Dasein and Electronic Media Technology : Temporality, Theatricality, Contextuality

A duo formed specially for the occasion, Sébastien Pesot and Danye Brochu gave an performance entitled messageries. Divided into three acts, the work presents a woman sitting before a videographic mirror, trying her best to communicate via a telephone and other devices (voice mailbox, automated menus). The performance hinges on a phrase that recurs as a leitmotif: “Don’t say anything, you saw nothing and that’s the end of it.” The first act has a decidedly theatrical feel. The work of Brochu (whose path has been primarily theatrical) evokes that of an actress, and even more than her actions, gestures or on-stage presence, it is her dramatic performance that gives the first act its tone. In the second act, the media technology highlights the tensions between the presence of Brochu in real time and space and that, simulated, of the video image. From the moment that the images of Brochu in the mirror lose their real time and assume that of a digital simulacrum (accelerations, inversions, etc.), the concreteness of the actress’s body and her real and immediate presence in space and time are contaminated by the abstract and distorted digital images. Two temporalities thus co-exist: a direct presence governing the images in the mirror and reacting to them, and a pre-recorded and simulated presence interfering with the real unfolding of events. The body becomes a little less real, relegated to the status of raw material submitted to the all-powerful digital manipulations. The resulting tensions between presence and real time on the one hand and mediatized time on the other accurately reflect certain paradigmatic transformations of our era. Our relationship to the body, space and time has been profoundly transformed by digital technologies, and the foundations of what once represented a full sensory experience and the continuity of real time are being inexorably eroded…

Texte : Eric desmarais, espace [im] média 2009