What are audiences for?


Publishers, games companies, broadcasters, performers and artists need audiences. Audiences as consumers function to provide a direct revenue stream: the bigger the audience the greater the income.

In the publishing and the academic arena large audiences (big classes, lots of readers, many citations) equate to recognition, esteem, success, and high “impact” in some measure.

Audiences feature in overall dissemination strategies. In the age of the Internet they provide a pool of potential investors in media enterprises. Consider the case of the singer-composer who makes her music available for free on YouTube, develops a fan base that she then solicits for support to bankroll a concert, for which she pre-sells tickets, and where she sells merchandise and CDs. This is social media crowd-funding via online self-help services such as Kickstarter.com.

AmphitheatreAudiences can be mobilised to grow themselves. They can also be enlisted to provide feedback, ideas and enhance product quality. Audiences also enhance, develop and spread the ethos of a brand.

Audiences form into communities, and communities within communities. Thinking of online forums for games and apps, audiences also trouble shoot and solve problems. Audience members help one another.

Audiences can contribute ideas, designs and media content, thereby contributing to overall product development. In online media such as YouTube, audiences (as consumers) and producers elide. We are in an age of what in 1980 Alvin Toffler called prosumerism.

Social media contribute to audience engagement, facilitating the creation of communities for social and commercial ends. There are many rich examples of innovation in the area, much led by the music business.

It is no longer helpful to think of audiences as passive spectators, if it ever was.

The word “audience” pertains to listening (audio). The word “theatre” is more about viewing (derived from theōria in ancient Greek). In Greek a theoros was a theatre-goer, a spectator, but scholars indicate that the theoros is also the one who leaves town to participate in rituals and festivals in another place and verify the claims made of them — not just by viewing festivals but by participation (Goldhill, 2000).

Each citizen becomes not merely a spectator but a participant in a ritual, festival occasion. (p.168)

The theoros is this kind of engaged witness (ushahidi), a sacred ambassador, and hence a participant in political life.

We can surmise therefore that participating and reporting back are crucial functions of theatre audiences. This participation does not necessarily mean getting up on the stage, but engaging with, talking about, sharing, judging and interpreting is a vital part of the theatrical event.

There’s an even more profound aspect to this reporting process. Theoria is “the idea of exploring the world through travel and informed looking” (p.168), and this is the term Plato uses to describe what we now mean by theorizing, ie accessing or establishing principles.

In his famous allegory of the cave Plato described how we are all living our lives like prisoners, bound up in the dim light of a cavern. Occasionally an adventurous soul emerges to the surface to experience the bright light of the external (real) world, and reports back to the cave dwellers. Typically this is the role of the philosopher, ie the theorist. He bears witness to the light. For Plato the bright external world is the true reality, the realm of ideas, of perfection, and ideal forms. The cave is the diminished copy-cat, imperfect and somewhat deceptive world of everyday sensory experience.

The grounding of theory-making in some kind of contingent, everyday participatory practice is great news for the philosophical Pragmatist (who basically argues against the idea that practice is subservient to and depends on something called “theory”).

The theoros, the theorist,  functions to report on a festival experience from his own first-hand engagement. This proposition suggests that theory is grounded in participation rather than the usual notion that theory is an abstraction, establishing the first principles needed before we get practical. What we commonly designate as theory is already a contingent practice.

So Plato recruits the audience function in his grand narrative of life — the function of philosophers, prophets and seers to bear witness to the truth.

What does this revised definition of theory (as engaged reportage) have to say about audiences in the age of the Internet? It’s nice to think of audiences as theorists. Audiences are the most theoros-like when they participate fully in the performance (if not on stage then as an engaged audience member), and then interacting with other audiences through retelling, reportage, and witness.

If we need audiences, whether they be big or small, may they be made up of theorisers (theoroi), ie engaged.


  • Goldhill, S., ‘Word and image in ancient Greece’, in N.K. Rutter and B. Sparkes (eds), Edinburgh Leventis Studies, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000, 161-182.
  • HEFCE, Research Excellence Framework impact pilot exercise: Findings of the expert panels, Bristol: Higher Education Funding Council, 2010.
  • Senseney, J., ‘The book as performance: Theater, written works, and textual repositories in ancient Greece’, International Journal of the Book, 7: 3, 2010, 83-91.
  • Snodgrass, A. and R. Coyne, Interpretation in Architecture: Design as a Way of Thinking, London: Routledge, 2006
  • Toffler, A., The Third Wave, New York: Morrow, 1980.

