Audience Survey

What motivates makers and viewers to participate in performance pieces?  How can subjective data and nonverbal knowledge/understanding be collected and analyzed via performance?


To gather information about the way contemporary “experimental” performance makers and audiences relate to “audience.” The information gathered will serve as a foundation for further hypothesizing and experimentation with spectacle as a form and function of contemporary experimental performance.

Core questions:

What is the relationship between the structure of the audience and the thematic content or direction of performance?

What is the relationship between locus of power and control to audience agency or freedom?

How can audiences retain individual agency and be present in a unified experience?

How free is audience participation? How often is audience participation an illusion of freedom within highly prescribed limits?

How often do strangers in audiences interact? What is the longevity of these connections?

It is my aim as a researcher to simultaneously explore what we consider valid or objective data. I am seeking ways of expanding our conception of usable data beyond the quantitive and linguistic. I am curious about what other modes of symbolic representation and interpretation may be made available. My aim in this pursuit is to develop a deeper understanding of alternate modes of communication which ineffably distinguish experience in order to explore the depth of power structures (constructions) surrounding cultural conceptions of “real knowledge” or “information.”

This session is the third in a series of opening explorations into areas of study and experimentation within performance I plan to develop further in 2015. These initial sessions will be held once a month until the end of 2014 with the following areas of focus: September – Spectacle, October – Narrative, November – Audience, December – Experiment. I welcome proposals for experiments to conduct or modes of collecting data in these sessions and am concurrently seeking interested parties to develop further experiments and research in the coming year.

This project currently has no aim to create a public performance, but ideas generated and developed through this research will be made public throughout the process on web platforms and through other indeterminate media. Any level of participation is greatly appreciated. Thank you.


This survey was introduced during the PRS NOVEMBER SESSION : AUDIENCE November 21, 2014 at the Great Room at South Oxford Space through the generosity of the TMT Institute Space Grant.

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