Unity, contrast and topology as the three coordinates of scenography

Smalley, Michael (2012) Unity, contrast and topology as the three coordinates of scenography. In: Compass Points: The Locations, Landscapes and Coordinates of Identities, Australasian Association for Drama Theatre & Performance Studies (ADSA) 2012 Conference, 3-6 Jul 2012, Brisbane, Australia.

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Abstract

Unity, contrast and topology can be viewed as coordinates helpful in mapping out scenographic meaning-making, analogous to (using the central metaphor of this conference) latitude, longitude and elevation. This model of scenography emphasises the role that these three key relationships between the multi-faceted layers of semiotics in a performance text have in shaping this text’s reception by audience members, over and above the semiotics of any particular scenographic decision considered in isolation. Just as to describe the position of an object on the planet we need to know the longitude, latitude and elevation, any scenographic element is located within these three dimensions of unity, contrast and topology simultaneously. While admittedly a reductionist model and a gross simplification, this model has been proven to be useful in both the educational and professional practice of scenographers. Some of the model’s utility comes from these flaws: in its attempt to simplify the vast array of scenographic techniques to the dimensions through which they operate dramaturgically it is hoped that collaboration between different theatre artists is enhanced through a common non-technical language. This paper will examine some of the theoretical grounding which informed the model’s development, a brief overview of the model itself, and how it has proven useful as an educative and scenographic tool to date.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author retains copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act (1968), no part of Compass Points: The Locations, Landscapes and Coordinates of Identities in Contemporary Performance Making may be reproduced without permission of the author. In cases where the author permits their paper to be reproduced, the following acknowledgement should appear – 'This paper was originally published as Smalley,Michael (2012) 'Unity, contrast and topology as the three coordinates of scenography' in Compass Points: The Locations, Landscapes and Coordinates of Identities in Contemporary Performance Making, Australasian Association for Drama Theatre & Performance Studies (ADSA) 2012 Conference Proceedings, ed. Bree Hadley and Caroline Heim, Queensland University of Technology, 2012.'
Depositing User: Mr Michael Smalley
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - School of Creative Arts
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2012 06:47
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2014 03:15
Uncontrolled Keywords: scenography, pedagogy, tertiary training
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1904 Performing Arts and Creative Writing > 190404 Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130201 Creative Arts, Media and Communication Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950105 The Performing Arts (incl. Theatre and Dance)
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/21559

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