Burning Questions: Tech in Performance: The Great Leveller or The Great Unequaliser?

Using technology in performance isn’t new, but COVID-19 has forced more artists to explore the digital medium, dealing with lag, latency and liveness while rethinking audience engagement and accessibility. Are we witnessing a new renaissance in the performing arts or an undoing? Is digitalisation just a boogeyman in place of a more difficult conversation? Join speakers Madeleine Flynn (Australia), Elizabeth Kow (Singapore) and Brandon Tay (Singapore) in exploring these issues. This panel is moderated by Felipe Cervera.


About Burning Questions
In a matter of just months, the making, distribution and audiences’ experience of arts has undergone rapid changes. From abrupt cancellations of major festivals, to shuttering of galleries and theatres, new online avenues emerged to make and share arts.

At the same time, COVID-19 has exposed the extreme precarity of the arts sector. As arts workers face a real existential threat, it is society at large that will be impoverished if artists can no longer make and present their work. Now more than ever, we need artists to challenge assumptions and imagine new futures.

This series of four talks, organised by ArtsEquator, attempts to ask some big questions. Being in the middle of an unpredictable global crisis precludes easy answers. Burning Questions offers a space for regional voices to dialogue and discuss some of the unasked questions facing the arts community.


Madeleine Flynn

Madeleine Flynn is an Australian artist who creates unexpected situations for listening. Her work is presented and awarded widely, recently including Setouchi Triennale, Japan: Theater Der Welt, Germany: Brighton Festival UK: Sonica Festival Glasgow: Asian Arts Theater, Gwangju: AsiaTopa, Melbourne: Perth Festival Australia: MONA FOMA Australia: and ANTI Festival Finland.

Brandon Tay
Brandon Tay is a media artist based in Singapore who explores the uncanny and the sublime through a mediated lens. His practice spans the moving image, mediated sculpture,and audiovisual performance with a background in film and animation informing his multi-faceted approach. His work has been shown in the National Museum Singapore and the Singapore Art Museum. As an audiovisual performer, he has worked with the Singapore International Festival of the Arts, and the M1 Fringe Festival,Dans Festival Singapore & Kyoto Dance Experiment among others.

Elizabeth Kow
Elizabeth is the Artistic Director of th_R_abts, a site-specific performance company whose work aims to position sites and spaces as the focal point of a performance. Meanwhile, she also works as a producer on various projects in video production, live events, and performances. In between all this she creates performances as a solo Live Artist, recently performing Method Hominid at the Substation gallery in April 2019. She believes that art is an important means for society to find time and space to reflect on and explore the intersection of human identities, environments, and cultures, and unravelling their interconnectedness through artistic experiences.


Felipe Cervera
Felipe Cervera is a Lecturer in Theatre at LASALLE College of the Arts (Singapore) and Graduate Faculty at the Centre for Drama, Theatre, & Performance Studies of the University of Toronto. His research interests are collaborative academia (teaching and research), and in the interplays between performance, science, and technology. He serves as associate editor and co-editor of the international peer-reviewed journal Performance Research and Global Performance Studies, respectively. More info at www.felipecervera.me

Burning Questions by ArtsEquator is supported by Splice Lights On, with Livestream supported by HowlRound TV. Watch the archive recording of the other panels here.

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