The making of postdigital experiential space: Punchdrunk Company 2011-2014

Westling, Carina E I (2017) The making of postdigital experiential space: Punchdrunk Company 2011-2014. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

This thesis presents my original contribution to knowledge, a combination of critical media and
performance theories to analyse the production and augmentation of postdigital experiential
spaces in Punchdrunk Theatre Company. Distributed agency is key to Punchdrunk’s work, with
makers within the company and audiences both being active participants in meaning-making,
across complex and detailed interfaces. In order to investigate the making cultures on ‘both
sides’ of the interface, I undertook a two-year participant study as a researching designer within
the company during the build of the productions The House Where Winter Lives and The
Drowned Man in 2011-2014, gathering field data in the form of extensive interviews with
members of the company and audience participants, supported by diary notations and
photographs. I studied the processes and methods that extend, distribute and regulate agency to
both audiences and makers within the company, and identified devices and features of the
interaction design of the company that produce the immanent subject-event relationships that
support immersion in their work.
A core aspect of this research concerns the relationship between immersion and the
sublime, and how subject-event relationships (immanent vs. transcendent) contribute to
engendering sublime interactive experiences. I have analysed the consequences of this for the
modelling of participation in interaction design, and how it influences conditions of possibility
within interactive systems across physical, digital and blended media. The conclusion of this
research includes the definition of a postdigital sublime, and proposes a delinquent system
aesthetic that integrates proxies for gravity through articulation of the ‘shadow side’ of
interaction design.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM0831 Social change > HM0836 Causes > HM0846 Technological innovations. Technology > HM0851 Information technology. Information society. Including the Internet as an instrument of social change, and including the digital divide
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater > PN2100 History > PN2131 By period > PN2181 Modern > PN2193 Special topics, A-Z > PN2193.E86 Experimental theatre
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2017 13:59
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2017 13:59
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/68360

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