Rum for Deltagelse - om det iscenesatte møde i teater- og performancekunsten

Anne Mette Nørskov

Studenteropgave: Speciale


Abstract The main focus of the thesis is the exploration of the physical meeting between the spectators and theater/performance art. Originally this meeting was considered engaging, unpredictable and participant oriented, but in later years the theatrical arts have begun orienting themselves towards new, interactive and relational strategies, thus increasingly focusing on the role of the viewer as participant and contributor to the work of art. The involvement of the specta-tors as co-players is commonly summed up by the buzzword interactivity, which in the recent years has become an unavoidable theoretical topic. In the thesis, the concept of participation and the spectator is developed by describing and analyzing three current works of performance art. Discussing themes such as the manifestation of the meeting in time and space, engaging strategies of an aesthetic and content related matter, sender intentions and recipient reactions (empirical research of qualitative nature), the thesis nuances the concept of participation, which has always held a key position in expounding the ’liveness’ and spectator engagement of performance art. Following in the footsteps of the performance aesthetics of Erika Fischer-Lichte, the thesis puts forward a critique of the traditional sender-receiver paradigm and of the concept of the spectators as passive recipients. Within the performance aesthetics, the simultaneous presence of spectators and performers and the near-communicative relationship is considered decisive to the description and analysis of the here-and-now situation of the theatrical performance. Since it can be difficult to make the sometimes abstract and elusive concepts of theater theory operational, the thesis also draws on interactive theory and role play theory. By including these theories, an operational platform is established for analyzing and clarifying the different forms of participation in the performances. The thesis thus presents a revised definition of the concept of participation, relating it to three different levels: a discreet level, a physical/emotional level and an interactive level. It is furthermore concluded that the performances by spurring the participation of the spectators, enables three different modes of change in the form of "self-reflection/self-actualization," "social reflection" and "reflection on art discourse." In addition, the thesis concludes that a number of recurring strategies of an aesthetic and substantive nature helps to engage the audience in the meeting. Particularly central to this discussion are the concepts of intimacy, authenticity, sensual and emotional communication.

UddannelserPerformance-design, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato29 maj 2012
VejledereAnja Mølle Lindelof


  • Participation
  • Theater
  • Performance Art
  • spectator
  • Interactivity