The shutdown has made all cultural activities go interactive, and particularly live music, gigs, and clubbing – which for us is a relatively new venue. When the pandemic is over, are we sure it’ll all go back to the way it was? When there was live music?
We have already been told to stay home for almost two months. Our home has been an office, bar, classroom, gym, movie theater and even the stage, stalls, parterre or dancefloor in some cases. Paul B. Preciado compared our present situation to that of Playboy’s founder in a recent essay written in Art forum: “Hefner managed and created the largest-circulation men’s magazine in the United States without leaving the room, often without leaving his bed.
Will live events come back?
Hefner’s bed was a true digital manufacturing device, linked to a telephone, a TV, a stereo and a video camera. We certainly have less resources and fewer playmates than him, but the technology we can use is now so sophisticated and scalable that we might even describe virtual space as a second world, a domain — what McLuhan called Global Village in the Sixties — in which we would actually travel in any direction and take part in all kinds of activities.
Today the virus seems to be getting “weaker”. So we will slowly begin and do certain things in a fashion that resembles the way we did before. Even if it is possible to allow those fields to restart their work while of course taking the required steps. The condition becomes more complicated for certain fields. The live entertainment industry in particular is on hold. Forecasting what the places of art will look like in the modern future that awaits us is not straightforward.
There’s a possibility they’ll appear to be interactive locations, at least for a while. We have seen several attempts to transfer the live experience online. Since the beginning of the quarantine but after a time of initial excitement we began to see the limits. The first problem is that supply is higher than demand. Second, the relationship between audience and artist is most much a one-way experience. And as often as we seek to develop complex interactive environments. It is difficult to create active audience participation.