Public Talk – Bewildering Behaviour

Bewildering Behaviour: Practice as Research for audiences and other creators of immersive performance

VCA 2014 Research Seminars

Presenter: Robert Walton

In 2013 Josephine Machon made the major claim that her interviews with leading British immersive theatre practitioners ‘proves Bourriaud’s theory that relational artistic activity can become a democratic means for positive societal and communal interaction.’ Machon goes on to corroborate Bourriaud in identifying ‘the ongoing demand for immersive practice as an antidote to the alienating experiences of globalisation and virtual socialising and networking’. This paper will ask what would happen if we took Machon, Bourriaud and Rancière at their word, causing spectators to be seriously considered investigators, experimenters and therefore researchers? If an artwork positions its audience-participant as a researcher conducting an experiment in order to collaborate with it in the discovery meaning, as is the reported aim of much immersive work, what are the implications for knowledge production?

Tuesday 19 August 2014
12:15 – 1:45pm

Art Auditorium,
School of Art, enter via Gate 4,
Dodds Street, Southbank Campus

Full Details2014 Seminar Program Outline


  1. 2 September 2014 at 8:41 am · Reply

    This sounds fascinating, very pertinent to my own practice and your desription is a fantastic articulation of what I strive for in my work. How did it go? Was a recording made?

    • Robert Walton
      3 September 2014 at 9:00 am · Reply

      Hi Ed, thanks for the comment. Yes, I think that you would definitely be interested in this as it connects closely to your work. There was no recording, but it might be published. I can send you a draft if you like? What’s your email? Hoping you are well!

  2. 5 September 2014 at 5:34 am · Reply

    Thanks Robert. I’ll send you my address through Facebook.
    I’m well thank you yes. Opening myself to new directions… And you?

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