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Patronage, Commodification and the Dissemination of Performance Art: The Shared Benefits of Web Archiving



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Wickett, Elizabeth 


In the increasingly technological universe of the Internet and digital technology where sounds and images are sold for the benefit of some (but not others), issues of copyright, intellectual property rights and the commercialisation and marketing of expressive culture on the web have become central. Performer and scholar should agree on an appropriate performance context prior to recording, and both approve the final product. Good sound and image quality is vital if a resultant DVD is to be sold, but this is a challenge in remote, non-electrified environments in which performances are spontaneously composed. Reproductive rights by each party as well as the contexts of reproduction must be negotiated and determined prior to web broadcast because of issues pertaining to veiling, disclosure, censorship and identification.

If the filming or audio recording is done to professional standards, DVDs can be reproduced and copied for profit by the performer. The ethnographer then becomes both patron and marketeer, in partnership with the performance artist. The archive, in consequence, once a passive repository, becomes a dual-purpose facility, a potential launching board for sales and a site of and for comparative research.


World Oral Literature Project Workshop 2010


oral literature, performance art, web archive, patronage

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