“a CanvasUnBound” performed at The Drake Performing and Events Center

a CanvasUnBound‘s” live performance was projected on the fly loft of The Drake Performing and Events Center before the DigiEye Film Festival in Spring 2021 for an outside audience.

As I performed about 400 feet from the projection of the filmed rendering of the work, this performance was an exercise in the question, “What is live performance?” This question keeps coming back up. The idea of live performers in one room being projected into another room is not brand-new, but as a greater population has now learned with Covid, there is something extra when you know the performance is live.

In Paul Sermon’s Telematic Dreaming (1992) the public was encouraged to get onto the empty bed and interact with the projection of a performer’s representation in another room. The successful results created intense, intimate improvisational tableaus of touch and consent. The element of interaction is something that wasn’t possible between the audience and my live rendering, so who knows if they knew the performance was live. It’s kind of like a tree falling in the forest I suppose. As I interacted with the interactive system of “a CanvasUnBound,” my live performance was newly witnessed by a few passersby, but the recorded version of my live self was billed as the “performance.” Without an interactive element such as Sermon’s in Telematic Dreaming, perhaps this version of “a Canvas UnBound” should be considered more a performance of live documentation?