Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Reshaping spatiality : cognitive perception and the fracturing of theatrical space
Author: Petralia, Peter S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2746 055X
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2010
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Drawing on the tenets of cognitive science, particularly Lakoff and Johnson's writing on metaphor, this thesis investigates the ways in which perception is constructed spatially by focusing on contemporary artists' engagement with rehearsal processes and performances where technology asserts control over the boundaries of space, centring specifically on the author's own practice. This interrogation of theatricality includes three practical research projects (performances) and a three-chapter written thesis that explores the theoretical and practical concerns of artistic engagement with an understanding of space. This thesis explores the physicality of experience via cognitive science and positions it within the realm of the artist, addressing the ways in which material practitioners are always engaged in the experience of materiality. In both the written and practical components of this thesis, I interrogate and propose that space is perceived and constructed not only physically but also experientially. One of the key methodologies of this thesis is to locate, articulate and reflect upon the complex interaction between writing and practice: how material practice affects discourse and vice versa. Chapter One investigates heads pace, which is a feature of performance work that takes place largely in the head of an audience member, by using a set of techniques and technologies that subvert physical space - often including headphones worn by audience members. This chapter introduces many of the arguments of the larger thesis and establishes headspace as a viable term by reviewing the neurology of hearing and contemporary writing on sound reception, and through a dissection of four practical works, one of which was created by the author prior to this thesis: Whisper (Petralia, 2007), The Telephone Call (Cardiff, 2001), The Missing Voice (Cardiff, 1999) and Desire Paths (spell#7, 2004). Chapter Two concerns itself with aberrant pixel space, which, in the context of this project, is concerned with the internal architecture of the screen in relation to the external architecture of the stage in performance. Specifically, aberrant pixel space considers performances that use a cinematic and/or televisual frame that creates distinctions between what is in the shot, and what is not, uses the editing techniques of cinema/television, and plays with scale through its use of fragmented live performance and , perfect screen imagery. Aberrant pixel space is explored through the creation of a practice- as research performance work titled Virtuoso (working title) (petralia, 2009), which uses screens that form the boundaries of a space whose logic is defined by the properties of the television landscape. The work of Big Art Group and Gregory Crewdson are positioned alongside Virtuoso (working title) to understand the characteristics of spaces that can be understood via the extended metaphor of the pixel. Chapter Three focuses on telematic rehearsal space, which suggests that processes of artistic creation are not fixed to specific geographical locations but are in fact transitory, existing in the interchange between physical space and the space of communication. Chapter Three specifically considers the use of videoconferencing in rehearsal processes, using three performances including two new pieces created by the author in collaboration with Tiffany Mills Company: the dance- theatre works Tomorrow's Legs and Berries and Bulls, along with the work of other artists including Mabou Mines. The thesis concludes by interrogating the ways in which these three distinct spaces relate, reflecting on the ways in which space is contingent upon experience. Further, the conclusion discusses the ways that this thesis contributes to a new approach for understanding the making and witnessing process of live performance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available