Is There No There There? Video Conferencing Software as a Performance Medium

Gresham-Lancaster, Scot

Résumé : This paper surveys past performances in which the author collaborated with several other dancers, musicians, and media artists to present synchronized co-located performances at two or more sites. This work grew out of the author's participation in the landmark computer music ensemble, “The HUB”. Each of the various performances was made possible by an evolving array of video conferencing hardware and software. These will be discussed. The problems and interesting side effects presented by latency and dropouts are a unique part of this performance practice. Leveraging the concepts of shared space, video and audio feedback generates evolving forms created by the combinations of the space, the sounds and the movements of the participants. The ubiquity of broadband Internet connections and the integration and constant improvement of video conferencing software in modern operating systems makes this unique mode of performance an essential area of research and development in new media performance.