• What is e-spect@tor ? Presentation and content of each unit

    Introduction to the E-spect@tor digital tool

    e-spect@tor tool

    E-Spectator course
    aims to train students and pupils to understand and analize better Performing Arts, mostly performance plays and dance performances but also perfomative activities such as fashion shows, providing new methods for their study along with digital technology. Performing Arts’ esthetic and poetry can be sometimes destabilizing at first glance and difficult to analyze because by nature ephemeral. Yet the Performative Arts are bearers of an alternative vision of the world that allows to maintain a critical view of events and our environment.

    The research project, The Spectator School

    To be more precise, the E-spect@tor course comes from a research project in the field of digital humanities and performing Arts called “The spectator School” led by Cécile Chantraine Braillon and Fatiha Idmhand. In concrete terms, this project aims to the use of digital technology for analyzing live works, in particular through the study of live shows videos. Indeed the abundant quantity of live shows’ videos we have at our disposal for a few decades with the called "digital turn" transforms our way of grasping and apprehending them.

    It should be pointed as well that videos allows us, through their digital format, to perceive performative elements that could have been missed when attending a live performance. For instance, such elements that we were not able to capture from our sole humans eyes and own memories, if we were too caught up in the moment of attending a live play. In this way, videos became an important tool in the analysis of Performative Arts as well as engaging its digital transition. In fact, this digital turn has also contributed in transforming the way we study Performing Arts, giving more space to the analysis of the performance. The digital turn is thus supporting the performative turn, the epistemological transformation that is currently going since the 60's.

    Also, as videos are today digital-born documents, they can be processed with digital methods and tools in order to produce new types of analysis and studies. In that sense, working on performing Arts with digital technology must offer a better comprehension of their performative aspects, reception and the effects they produce on the spectators.
    That's why, one of the aim of the research project "The Spectator school" is focused on the creation and development of a digital tool for the analysis and annotation of videos of performances. Moreover, the e-spect@tor digital tool was created along with the software called Celluloïd''. It was created in 2015 by Laurent Tessier, a researcher in sociology and Michaël Bourgatte, researcher in communication and information sciences. Celluloïd enables you to read and annotate videos extracted from the Peertube website; the annotation work can be done individually or collectively (as part of a teaching activity) by sharing videos and associated comments. In fact, E-spect@tor is innovative because it offers new proposals into the already existing functionalities of Celluloid using the annotation system into the framework of analyzing performative videos enabling people to collect and compare the information (impression,thinking) obtained when they attend a live performance. 

    Organisation of the course : The course is divided into three units

    Unit I: Performing Arts : an introduction
    Developed by Cécile Chantraine-Braillon, Elodie Chazalon and Fatiha Idmhand.

    This Unit will offer an introduction to performing Arts with an theoretical and historical introduction focusing on western theatre and its performativity, studying dance as an impulse and an art form questioning its performative aspects and analyzing if we can consider fashion as legitimate art.

    Unit II: Analysis examples of Performing Arts 
    Developed by Cécile Chantraine-Braillon, Elodie Chazalon and Fatiha Idmhand.

    This Unit will provide a presentation of several cases of performative shows (theater, dance and fashion shows) associated with a description and a categorization of the phenomena. The student will be able to go through case study in order to learn how using the different concepts seen in Unit 1, and understand in what ways a performative show attempt to portray and convey to the audience several notions.

    Unit III: E-spect@tor : annotate and share your analysis of performances 
    Developed by Cécile Chantraine-Braillon and Fatiha Idmhand.

    This Unit will be dedicated to a discovery of the digital tool e-spect@tor, its manipulation and then a concrete application based on the study of a live play. 

    Course developers

    Elodie Chazalon, Associate Professor in North American cultural studies at La Rochelle Université, France. Her research focuses on visual and material cultures in the USA. She has had a long-standing interest in the social dimension and semiotics of fashion and dress, clothing behaviors, and in gender representations in popular culture, on which she has coordinated and published several works. Her current research addresses the circulation and recycling of fashion (as a language, individual and collective practice, and an industry) that she approaches through the transversal notions of “performance” and “performativity.”

    Cécile Chantraine-Braillon, Full Professor in Hispanic studies at La Rochelle Université, France. Her research field is Hispano-American performing Arts. She also focuses her work on the conception of digital tools offering specific functionalities for research in this field, concerning not only preservation (conservation of the creative process and performance) but also the analysis of performing arts data (genetic criticism, semiology, cultural analysis). She is currently in charge of three complementary program on the computerization of research in the Performing Arts: first, the research program ESNA (Ecole du Spectator de Nouvelle Aquitaine - 2021-24). Second, a work package in the Erasmus + DiMPAh project (Digital Methods Platform for Arts and Humanities / 2020-2023. And third, the regional program of Northern France VISUAL STAGING (2019-2022 with Laurence Delbarre-Willard).

    Fatiha Idmhand, Professor at University of Poitiers, France. Her scientific activities mainly concern the study of writers’ manuscripts and archives in "genetic" perspective, creative process studies. She is also involved in “Digital Humanities”, being the co-responsible of the Consortium CAHIER, the French network of "research projects in Digital Humanities”. In this field, she is both working on the creating and developing tools to facilitate the critical, scientific, and digital editions but also on data analysis and data's scientific exploration. She currently focuses her research on works produced "under constraints", especially during conflicts and conditions of the circulation of ideas. Their manuscripts and archives, original and unpublished, make possible to re-read the way in which works, and ideas have circulated.