Moving Targets: Our collaborative project with Abertay University investigating new models for new media audiences in the creative media industries

Have you tried crowd funding?


  1. James says:

    How many people actually manage to kick-start a career in music this way – one that pays?

    1. I guess your question is rhetorical James. I too suspect not many. It is a “use” of an audience though. Like any success story, is there a hint, or a hope, for more modest achievement by the rest of us … or just frustration?

  2. “How many people actually manage to kick-start a career in music this way – one that pays?”

    I would guess less than 1 in a hundred will make minimum wage over a 3 year period after costs.

    Its a different world. “Engaging” used to mean scrumming up at the front of a gig and bouncing around like fools.
    New generations are too cool and precious about personal space for such matters.

    “Engaging” used to mean sewing patches on jeans, painting Iron Maiden scenes on jackets, fetishising the ritual of 12″ on vinyl. Now we are quarantined behind keyboards and have no idea what an MP3 smells like.

    “Engaging” used to mean your music collection was measured in feet, and was part of your living space.
    Now i have 75 days of tunes that i can sift by typing 4 or 5 letter into a search box.

    “Engaging” used to mean loyalty.
    Now bands come and go so fast there is always something new to shuffle to.

    If you want to make money from gambling, you buy a casino
    If you want to make money from prostitution, you become a madam
    if you want to make money from music, you make sure you can change with the fashions.

    Prove me wrong.
    I don’t want to be right.

    Play because you like playing. Its art.
    If others dig it – even better.

    Maybe, If you are exceptional – you will reap adulation and profits beyond measure.
    But that will be because you are the EXCEPTION.

    1. Sounds a bit like writing. Write because you like writing. It’s art. But then writing is a different kind of transferable skill to music. If you can write a short story then you can probably write a report. If you make music, can you also perform something similar in the office or the committee meeting?

  3. drmarkwright says:

    Perhaps there is a conceit in digital media that any one can.
    Talent is perhaps only the first barrier. True only the exceptional or the exceptionally lucky make it. We never saw the struggle before. The bedroom and garage practice. The endless pub gigs. There is now at least an illusion that we can see that vast ocean or aspiration. Anyone can create and publish but there is still a role for promotion. To get your head above the noise. It is no differt to any other consumer facing business or product in this regard. Many many people make a living hand to mouth freelancing or in small life style businesses. Bigger businesses brands acts require money investment strategy. Its a process of massive attrition failure and extinction. Perhaps the digital just shows us a process that was always there but magnifies and accelerates that process.

  4. The second part of your post is interesting – the audience for a performance is not unlike the audience for any other service or product, and the way we analyse the production, adoption and use of technological products is with a constructivist approach, where everyone has their own meanings for the product, a mix of ‘theoretical’ interpretation and more importantly, practice. And we know from this field there are a whole diversity of ways of engaging with the audience – with utter contempt, with extensive listening and networking, slavish pandering to needs, or selling out to an organistion that does it for you. A few get away with the first or the last, most listen to the applause to at least some degree.

  5. Ameko says:

    In social media audiences can participate themselves in by experiencing the process,making comments,giving feedbacks and exchaging opinions within the community.In that case the audiences can be described as thereos. However,when it comes to the political aspect, become thereos is not an easy thing.Especially for those one-party states, such as China. Spectator is more accurate and apt to describe the role audience play . Taking the Wenzhou High-speed train crash in China this year for example, the accident caused at least 40 death and 200 injuries (the data released by government is been considered unauthentic). Chinese Ministry of Railway’s reaction to the accident was disappionting and had caused strong suspicious and widespread anger among its people. On the social network such as RenRen, Weibo,Chinese netizens carried out heated discussion about the corruption of the officials. However, this participation and feedbacks doesn’t change any thing. The ministry was like a deaf, no matter how loud people shouted,it still got on its own way. This phenonmenon is not rare in China, so you can find the reason why Chinese people complain so much about their government. The problem lies in that they take their people as spectator, not thereos. If it can be turned around, the political environment will be more just and transparent.

