PhD: Drama and Theatre Arts (practice-led through Dramaturgy)
(Provisional) Thesis Title: ‘The Algo Movement: Towards a ‘Political Digital Dramaturgy’
Algorithms are an increasingly important aspect of everyday life. They match us with potential partners through Internet dating sites; provide medical diagnoses; buy and sell stocks and shares through “automated trading”; and generate the “filter bubbles” that feed us with information which often confirm our opinions and political views.
Yet, despite the ubiquity of algorithms, people rarely perceive their presence or comprehend their function.
This practice-led PhD uses theatre practice and research to explore this new form of power “through the algorithm”, in contemporary society. Specifically, my research question can be stated as follows: How can my playwriting and dramaturgy expose and resist the power of algorithms?
The practice will be made up of a series of audio theatre in the form of 10 pod casts, to be listened to during everyday mundane activities (such as while commuting to work, cooking dinner or cleaning the house). Just like algorithms are a constant and often hidden presence in our everyday interactions, the one-act ‘play-pods’ will enter into mundane spaces, creating thoughts, reflections and provocations within and along side everyday choirs and commutes.
Autonomous in terms of story and characters, each act explores the themes of encrypted power and digital control, together creating a nightmare vision of a society dominated by computer code.
Supervisors and Institution(s): Dr Caroline Radcliffe, Dr Fraser Grace and Dr Elisabeth Tomlin, School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies,
Publications (please include full details with page nos. or web links):
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Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:
Reading of play text with director Eleanor Taylor and actors, at The National, London.
Public Showing at The Other Place, London – an evening of experimenting with text and reception, where a visual artist will create responses to the playtext and the audience will be invited to come and explore/discuss the project further.
Collaboration with Curve Theatre (rehearsal/recording), Leicester.