I don’t have a ton to say tonight, but I’m very excited to say that I’ve started a new round of interviewing. I’ve decided to focus this next round of research on the role of social media, particularly Kickstarter/USA Projects and the like, and Google+/YouTube. Like in my earlier work, I’m most concerned with the role these technologies are playing in how performers connect with audiences and create performances. Also like in my earlier work, I’m as interested in interviewing and exploring the role of technological mediators (engineers/site designers/podcasters and so on) as well as individual performers.
I’ve been following the work of two performers as they start their professional careers (no names yet – I need to get their blessings before I start giving details in my blog!) who are engaging with both these approaches to performance and audience generation. For those of you who know me personally, you also won’t be shocked that I was an early adopter of Google+ with my first official post on July 1, 2011. A number of us saw early on that Hangouts had great potential as a performing venue, but the connections between Hangouts and YouTube has really accelerated the development of that potential. I’ve seen the integration of Hangouts as a mechanism for promoting live shows, helping audiences come together around performances they can’t, themselves, see live (but can listen to on internet radio – linked to a G+ post!).
I’ve also watched over the past year as a series of recording projects have come together through crowdsourcing sites like Kickstarter and USA Projects. It’s been both wonderful and fascinating. It’s great to see performers whose work I respect get the acknowledgement in really practical ways to get their work recorded and sent out into the world. One artist, who I will start interviewing as soon as she and I can set the times! has really seen things snowball.
That’s all I really have to say tonight. I’m putting together a conference paper proposal to talk about this next spring. As usual, I’m probably being too optimistic that I can talk about more than the skinniest slice of this in 20 minutes but even that will be fun. I haven’t been this excited since I started going into the recording studio in 2002!
Until next time, folks. I’ll try to come back and debrief here next week.