  6. Ever since music became a completely intangible medium (from records, to cds, to mp3s) , there has been a decline of monetary profit for musicians and performers. Since almost everything can be found for free on the internet, an artist must find secondary means of gaining income (live concerts/merchandise/videos). At the same time, since there is such a huge influx of information coming in and out of everyones minds from the internet, there is an overload of information. On one hand, this will benefit an artist since it is much easier for them to be exposed to anyone in the public, on the other it is deterring for many because the standards for the artist to gain respect and a strong following are a lot higher.
    Yet, this argument can be seen on two different sides. As a musician and visual artist, I have been creating my whole life just for the love of it, as well as immersing myself in new and progressive styles of music and art. There are thousands of artists that are out today that create just to create; because they love it and they are talented. An example is an electronic musician named Teebs. I am pretty sure he is younger than I am, about 21 or 22. He has created more than 3 digital albums and released them all on the internet. They are easy to find for free, and you will also find videos of his music and interviews. Teebs is also a painter/ fine artist. He lives in California, which is another reason for his popularity. There is a theme here. Artists now need to constantly export. Export everything they create, promote themselves, be at the right place at the right time, in order to meet the right people at the right time. Of course being talented is the main key, but being social is a big part to recognition.

    There are two sides to audiences. The more connected side is the one that is truly passionate about music and art or any topic for that matter. A lot of times those that have similar interests will combine and promote for other artists that they are a fan of. Musicians are the strongest fans because they have more respect for the music. They are not just paying money for a show to experience a good time, but to also be influenced and inspired, grab ideas, meet others, collaborate, grow. Audiences that really want to experience something different have higher standards now. It need to be intuitive, interactive, different and unique. My main focus this year is to get closer to a spontaneous collaboration with the audience while performing. To allow them to be part of a show they are not prepared for, but will still really enjoy. This is happening more and more : a blend of audio visual performance as well as audience participation and integration. I believe it is a strong wave into the future that will become a lot more common in the next ten years. Audiences will no longer sit back and watch, but also take part and perform.

    some progressive performances:
    Amon Tobin ISAM:

    Disney interactive Lilo and Stitch

  7. I couldn’t agree more with the comments above about what it takes to be a “successful” musician at least with popularity and enough money. There sometimes feels like there is a certain point in a musician or band’s career when they must make a decision to sort of sell out (e.g. putting music up on an advertisement whether they agree with the product’s need or not) in order to make money. Bands need to eat too! To add to Mauricio’s comment, I think that multimedia performances are becoming necessary to even be considered talented. For instance, you might go to a venue and see a great band, but walk away thinking, “they were great, but their light show was terrible” as if extra-musical entities in a concert make or break the performance itself. Perhaps it means that performers must be more attenuated to larger performance ideals – more lights, more programmed visuals, more interactivity. In this brave new world of information overload, people have become so desensitized to the sensational, therefore in order to get a good reaction from most mainstream audiences one must give them a large dose of information and perhaps interactivity.

    I don’t want to make a huge post, so I will end with this…

    It is a social critique comic used to show where culture is heading and who predicted it, Huxley or Orwell…

  8. Lu Yu says:

    there are probably two types of audiences one is the theorist, the other is the addict. the theorist would eventually try to become a performer themselves, while the addict would be more wiling to supply resources to satisfy their own addiction (ie. pay money in order to obtain good music for entertainment and pleasure).

  9. fiona keenan says:

    Ah the elusive audience! I largely agree with the previous comments too. After a long time chasing the possibility of a ‘career’ [dependable sales is really what that means I suppose] I have to say I welcome the breakdown of the performer vs. audience model and its attendant mystique around the creative/prolific/expressive in music. You made an album? So what?! Your audience all play around with Garageband and the like. I think we need to expose our processes, collaborate and engage with the prospective listener as @Mauricio says. While the internet gives us all the opportunity to at least self-release and self-promote, it means we are vying for attention alongside so many others at once. If we can’t resort to more and more elaborate performances [some genres don’t lend themselves so well to interactivity or light shows] we can engage with our audiences as we work – I’ve recently come across Imogen Heap who is busy updating her audience every step of the way and inviting their participation as her new songs are written and recorded http://imogenheap.com/ – or flex our writing muscle and show our transferable skills as @Richard suggests. I’m part of the Not A Teepee songwriting collective, and we self-release an album of songs written to a particular theme every other month http://notateepee.bandcamp.com/. We may not have an audience of millions, but we are stretching our songwriting and recording processes in a more dynamic way. A bit fast and furious and perhaps a bit Tin Pan Alley, but applying myself to a regular project has been incredibly useful for my own writing and has brought my music to a new audience. But the downloads are free – to avoid the question of income generation…

