Live Intermediality: A New Mode of Intermedial Praxis

Scott, Joanne Emma (2014) Live Intermediality: A New Mode of Intermedial Praxis. Doctoral thesis, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London.


This Practice as Research thesis is a contribution to and intervention in the fields of intermedial performance studies and live media practice. Its arguments are formulated through live intermediality, a mode of practice whereby the solo performer activates image, sound, object and body in the presence of and sometimes with the ‘experiencers’ (Nelson 2010), in order to compose a series of shifting intermedial combinations.

The thesis interrogates current discourses around intermediality in performance, the role and actions of the live media performer and the generation of events in intermedial and live media practice, arguing that each can be productively re-­-viewed through live intermedial practice. In positioning the practice clearly within the various lineages from which it draws and positing the particular ‘knowings’ it produces, live intermediality is formulated as distinctive ‘praxis’ or ‘doing-thinking’ (Nelson 2013). In addition, the specific characteristics of live intermediality – the dualities, discourses and collisions it generates - are presented both as form of new knowledge through practice and employed as the tools to pierce existing thinking from an ‘insider’ perspective.

Working from a Practice as Research methodology, live intermediality is placed in dialogue with resonant conceptual frameworks, such as the work of intermedial theorists, Kattenbelt (2008) and Lavender (2006), new media theorists, Bolter and Grusin (2000), as well as broader paradigms of presence (Power 2008), autopoiesis (Fischer-­-Lichte 2008, Maturana and Varela 1987) and event (Derrida 1978, Deleuze 2006). The praxis, through its dialogue with such frame works, reconfigures current theories around the activation, operation and experience of intermediality in live media forms. In addition, through its distinctive features and the ‘knowings’ they generate, live intermediality is proposed as new mode of praxis within these fields.


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