#CdnCult Volume 7, Edition 6: DIGITAL PERFORMANCE

#CdnCult Volume 7, Edition 6: DIGITAL PERFORMANCE


Last month, Elon Musk (whose current projects include Hyperloop trains, Tesla electric cars, and Space X missions to Mars) stated it was more likely than not that humans are living in a computer simulation. The argument is that humans are either going to go extinct, or will survive. And if we survive, given advances in virtual reality, the expansion of processing speeds and digital storage, and our taste for simulation games, we must be in a simulation now.

That’s a lot of givens.

Musk’s argument, and the cascade of responses from tech industry heads, speaks to the ongoing love affair humanity has with technology and the possibilities that technology create.

At SpiderWebShow, we are, obviously, head over heels. We are in deep.

In this edition of #CdnCult, SpiderWebShow Co-Creators Sarah Garton Stanley and Michael Wheeler discuss with dramaturg Alison Bowie and technologist Joel Adria the first test of #CdnStudio – our online rehearsal hall designed to connect artists in different cities within one creative space. Choreographer Natalie Gan discusses her relationship to technology, decolonizing practice and the body. And Adrienne Wong examines the performative aspects of the latest digital sensation, Pokémon GO.

What is performance in the digital age? Probably a lot different from what it was even 10 years ago. Would theatre-goers from the world before the use of electric light recognize the form that is pervasive now from 50-seat black box houses to proscenium arch theatre for the multitudes? Probably – but it would be much different than anything they had seen before.



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About the Authors


Michael is Artistic Director of SpiderWebShow, which he co-created with Creative Catalyst Sarah Garton Stanley. He was previously Executive Director and Transformation Designer of Generator, where he led the transition from a fee-for-service model named STAF, to the current capacity-building model it operates on.
Since 2003, he has run Toronto-based Praxis Theatre, with which he has directed 14 plays and curated several festivals while writing for and running performance-based websites. He teaches regularly at The National Theatre School and Queen’s University, where SpiderWebShow is currently in residence.


I am a theatre artist who creates work outside of theatres. My works include LANDLINE with Dustin Harvey, Me On The Map with Jan Derbyshire, and an experimental (to me) new play to be performed inside a theatre – thanks to PTC’s Associates program. Formerly Artistic Producer of Neworld Theatre, I’m settling into my new role as Associate Artist.