Recording the ephemeral

Added by Stephane Goldstein on 12 September 2007 17:45

The RIN has had occasion to reflect on the nature and usefulness to researchers of information related to performance (in the performing arts and music), specifically the process of moving from conception to actual performance, for which little is actually recorded.  Rehearsal is a dynamic process, and how this is recorded and documented relates to a type of information which, by its nature, is ephemeral.

I prompted myself to raise this after reading an article by Iain Coleman in the most recent issue of NeSC News (see pages 4 and 5), entitled ‘Documenting the invisible’.  This reports on a conference held earlier in the summer in Edinburgh, and raises interesting points about the recording and preservation of a particular type of information - ranging from the capturing of motion during performance (with all the technology that this might imply) to the reactions and feelings of audiences. By heightening understanding of a range of art forms, such information, made available beyond the transient context of the performance, could well be of precious use for students and scholars.

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