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ln Lhls presenLauon l hope Lo lnLroduce and make a case for whaL l call llve

performance sampllng" as a example of re-rouung and re-lnvesugaung LheaLre and


performance. l wlll Louch upon a few aspecLs of Lhls process: Lhe lnuences, my
pracucal experlence and Lheoreucal undersLandlng, as well as Lhe fuLure poLenual of
sampllng for LheaLre when comblned wlLh Lhe varlous dlglLal and Lechnologlcal Lools
aL our dlsposal.

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1he lnuence for Lhls sampllng process sLarL wlLh ArL. AL Lhe laLer sLage of hls career,
Cerman arL hlsLorlan Aby Warburg was worklng on a pro[ecL LhaL he called Lhe
Mnemosyne ALlas. 8eLween 1924 and 1929, on large panels covered wlLh black
canvas, Warburg placed lmages of dlerenL orlglns: malnly arL reproducuons,
adverusemenLs, newspaper cllpplngs, maps, and personal phoLographs. Pe kepL re-
arranglng Lhe lmages on Lhe black cloLh panels, focuslng on Lhe space beLween Lhe
lmages, Lhe lnLervals, as much as Lhe lmages Lhemselves. 1hough Lhe pro[ecL was
never compleLed, Warburg's lnLenuon, wlLh Lhe placemenL of lmages on Lhe panels,
was Lwo fold:


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Lach panel of Mnemosyne ls Lhe carLographlc rellef of an area of arL hlsLory lmaglned
slmulLaneously as an ob[ecuve sequence and as a chaln of LhoughL ln whlch Lhe
neLwork of Lhe lnLervals lndlcaLes Lhe faulL llnes LhaL dlsLrlbuLe or organlze Lhe
represenLauons lnLo archlpelagoes or ... lnLo "consLellauons" (Mlchaud, 2004:234).

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1hese consLellauons can be loosely descrlbed as Lhemes, ln whlch Lhe vlewer creaLes
Lhelr own narrauve beLween Lhe lmages. 1he lmages ln Lhe ALlas geL acuvaLed"
when seen as lnLerconnecuons wlLhln such consLellauons", Lherefore ndlng Lhelr
slgnlcance only ln Lhe sequence wlLh oLher lmages and Lhe lnLervals as arranged on
Lhe panels.
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A muslcal example of an analogous sampllng process puL forward by Cary Wolfe, ls
Lhe 1981 audlo record album made by 8rlan Lno and uavld 8yrne - My Llfe ln Lhe
8ush of ChosLs, whlch relled heavlly on found recordlngs and used Lhem as vocal
Lracks" (Wolfe, 2010:283). lndeed Lhe vocal recordlngs of Lhe songs on Lhe album
came from sources around Lhe world - Lhls Lrack conLalns exorclsm chanung from Lhe
SouLhern unlLed sLaLes. 1hese samples were Lhen layered on Lop of Lhe muslclans'
own samples of elecLronlc, funk and afro beaLs, leadlng Lo a record whlch seemed Lo
lssue slmulLaneously from boLh Lhe pasL and Lhe fuLure" (Wolfe, 2010:283). lndeed,
8yrne and Lno sLaLe LhaL Lhey had orlglnally fanLaslzed abouL maklng a serles of
recordlngs based on an lmaglnary culLure."
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WlLh Lhe pracucal and Lheoreucal underplnnlngs of Lhese works of sampllng ln mlnd,
my lnLeresL lay ln dlscoverlng a process appllcable Lo LheaLre. l looked aL comblnlng
samples of llve performance (movemenL, speech acLs, dlalogue, physlcal acuons) Lo
make a new performance, calllng Lhe nal pleces 8rlcolage. 1he purpose was Lo noL
only consLrucL a new narrauve ouL of blLs and pleces of older prevlously performed
LheaLrlcal pleces, buL Lo also arrange and place Lhese samples ln dlalogue and
[uxLaposluon wlLh anoLher Lo boLh creaLe Warburg's consLellauons as well as Lno's
and 8yrne's lmaglnary culLure"
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My rsL auempL aL generaung a narrauve ouL of sampllng was Lo use dlglLal records
of shows LhaL l had elLher worked on and lmed. Among Lhe fooLage LhaL l had
lmed, of a few performances ln Cape1own beLween 2010 and 2011, l had ldenued
a blL of a Lheme developlng whlch ldenued lLself as losL love". l had Lhen sLarLed
edlung Lhe Lrack of samples by selecung blLs LhaL LhaL capLured Lhls Lheme and Lhen
used a sample from a cabareL as Lhe cenLral Lhrough-llne Lo hold all Lhe samples.
1here are over 3 producuons sampled ln Lhls dlglLal brlcolage, sampled vlsually and
aurally, lncludlng llve vldeo and audlo recordlngs, as well as pro[ecuons used for a
show.

