaving performance with its recording in real-time… and then what?

Zeta Kolokythopoulou

South Bank University


What the pervasiveness of digital technologies has enabled, is the creation and viewing of files as a way of establishing our presence within digital and physical settings, of interacting with others, and of structuring our relationship with the world (Giannachi, 2016). Yet, as digital technologies extend their tentacles in the experience of the everyday, they additionally become tools in performance making and dissemination engendering a proliferation of pieces that set interactivity as a core dramaturgical element; pieces that turn viewers to participants who actively engage with the work and often with each. Digitally capturing participants’ individual trajectories and translating them into instantly accessible archival entries causes the mutual contamination of performance with its documentation and compels participants to be considered as co-documenters of the live. It challenges, therefore, current concepts and models of performance reminiscing.

Looking at Flatland (by Extant) an immersive performance in the dark during which audition and tactility replaced vision while a machine mined information from participants’ analogue movements in the space and fed it back to them in the form of navigation cues, offers an opportunity to interrogate the potentials that digitally-born documents from participant’s experience might have for in the historiography of a piece and how they might assist in remembering the live when visual evidence is scarce. What becomes apparent despite the possibilities these files might have for archival and exhibition practices they are not necessarily accessible. This presentation will primarily focus on the key difficulties that digitally-born documents from and of the individual experience pose for performance researchers and curators. As this research process unravels questions relating to the ownership, recoverability, and existence of these files begin to surface pointing towards possible reasons why there is a tendency to distrust or disregard files created by the participants or audiences of a live event.


Zeta Kolokythopoulou is an interdisciplinary artist. She has previously studied Fine Arts and Drama in Greece and Culture Industry from Goldsmiths, University of London. Zeta is currently a PhD candidate in Performance Art at London South Bank University and active member of the Centre for the Study of the Networked Image while working as a Social Media Editor for the International Journal of Performance and Digital Media. Her research focuses on the impact of digitally-born documents from and of audience members’ experiences on concepts and practices of performance documentation.