  10. Beth says:

    Thinking about the audience and the more involved approach makes me wonder if music, particularly mainstream music, is becoming more disposable. If we weren’t in the digital age, would we have pop stars like Justin Bieber? Bieber used YouTube to gain an audience, and this audience helped to get the kid a recording contract. This would be great, but for many the sound of his voice has the power to make you turn off the radio. Regardless, his vast audience has ensured his fame for now. This isn’t to say that there hasn’t always been mediocre music, it just seems as though a lucky kid with a web cam is the flavor of the day.

    YouTube can be used to introduce new audiences to music (just the other day I was listening to the Smiths, being unfamiliar with most of their library), but it keeps us enjoying the mediocre. As the comic Nick linked us to points out, we have an infinite capacity for distractions. This means that there will always be an audience for ridiculous cat videos.

    On another note, in engaging with an audience through something like social media, be it Twitter or on a blog, the artist (musician, writer, etc) eats away at time that could be better used for creating. This is rather hypocritical of me, as I’ve written a blog for the last two years, but the time I spend writing my blog, and reading the blogs of those I follow eats up a tremendous part of my free time, which could best be used for writing or painting.

    -Bethany Wolfe

  11. Beth says:

    In reading the comic Nick posted:

    Its been a while since I’ve read ‘Amusing Ourselves to Death,’ but I wonder what Postman would have to say about the internet era. Has the internet and all of its available information made us even more passive and willing to be distracted? Is it expanding our capacities for creativity? Or is it promoting mediocrity rather than greatness?

  12. Dave House says:

    I’ve entered a couple of remix competitions recently. Download the stems, do your thing, upload the result. Every one of the competitions had a voting system – you were encouaged to share your remix with your network, gather their votes and hopefully get yourself to the top of the ‘most popular’ list (the only way to be visible on the site once your remix had inevitably plummeted down the ‘most recent’ list). This was also used as a quick way for the judges to whittle down the list of entries – only those from the top 10/20/100/etc most popular were put forward as a shortlist from which an overall winner was picked.

    These were merely competitions to test social networking skills, not skills at remixing music. I don’t believe that the system used was in any way indicative of genuine popularity gained by virtue of genuine talent. Of course it was also a marketing stunt – a way for labels to have their web pages shared. I’d wager that many of the voters didn’t even listen to what they were voting for as they were just clicking a button because their mate asked them to.

    Audience as genuine participant in the process of music making? Absolutely not in this case.

    Finally a bit of dirty self promotion – a couple of the remixes I mentioned! –

  13. I think I just voted for it Dave, though I thought I was buying the track.

  14. Danai Korre says:

    A whole new era arose for music industry when social media came into the picture. Social networking gave users the opportunity to connect with their favourite artists. Also, artists from their side have access to a powerful tool which allows them to distribute and promote their music faster diminishing the need of middleman, therefore making the process much less expensive. Through that direct relationship between artists – user/fan, an immediate feedback can be accomplished. In sites like youtube.com and bebo.com users can comment or/and rate on songs and videos. They can also have access to information regarding upcoming events about their favourite artists. For all the aforementioned reasons, it is not a surprise that more and more artists are using social media as a multifunctional medium.

  15. lyyda says:

    Audiences have many motivations and sometimes the roles of audience and Publishers/ games companies/ broadcasters/ performers/ artists who do create can exchange. The later role I said opposite to the role of audiences, for knowing the latest trend of design, searching for inspiration, investigating the taste of audiences, the propensity to consume, they themselves have to be audiences. That’s a different motivation from the pure audiences, or I mean, the consumers. Like me, I won’t intentional view others’ works unless I get on my own work and have to search information from outside. I act as audience in order to generate better work and inversely meet the audiences (my professor and tutor… So the relationship is just like a chain, big fish eat small fish, small fish eat smaller fish…