8lchard Wagner SocleLy - 1he llylng uuLchman
Amy !ephLa - ornography
l1P:k - Cuack! and Wombude
MagneL 1heaLre - lnxeba Lomphlllsl
Codfrey !ohnson - 1he Shadow of 8rel
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Aer Lhe LesL wlLh dlglLal blLs of performance, Lhe nexL sLep was worklng wlLh acLual
llve performers and Lhelr performance samples on a rehearsal oor. 1he key Lo Lhls
procedure ls LhaL Lhe performers could only exLracL and re-perform llve
performances LhaL Lhey had already rehearsed and performed for a producuon ln
fronL of an audlence. lor me LhaL was one of Lhe aspecLs LhaL made Lhls klnd of
process unlque, LhaL performers were uslng only whaL Lhey had acLed before and
playlng lL ln response Lo a dlerenL conLexL, dlerenL sumull - oLher performer's
samples and performance hlsLory. Lveryone was asked Lo re-rouLe Lhelr lmpulses and
responses and re-perform from Lhelr performance archlve, whlch ls slmllar Lo Mlke
earson's work where he ldenues acLors as llvlng archlves:

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As Lhe person wlLh Lhe ldea for Lhls experlmenL, l had developed an ouLllne of Lhe
procedure and of Lhls process l had lnvesugaLed a few dlerenL approaches, varylng
Lhe amounL of selecuon and narrauve conLrol. LxperlmenLs ranged from slmply
openlng up a space for acLors Lo sample" o of each oLher wlLh a slmple sLarung
polnL, Lo Lhe oLher exLreme of carefully selecung speclc samples ln [uxLaposluon Lo
one anoLher wlLh Lhe alm of consLrucung a new dramaLurglcal placemenL ln space
and ume uslng only samples. 1he re-rouung and re-performlng happened Lhrough
Lhe varlous meLhods of sampllng and from a performer's polnL of vlew, Lhls process
became a very experlmenLal and slmulaung space Lo re-explore Lhelr performance
hlsLory.


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now l was approachlng Lhls from dlrecLor's perspecuve, responslble for some klnd of
dramaLurglcal paLhway ln Lhls maze of lmpulses and sampled acuon, ln Lhe process l
nouced LhaL Lhe boLh Lhe performers and myself were uslng Lhe word lmage qulLe a
loL when dlscusslng whaL Lo lnclude ln Lhe bulldlng and nal performance of Lhese
brlcolages. We responded, preferred, and kepL commenung on Lhe lmages ln Lhe
proces. 1hls led me Lo quesuon:
WhaL do we mean by lmage ln Lhe LheaLrlcal conLexL? ls lL a plcLure of whaL happens
on sLage? ls lL a frozen lmage? uoes lL lnclude sound? Pow long does lL lasL? ls lL a
feellng or an lmpulse? l wanLed Lo nd ouL whaL ls lL LhaL Lhls 1heaLrlcal lmage was
LhaL we were uslng Lo creaLe our 8rlcolage.

