Disrupting The Gaze: Transdisciplinary Reflections On Mobile Media And Theatre Production, Through Alma Mater (2011)
Alma Mater, by UK/Australian Theatre Company Fish & Game, was created in 2011 and continues to be performed in arts festivals around the world. Alma Mater – described as ‘filmic tour for one’ – fuses mobile high-definition video with high-fidelity original music to create a piece that sits between theatre, film and installation. Individual audience members enter a specially constructed, full-scale child’s bedroom to immerse themselves- via iPad- in the world of a little girl in this handheld, 21st century fairytale.
Theatre is a performed and visual practice, generating images through and with the body. Using ‘new media’, Alma Mater is a transdisicplinary performance and experience that generates an enhanced mobility (and disruption) of theatre practice and experience, interfering with ‘the gaze’ on multiple levels. Whereby, the participant and medium are in perpetual negotiation. Reflecting on this, the paper will demonstrate and discuss the processes of ‘transdisciplinary imaging’ through the lens of ‘broad-spectrum’ Performance Studies (and the ‘blurring of genres’), and spatial theory. A key consideration is that of embodied experience as an agent in the use of new media and in the making of theatre.