  16. Boteas Orfeas says:

    Nowadays Internet gives the opportunity to every artist to share his or her work without the need of managers or the music industry. Internet contributes to a free service of exchanging music where anyone can share his/her art and promote their work. Nonetheless many successful “artists” are famous because of their connections, promotion and marketing because mass media still affects the popularity of music but maybe their influence is reduced. Moreover the influence of artists is more permanent. Due to this redundancy live performances are more encouraged and this is a chance for people to have a physical interaction with music instead of the medium’s virtual interaction. In addition audience is more open to different music genres in comparison with the past years. For example disco and rock music was a topic that people could argue about. Maybe the audiences are less committed with music artists as it was in previous years.
    Furthermore, online music and mp3s have changed the way we used to listen to music. As Julian said before, we used to buy vinyl or cd and interact with the medium differently by having a more physical contact. By having thousands of mp3s the idea of an album has lost its status and most people usually listen to only some songs from a band that they are interested in. In the past we used to buy albums and pay attention to the concept of the cd, now this habit has almost disappeared. Additionally with mp3, YouTube, laptop and mobile phones many people don’t pay attention to the quality of the medium and in my opinion they loose the detail of music. Is the quality replaced by the quantity? Is the bigger audience just a result of promotion and brainwash? Is that something new or it just changed form?

  17. Chris Prescott says:

    I agree with the majority of what others have mentioned previously and the rise and mass adoption of peer to peer file sharing in the early 2000s was a key turning point in the potential for new artists to establish themselves and to build up a strong audience base (both positively and negatively).

    In 2007 I spent nearly an entire year recording and producing an album of my own material, countless hours were spent in the middle of the night crafting each song into something meaningful to me, each one becoming something I was proud and intensely protective of. I released the album through Tunecore and iTunes and published select songs on Myspace.

    A while later two distinct trends appeared at my local performances when trying to sell copies of my album, the first one was with one person within the local ‘scene’ purchasing a copy of the album and then almost instantaneously copying it and passing it on to everyone they knew through websites like BitTorrent. I had entirely expected people to pirate my music, but to me it was the nature in which it was shared that frustrated me. The sharing of music in the past has always been an immensely social activity and has repeatedly been the driving factor in the formation of many subcultures, look at Dead Heads and the Grateful Dead, a community still alive today that freely share bootlegs of the band from concerts even 20 years after the band broke up. Another good example of this being the mix-tape culture of the 1980s, which although an activity the music industry tried with every effort to prevent with the ‘Home Taping is Killing Music’ campaign (who remembers the tape skull and crossbones?), I believe it was greatly beneficial in passing on musical tastes and led to the discovery of many new artists. The exchange of tapes would be often accompanied with a passionate discussion about their musical content, allowing for tapes to become something of value and worth to the person receiving it. On the other hand, sharing my music through the internet made it completely devoid of meaning in a number of ways. To me the album artwork was as much a part of the package as the music itself and by stripping it of this and uploading it as an MP3 the music had lost meaning in the same speed at which it was uploaded. The way in which it was received also devalued it immensely as it simply became another insignificant folder of MP3s within a plethora of other files in virtual libraries and playlists, with no persistent physical presence and being of little worth, with its potential loss ever present through the crashing of hard drives or computers. This also brings to mind a study in O’Hara’s ‘Consuming Music Together’, which although a little outdated is still relevant, where he interviews a number of ‘audio pirates’ who’s primary concern is the speed at which newly released material can be made available online with little or no consideration given to the actual content of the files being uploaded.

    The second, and most surprising trend for me, was that people had gone to Myspace and downloaded my songs as MP3s (a feature eventually stopped by Myspace). This way of obtaining my music was the most surprising to me as I had previously considered my Myspace account as an invaluable social tool for connecting with my potential audience and I had relied on it heavily (perhaps to much so). Although obtaining my music in this way managed to maintain some level of connection as it was accompanied by my page on the site, the end result was inevitably the same, with the songs simply become lost in subfolders.

    All this goes to show the ways in which social media can be both beneficial and destructive to a new artist at the same time and its benefits and disadvantages need to be weighed up by each artist individually. It allows people to access an audience base far greater than previously imaginable and has allowed for the breakthrough of many new artists through becoming Internet phenomenon (Lily Allen, Arctic Monkeys and Justin Beiber to name a few), but at what cost? The devaluing of their music on a creative level? Becoming an artist used predominantly as a tool for marketing and big business? Is it still possible for an artist to maintain creative control and achieve mainstream popularity in this internet age?