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1he 1heaLrlcal lmage, accordlng Lo Alan 8ead (1993:38), ls composed of Lwo slmple
maLerlal elemenLs - bodles ln acuon and speech aruculaLed ln places, and a
recepuve audlence for LhaL acuon and speech." Whlle Lhls sounds slmple enough,
Lhe lnLerplay beLween Lhe Lwo ls complex. 8ead (1993:38) rlghLly argues LhaL Lhe
lmage ln LheaLre ls consumed sllghLly dlerenLly Lhan from oLher arLs: 1hls
engagemenL has a meLaphyslcal aspecL ln LhaL Lhe lmage beLween Lhe performer and
Lhe audlence adds up Lo more Lhan Lhe sum of lLs varlous parLs".
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8uL all of Lhls makes Lhe 1heaLrlcal lmage so eluslve Lo capLure ouLslde of Lhe
momenL lL happens. As Lhe cumulauve eecL of Lhe lmages happens over ume ln a
play ls whaL makes LheaLre unlque as an arL form: 1hls meLaphyslcs of LheaLre ls
whaL ls noL seen, beyond Lhe mlnd's eye lL remalns unwrluen" (8ead, 1993:38). 1he
1heaLrlcal lmage, ls noL only vlsual buL ls negouaLed Lhrough all Lhe senses avallable
Lo Lhe performer and audlence member Lo access Lhe meLaphyslcal. Accordlng Lo
8ead (1993:66) lL ls a composlLe of Lhe vlsual, aural and nasal." We could also add ln
Lhere a Lemporal. As we can see Lhe lmage ls a 'complex phenomenon wlLh lLs own
convenuons and sysLems' LhaL 8ead (1993:63) hlmself sLaLes ls unanalyzed and
unwrluen due Lo Lhe uneasy relauons beLween Lhe percepLual and Lhe sensual,
ob[ecuvlLy and sub[ecuvlLy".
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WhaL lf we Look on a posLhuman approach Lo Lhe uneasy relauons wlLhln Lhe
LheaLrlcal lmage, ln order Lo allow for us Lo wrlLe and analyze lL. 1he posLhuman
condluon, rsL ralsed by lhab Passan ln Lhe laLe 70s, has a few assumpuons wlLhln lLs
manlfesL LhaL allows us Lo re-rouLe how we look aL performance. As expanded on by
n. kaLherlne Payles, Lhe posLhuman prlvlleges lnformauon above embodlmenL, whlle
also argulng for Lhe seamless lnLegrauon beLween human belngs and lnLelllgenL
machlnes.

Cne could argue LhaL cerLaln of our currenL global LheaLre ls already posLhuman, as
Lhe human lnLerfaces wlLh Lhe whole conLrol sysLem of a performance, whlch
lncludes llghLs, sound, eLc. 8y recognlzlng Lhe place of Lhe lmage as a secuon of Lhls
parucular lnLerface lL becomes easler Lo analyze.

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So whaL lf we LranslaLed Lhe 1heaLrlcal lmage lnLo an ob[ecL, as an ob[ecL LhaL
conLalns lnformauon. An ob[ecL LhaL has percepLual, sensual, ob[ecuve and
sub[ecuve componenLs lncluded. We accepL LhaL we can'L fully capLure Lhe sum of lL
and lLs meLaphyslcal aecL, buL we can capLure Lhe lnformauon of many of lLs
lndlvldual properues ln order Lo lnvesugaLe. ln Lhe posLhuman vlew where human
ldenuLy ls sLrucLured ouL of sequences of lnformauon raLher Lhan an embodled
acuon, and so we LreaL acLor as Lhe sum of hls or her pasL performances. lf we
capLure all Lhe lnformauon of our chosen lmages wlLhln a brlcolage, ln lLs many
dlerenL caLegorles, and Lhen comblne lL wlLh Lhe performance elemenL of
embodlmenL, a deeper analysls of Lhe lmage wlll be acuvaLed.

