Understandings of digital performance have radically shifted in the past 18 months as theatre and performance makers have moved in-progress and previous work into online spaces or created new pieces that can be presented via digital means to distanced audiences. While many Canadian artists were already exploring digital spaces and using digital tools in their work, there has been a marked increase in digital performance nationally with the creation of numerous podplays, audio walks and augmented reality experiences. At the same time, there has been an upsurge in online organizing and digital activism in 2020-21. This new working group aims to take advantage of the current moment to probe the relationship between theatre, performance and the digital. We will consider the possibilities that emerge when performance engages with digital tools and spaces, but also the challenges and limitations that occur, particularly in light of biases built into programming, increases in dataveillance, the corporate platformatization of digital public spaces, and the abundance of misinformation that spreads through digital means.
We are seeking members to join the first year of this three-year working group. This year our focus will be on creating a network of artists and researchers with a shared vocabulary. Pre- conference, we will develop a shared reading list and co-create an annotated bibliography online, with an attention to citational politics. At the 2022 CATR conference, we will have a synchronous, online session open to the public. Working group participants will be invited to present either a short digital performance experiment or short provocation on a topic of their choosing (5 minutes max). Each presenter will ask a series of questions for the group to consider in relation to their performance or provocation.