On 14 April 2010, three weeks before the general election, David Hare was on stage for a Platform talk at the Lyttelton Theatre and spoke of a frustrating failure. His play The Absence of War, premiered in the Olivier in 1993, had fictionalized Labour’s doomed 1992 election campaign, which ended with John Major still in Number Ten, and was followed by Neil Kinnock’s resignation as party leader, and, under John Smith and Tony Blair, the birth of New Labour. Hare told his Platform audience that he had been unable to convince any producing theatre to revive The Absence of War for the 2010 poll: “It is about the roots of New Labour and, now that we assume New Labour is coming to an end in three weeks’ time, it would be fantastic to show that play.”
What was 'The Agency'? What are PMQs? How do party leadership elections work? Find out more about parliament, its history and the people who have walked its halls in our short guide to the terms referenced in David Hare's The Absence of War.
How do you write or stage a play about technology? How is technology changing the ways in which we consume and make performance?
Robert Delamere, Jeremy Herrin, Dawn King and Tassos Stevens discuss the ways in which technology is transforming contemporary theatre and performance.
Chaired by Sarah Grochala.
Theatre is an ineherntly voyeuristic medium. Since the Snowden revelations, there have been a series of shows that have focused on the ethics and extent of contemporary surveillance. At the same time, activists challenging surveillence culture have often used forms of performance, both offline and online, to challenge Big Brother's ever widening gasp.
Robert Icke, Prof. Tim Jordan, Duncan Macmillan and Dr. Dan Mcquillan discuss the ways in which theatre and other forms of performance have been used to explore the nature of contemporary surveillance culture.
Chaired by Dr. Bthaj Ajana.
People often refer to the idea that we are living in 1984 when talking about contemporary surveillance culture, but to what extent is that a valid observation? How much do contemporary forms of surveillance actually resemble the forms of surveillance that Orwell imagines in 1984?
Dr. Btihaj Ajana, Dr. Claudia Aradau and Prof. Alex Callinicos discuss the relationship between Orwell's own experiences in post-war London, his vision of 1984 and our contemporary surveillance society.
Chaired by Sarah Grochala.
Michael Takeo Magruder talks about how he created the artwork PRISM. The talk was given at the Nam Paik June Art Center in Seoul, South Korea. The talk is in English and translated into Korean.
Sarah Grochala talks about Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan's adaptation of 1984. The talk was given at the Nam Paik June Art Center in Seoul, South Korea. The talk is in English and translated into Korean. English translation starts at 4.45 minutes.
Michael Takeo Magruder talks about his work as a visual artist who works with digital media. He also discusses the idea of art as a form of journalism. The talk was given at the Nam Paik June Art Center in Seoul, South Korea. The talk is in English and translated into Korean.
Sarah Grochala talks about the process of creating the digital double app and the ideas that inspired it. The talk was given at the Nam Paik June Art Center in Seoul, South Korea. The talk is in English and translated into Korean.
Saturday 22 November 2014
1pm – 5pm
Anatomy Lecture Theatre, King's College London
People often refer to the idea that we are living in 1984, but to what extent is that a valid observation about contemporary society?
In 2013, Headlong collaborated with the Cultural Institute’s at King's on a project to explore the relationship between digital technology and live performance. This partnership resulted in the development of an app, 1984 Digital Double, which explores the nature of contemporary surveillance.
Headlong and the Cultural Institute at King's invite you to join a group of digital experts and innovative artists for a day of platform panels exploring a wide range of questions about digital technology, live performance and surveillance.
Speakers include: Dr Btihaj Ajana (King’s), Dr Claudia Aradau (King’s), Tony Bunyan (Statewatch), Professor Alex Callinicos (King’s), Robert Delamere (Digital Theatre), Jeremy Herrin (Headlong), Robert Icke (Co-adaptor and co-director of 1984), Professor Tim Jordan (Sussex University), Dawn King (Playwright), Duncan Macmillan (Co-adaptor and co-director of 1984), Dr Dan Mcquillan (Goldsmiths College), Tassos Stevens (Coney), Simon Vans-Colier, Oliver Cole and Spiros Andreou (TOR Project).