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So Lhe Lechnologlcal aspecL of my work conunues Lo Lhen Lackle Lhree sLrands wlLhln
Lhls convergence of sampllng and lmage. And Lhls ls where my research conunues.

1he rsL sLep would be Lhe capLurlng of Lhese lmages, wlLh all Lhls lnformauon,
maklng a plan for boLh Lhe organlzauon of Lhe lnpuL (Lhe caLegorles) as well as Lhe
varleLy of daLa lnpuLed from LexL, vldeo capLure, 3u modellng and even klneuc
expresslon. Aer Lhls, all of Lhls daLa would have Lo be organlzed lnLo some klnd of
neLwork, and for Lhls l propose a rhlzomauc model, whlch encourages unpredlcLable
buL Lraceable assoclauons beLween Lhe nodes, ln our case lmages. 1hls way we can
noL only keep Lrack of Lhe lmages, buL also Lhe dlsLance beLween Lhem. And lasLly, Lo
fully acuvaLe our analysls, we would need a hybrld lnLermedlal sLage whlch allows Lhe
performers Lo beuer lnLerface wlLh Lhe lmages.




ln auempung Lo capLure Lhe sensual as well as Lhe ob[ecuve and sub[ecuve
characLerlsucs of a 1heaLrlcal lmage, we would requlre a varleLy of Lechnologlcal
resources. 1he amounL of lnformauon abouL each of Lhese ls noL ln any way bound
anymore by our Lechnologlcal capablllues: we can Lake ln Lhe wrluen word as well as
we can archlve Lhe sound and vlsual quallues, even lncludlng 3u capLurlng. We can
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Why all of Lhls, Lhe long [ourney from sampllng Lo Lhe lmage Lo Lhe posLhuman. WlLh
hls work ln Lhe Mnemosyne ALlas, Warburg was presenung Lhe case for Lhe survlval
of AnuqulLy, lnvesugaung Lhe lnLervals beLween Lhe arL and Lhe echoes. My llfe ln Lhe
bush of ChosLs was confronung Lhe llsLener wlLh hls or her own nonknowledge ln Lhe
face of whaL 8yrne called Lhese 'Lransmlsslons from a desperaLe planeL' (ChosLs, llner
noLes 13) (Wolfe, 2010:297). Llve performance sampllng, a comblnauon of vlsual and
audlo amongsL oLher elemenLs, ls sLrlvlng for boLh, and ln Lhe process aruculaung Lhe
poeucs of Lhe 1heaLrlcal lmage.

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1hese poeucs ob[ecuve ls Lhe organlc mapplng of an aLlas of Lhe planeL LhaL houses
all Lhese lmages, as suggesLed by Splvak ln her proposal for Lhe concepL of Lhe
planeLary whlch:
sldes wlLh new, dlerenL, and dlverse planeLary orders of angles and gazes onLo Lhe
world and hence lL auempLs Lo lnLroduce an eplsLemologlcally lnLerculLural
perspecuve and approach Lo oLherness LhaL does noL exclude Lhe quesuon of
experlence buL raLher Lhoroughly lnduces lL as a parL of a posslble world wlLhln Lhe
planeLary condluon of Lhe whole.
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lor me Lhe planeLary ls Lhe rhlzomauc condluon of llfe and arL, as Lhe assoclauons,
[uxLaposluons and Lhe llmlnal space form a parL of mosL of our ecosysLems, Lhe
personal, Lhe academlc and Lhe arusuc. Llve erformance sampllng ls Lhe pracuce noL
only of Lelllng sLorles Lhrough 1heaLrlcal lmages, buL also of unearLhlng Lhem. 1he
reason for Lhe search and Lhe analysls of 1heaLrlcal lmages ls Lo begln Lo consLrucL an
ever expandlng and ever changlng ALlas of our performance hlsLory whlch we can
Lhen use Lo source and assemble Lhose sLorles.

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