  18. Chris Prescott says:

    Following on from my post yesterday I couldn’t help thinking back to the original discussion about audience as consumers, participants and contributors. For want of a more contemporary example, returning to the ‘Deadhead’ culture I touched on briefly above it is a pertinent way of showing the potential for integration of band and audience. In Rebecca Adams book ‘Deadhead Social Science’ (which can be read in part on Google books) it is discussed in detail how the key aspect of the culture was to follow the band around on tour and attend as many ‘Dead’ concerts as possible, the band even established a special section of the crowd to allow bootlegging of performances. In order to maintain this lifestyle many of the ‘Deadheads’ started to sell food and T shirts outside the venues in order to afford tickets for the concerts. It could be argued that this led to the formation of a type of self sustaining community with band living off the audience and vice versa, neither able to successful sustain itself without the other.

    I wonder if examples of this kind of interaction can still be found in 2011? Perhaps not so much in the physical sense of following a band around on tour, but through the formation of online communities. Or is it the case that the mass adoption of the internet has killed the potential for this kind of self sustaining society?

  19. Yi Yang DDM says:

    I think Plato’s allegory of the cave is very vivid in the essay. Sometimes, a certain idea or a critical perspective of a person is always imprisoned for some reasons; they have a strong desire in their heart to have a bright platform can allow themselves to speak out freely, but they can’t find. While during the internet age, audience seems to find a way to express what they usually intent to comment. After you’ve seen the movie, you can visit some forum such as Douban.com or IMDB to write comments and impressions of the film to share with others. When you read a story or a piece of news, you can write your views in your micro-blog. These forums and blogs are completely open if you register. Others can read your mind and post their thoughts on your main page. Thus, more and more people have an ideological exchange. It is one of the most authentic self-expression.

    There is no doubt the speed of the network to pass messages. So, when some hot news or major events occur, many people will participate and discuss the same event, the network platform becomes a market for open and free views. With the intensity of the discussion, it will form a kind of public opinion. Many comments from various websites and forums as well as news media in the thread show constructive views and ideas. These will influence the decisions of government departments, and also make the network spread to the real-life. Hence, it usually has a negative effect on society. For example, Japanese seized the Chinese boat captain after trawler collided with two Japanese coastguard boats near islets. This event led the internet users to denounce Japan, and led to the escalation of conflict. The contradiction between Tencent and Qihoo 360 led to intense recrimination in internet. Tencent accused Qihoo 360 of slander and business foul play. Then, some people helped Qihoo to abuse Tencent was a rogue company. These phenomenon have resulted negative impact in varies degrees.
    Now, we have to admit the truth that audience has become participants and theories in the network, but whether there is an effective measure to guide public opinion to a correct direction to reduce the social negative impact?

  20. feverkidmiya says:

    From a business point of view, I always perceive the audience as a paraphrase for customers. They pay for what they get from either performances, music, books or any other forms of art or business. They used to be quiet listeners, but no longer they will be. With platforms like facebook, youtube, the audience are able to comment, share, rate the products and services. They tend to engage more. In the meantime, designers are trying to further develop the interactions with the target market. There are some successful examples about interactive design like 21 swings

    , which is an interactive installation with 21 musical swings. Each swing in motion triggers one particular note, together they create a piece of music. Another example could be night lights

    , a projection mapping project that takes audiences’ gestures onto the building about 5 stories tall.
    Thus thinking about technologies, how to empower audiences to actively participate in performances??? In other words, in which form should art be in order to get people involved? What if you can be a part of art, will you participate?
    All these deserve to be investigated. That’s exactly what I’m gonna reveal in my essay later on.

