Fly on the Web: When Performance Goes On-line

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THE POWER of performance art—its ability to connect with you viscerally—is in the fact that it’s performed live. You the viewer may or may not commit to the performer on stage (or wherever), but when you do, there’s no hiding the effect. Indeed the reaction of the audience is intrinsically connected to the performance itself and informs the work’s effectiveness. But what if the performance went on with viewers who weren’t physically there but instead participated in real time in cyberspace? Would that still be considered live performance art? What happens to the connection between performer and audience when their interaction is mediated by cameras and monitors?

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