21 August 2010

Naked Came I/Eye: Lights, Camera and the Ultimate Spectacle

Peter Sparling - Naked Came I/Eye: Lights, Camera and the Ultimate Spectacle image

I recently presented this paper the annual Society of Dance History Scholars conference at University of Surrey in Guildford, England. This year's theme was "Dance and Spectacle". 
My presentation was one of the few by a working artist about his own work. My challenges: How do I look back upon my own work and place it under various theoretical lenses? Can I somehow attain the objective distance to give it context, and evaluate it as embodying attributes worthy of scholarly investigation? Am I breaking the rules by addressing my audience from a first-person perspective? How can the subject of my video work function not as illustration or example of theory but remain the primary source? I was able to stream an ongoing video sequence of examples of my screendance work throughout my talk, which demanded of my distinguished audience a unique kind of attentiveness.

Download paper.