  21. Joo-kwan Song says:

    It is worthwhile to look around the works or performances by some creative electronic musicians. Armed with visual devices for amusement as well as audio ones which might have been considered as a traditional, general and normal means for ‘joy of music’, they seem to suggest a new type of engaging audiences into active participants, not just spectators. One of the aims for their performances is giving a sort of indeterminacy to the space to be shared between performers and audiences. That is to say, the performers are ready to listen and watch any actions from their audiences, while the audiences are concentrating on what the performers are doing in front of themselves. Any action from the performers could be leading any reactions from their audiences, in turn the reactions could be another actions for the performers. In this way, the space to be occupied with both parties can be variable with time passing by in an unrestricted frame of amusement. Of course, this could not be amusement if the audiences are fed up with any reactions only to come to think of the live space as a kind of burdensome works so that they feel that they have do something more special. Anyway, these performers are found out among some creative electro acoustic musicians, they are called as laptop musicians. Here, I will introduce such a kind of musician, Farmers Manual, who is an electronic music and visual group in Austria. The group is considered as being successful in bridging audio music and visual art pop and experimental graphics. They are leading audiences to participate in their performances by giving any message in their website. To take an example of their performances, they posted in their own website as follows,
    “During the performance we seek to shift the local atmosphere from dissolution and clumsiness through manual change and ecstatic fiddling into an imaginative state of complex monotony, structured calm and chill, or endless associative babbling, so that towards the end the authors become the audience and the audience can be confronted with a stage populated by machines only, which can’t get out of infinitely rendering a stream of slight semantic madness. The set-up then is what is normally considered a sort of installation. All this with the help of extreme frequencies and distorted, flickering images.”
    (51-52pp, Undercurrents, by Rob young)
    They are intentionally trying to make their audiences participate by giving any message or hint for their audiences in advance, strictly speaking, which is not true in the view of a perfect indeterminacy of their performance. This may be because of the success of their performance. The thing is that they make their performance something like a living creature by making their audiences do any action or reaction.
    To take an experience of mine as another example, a Japanese avant-garde electronic music duo, Yagi is also famous for this type of performance. This was when I had a chance to enjoy their performance in Tokyo, Japan. They were trying to utilize all the breath type of each participant in their performance. Using a specially designed device to analyze the density of air in a confined room, they give their audiences any stimulus in an audio-visual environment, and the audiences make different types of emotional actions. The emotional actions make the air filled in that confined room move back and forth in all directions. All the audiences in that room can’t see who is making which type of breath and scream because there is only a dim light bulb, and just when any type of change in the mood of that room, music is created and the strength of light can be changed. All the participants were enjoying their performance in the end. That is, the audiences had an experience to be a performer in that room.
    Of course, this type of performance is usually wide spread among creative electronic musicians with the help of a mass of high-tech devices. Apart from electronic musicians, there are also another cases in the scene of theatre. Comedy in a theatre is always performed in a live show. Due to that kind of characteristic, some directors including actors or actresses are trying to make any strategies to engage their audiences into their performance. I had an experience to watch a comedy, ‘Live or Die’, a few months ago when I was in Korea. In that comedy, the plot can be changeable according to the opinion of the audiences. Any audience can act on the stage, and tell the real actors and actresses to make an order from which they have to follow, so that is leading to let them die or live in a stage. If someone’s suggestion results in a disagreeable plot, other audiences can interrupt it to change. In this comedy, the plot is open to all the audiences. And any audience can be an author beyond a simply spectator.
    Traditionally, there have been a kind of performance to engage audiences into its theme in Korea. It is called ‘Madang-Geuk’, which can be translated into ‘A performance in a open court or yard’ in English. In that case, there is no fixed plot. Actors and singers do their performances in a circle of spectators, who are asked a few questions or suggestions from performers, and spectators can raise any issue or opinion, even acting or singing together with performers.
    This kind of performances seems to have existed in the early times. As Indivisualism in Industrial Age has been emerged, most of performances might have been for people who want to throw all the stresses from their hard working days. However, these days, with the help of technologies and the change of paradigm, the way of making a performance has begun to change.

  22. Christopher Darke says:

    I Feel like in the gaming industry the recent rise in popularity of kickstarter campaigns has been a massive benefit for the consumer end of the industry. It has been coming far too common that the large gaming companies have too much power in telling the audience what they want.

    Companies often end up just releasing endless streams of sequels until they are no longer profitable. These kickstarter sites allow the audience to actually have a real voice and pick and choose with their wallet what kind of games people should be making. This is really revolutionary for games as this is the first time people are paying for a game that hasn’t even been made yet. This means good news from the business point of view as well because it is often difficult to tell until it has actually been made. A prime example of this was in 1982 when the game “E.T. the extra Terrestrial” was so unpopular millions of copies of the game had to be buried in a landfill site in New Mexico effectively destroying the company that made it.

    Nearly all of the games that have received funding on kickstarter just would not be possible using traditional funding methods due to it being too risky to go away from the norm.

    Gaming companies follow similarities with the music industry in that they want to try and hang on to traditional ways of earning money too much just because it worked for them before. Cd’s were introduced 30 years ago now and yet they are still marketed like they are something people need in their homes.

    Kickstarter Campaigns have great potential in all forms of media although I think it provides the best opportunities in the film and gaming industries because of just how expensive they are to make.

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