Social commentary through the transdisciplinary practice of audio-visual performance

  • Léon McCarthy Northumbria University
Keywords: performance, audio-visuals, transdisciplinary, social commentary,


Performance is a medium through which alternate perspectives can occupy alternate spaces. Where the rendered media of advertisements, reportage and documentary appeal primarily to the intellect of the viewer, the ephemeral nature of performance tends to first engage the emotions and senses of an audience. By practicing across film, graphic design and data-visualization, audio-visual performers can document themes of social relevance and it could be said that through such transdisciplinary practice, a form of ‘documentary performance’ emerges. This premise has led me to harness audio-visuals toward championing social topics. Thematically, my current performances question whether industrial fishing methods are sustainable. Performing to varied audiences in varied contexts has given me insight into the impact that a documentary style of performance can have. This paper documents my process toward realizing such a performance paradigm - a transdisciplinary practice fusing film, science, technology and art.

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