I was amazed at the confidence and certainty so many of y’all had when presenting your project idea…amazed, and a bit intimidated: I have a lot of catching up to do!
Truthfully, all of my ideas for a final ITP project are nascent, defined as much but my thoughts on usefulness and work load as by a particular vision of a final object. Some of those thoughts:
a) I’d like the project to have a clear, utilitarian value, whether by teachers or researchers
b) I’d like the project to present data surrounding theatre and performance, less overt claims or theses, more organized information with which interested people could develop their own claims or feelings
c) I’d like the project to be technologically focused; I expect I’ll need to learn some new tools, and I want depth rather than breadth here (i.e. 1-2 technologies at most), for the sake of both my sanity and the final product
I have three main ideas I’ll present below, though in all honesty, these are simply two of my several floating concepts that I’m going to develop here for the sake of the assignment.
ONE: From the pedagogical side, I’m wondering about trying to create a resource where teachers, students and researchers could visualize canonical theatre events (plays/performances/performative events, which could include mass gatherings, political rallies, etc.) in terms of quantitative data. That would probably involve determining a few metrics—how much money the event cost or made; how many people it served in its live incarnation; amount of time it persisted—and then perhaps organizing them onto a map of some sort. I imagine that starting to do this, and then allowing some tagging of the event by theme or type, might allow for some intriguing overlaps or correlations that could suggest room for understanding or argument.
TWO: This is as much a history as theatre idea, but I have an idea of an interactive map that tracks places where riots occurred in New York City. Using ArcGIS, I would collect data on violence and tag both the cause of the violence and/or the “cause” that it was pursuing. As a resource that might hopefully suggest overlaps in how the city has become commercialized space that interacts with its surroundings, this could be something really valuable. In some ways, if I could choose one of these and will it into existence, it would be this one. In entirely different ways, I worry about the extent of data collection for a project that might only tangentially relate to my larger dissertation research.
THREE: I have only the tiniest inkling about doing a podcast about selected acts of performative or theatrical violence (riots/coups/etc. as well as notably disturbing or violent theatre pieces), and discussing them from a theatrical vantage. While there’s arguable use here, the truth is that this would be something akin to developing chapters of a disssertation and I quite frankly will be nowhere near that place next fall…
I’m still thinking and hoping one idea comes to me that will present itself as the definitive right way to go, but until then, friends, I leave you with a blog post.