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More than Fifteen Minutes of Fame

The Changing Face of Screen Performance


Ken Miller

More than Fifteen Minutes of Fame tracks screen performance’s trajectory from dominant discourses of realism and authenticity towards increasingly acute degrees of self-referentiality and self-reflexivity. Exploring the symbiotic relationship between changing forms of onscreen representation and our shifting status as social subjects, the book provides an original perspective through international examples from cinema, experimental production, documentary, television, and the burgeoning landscape of online screen performance. In an emerging culture of participatory media, the creation of a screen-based presence for our own performances of identity has become a currency through which we validate ourselves as subjects of the contemporary, hyper-mediatized world. In this post-dramatic, post-Warhol climate, the author’s contention is that we are becoming increasingly wedded to screen media – not just as consumers but as producers and performers.


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CHAPTER SEVEN: Cyberspace as Screen Performance Space 253


253 CHAPTER SEVEN Cyberspace as Screen Performance Space While television has been (and in some respects remains) the most pervasive media influence on our lives, it is clear that online media is rapidly encroaching upon this position of centrality. Perhaps more to the point, by way of the ‘convergence’ that now increasingly consti- tutes our media landscape, sounds, images, and screen performances which are recorded as digital information are treated as pieces of me- dia that can be transferred seamlessly between various channels of storage and dissemination such as computers, personal media devices, and cloud-based digital servers.1 Much has been written in both posi- tive and negative terms about the potentialities and implications of our increasing connection to, and reliance upon, online experiences. It is not within the scope of this final chapter to rehearse all of these argu- ments, claims and counter-claims. However, in terms of our central focus on the way that we engage with screen-based performances, there can be little doubt that the interconnectivity and interactivity of the Internet, along with the ever-improving ability to store and/or circulate high-resolution images is significant. And in this context, it is important to consider whether such changes might have an effect on the way that we understand ourselves as subjects, and the way that we relate (and perform ourselves) to others and to the world at large. Throughout this book we have been exploring how contemporary subjects appear to place ever more emphasis and reliance upon a mul- tiplicity of...

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