Critical concepts


In ordinary, online/nonline, daily life, there is a sense of travelling horizontally through a morphing live/nonlive, technologically expanded, information-scape to which we, as various forces, link: shaping, exchanging. Each link, node and contact affects us, but also produces affects far beyond what we see, understand or, necessarily, care about. This web we travel responds, gathers and feeds-forward our affects on it as—who-knows-what—linking, exchanging, gathering.

This extensive—only-partly-comprehensible—activity is organised, by us and/or other agents, through various techniques we can think of as vertical. Techniques holding and recording, archiving and notifying: storehouses built into the streaming of daily life that hold it somehow. Storehouses holding shaping as shapes. The streaming as observable and discrete event.

At the commencement of the performance one clock begins to count down, and one clock begins to count up. This long until it ends/ this long since it began. The clocks measure the duration of the performance we are here for: Chamber Made’s ‘Another Other’ (2017). Like a prisoner scratching a tally of days on the walls of her cell, they bring an overbearing sense of the performance-time’s relativity to something else. How is time being spent? They seem to ask. Are you sure you want to be doing this? They say: Look, you get to go back to your life soon! Or: Soon you will have to go back to whatever it is you are escaping.

Injecting perceptual static to a more usual style of performance-viewing: that sealed-off world, out of time. The clocks in Another Other are a technique inserted into shared experience⎯life happening. They do something. They frame, form and order experience somehow.

This relation, between the horizontal streaming of experience(s) and the vertical techniques that hold, shape and form, is a feature of the networked world we inhabit together. As much as online/nonline life streams, foams, glitters and swamps us, it is formed by holding techniques. Its excesses and its techniques, our own excesses and our techniques for managing this⎯life⎯combine in us. We, the makers of performance, citizen co-creators of this online/nonline, live/nonlive life.

Photo credit: Pier Carthew

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