Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Marcos Steuernagel

Second Advisor

Sarah Bay-Cheng

Third Advisor

Amma Kootin

Fourth Advisor

Oliver Gerland

Fifth Advisor

Beth Osnes

Abstract

The project offers an analytical lens for use when studying the operations and aesthetics of contemporary spectatorship. This lens is informed by the ecological and relational methodology found in critical posthumanism and is useful when considering the relationships between spectatorship, contemporary performance, and digital media/technology under paradigms of deep mediatization. The form of spectatorship considered involves active participation and relational exchange between event and individual. The project argues for an interdisciplinary model for looking at the influence of digital technologies on the subjective condition of human beings who perform the role of spectator in various performative events. As a perpetually evolving form of embodied performativity, posthuman spectatorship develops at the convergence of media environments, communications technologies, and narratives and performance events and is conditioned by contemporary politics and ethics. Due to the deeply interactive nature of contemporary technologies, posthuman spectators become evolve to perform as co-producers of their own daily realities through their deeply enmeshed relationship with media and mediatization opening-up radical new opportunities for political and ethical response, activism, and world building. The foundation for a posthuman model of spectatorship extends the analytical scope beyond unidirectional modes of reception to encompass a multitude of relational activities undertaken by contemporary spectators.

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