Steering Audience Engagement During Audio-Visual Performance

Leon McCarthy

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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The aim of this research was to establish a new style of AV performance that facilitated me in knowingly steering audience engagement. My interest in steering engagement stems from the intent I have with my performances; an intent to encourage audiences into considered thought about the topics I bring to my shows. As practice-based research, a series of performances formed its basis, with each adapted toward establishing a new style. I introduced audience conversations to my performances, doing so in real-time by harnessing the audience's second-screens. In this way, their smartphones facilitated spontaneous collaboration between the audience and I; in turn this gave me a way to steer them toward thinking about the themes behind my performances. By then bringing this style of performance to the context of live debate, a new paradigm emerged; one that challenges the audience to participate in shaping the emergent audio-visual event. I had to develop the capacity to monitor audience engagement, first online with the `video-cued commentary' and then in real-time via two different `audience-commentary systems'. This may be of interest to anyone engaging in forms of audience analysis or viewer studies. How I developed second-screen systems may be of interest to designers of phone-network-based social-media commentary platforms. My effort toward simplifying how I generated audio-visual content and how I controlled it on-stage may make this research of interest to other digital-media performers and installation-designers.
Original languageEnglish
  • Gibson, Stephen, Supervisor
  • Salem Bernard, Ben, Supervisor
Publication statusIn preparation - Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


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