Also due to the general crisis of printed press, the quasi totality of the critical writing moved to the free Internet. As a consequence, online theatre criticism is getting redefined in the light of the digital age and its role challenged in the context of the theatrical system. The interactions and contents on the Web are influenced and constrained by the structures of online publishing. At the same time, the strategies of sharing articles and comments online have to confront the presence of strong virtual communities, that act as a sum of individuals, able to interact directly with the critic and discuss his/her statements through a non regulated access to public social media platforms. This creates a sort of collective response to the voice raised by a single professional. These processes are only partly regulated by a coherent sum of human choices, and rather, primarily, by the inherent nature of the digital platforms. This paper aims at demonstrating how some of those methodologies and rhetorical principles that used to enforce a critic’s argument on contemporary theatre are rapidly being replaced by others deriving from digital systems and the mechanisms of online discourse, that strongly depend on the features of (often very specialized) virtual communities and the background of the individuals they gather together. As a case study, I present a theatre review which, using the “open letter” format, created controversial reactions in the readers and challenged the role of the critic as authoritative mediator, moving the focus of attention from critical analysis to a wider discussion about the current Italian theatrical system. This case study investigates the influence of virtual communities in how spectators and critics relate to contemporary performing arts.

Publishing, sharing, authoring critique in the light of human-computer interaction. Virtual communities and the critical dialogue of the social media.

Sergio Lo Gatto
2018

Abstract

Also due to the general crisis of printed press, the quasi totality of the critical writing moved to the free Internet. As a consequence, online theatre criticism is getting redefined in the light of the digital age and its role challenged in the context of the theatrical system. The interactions and contents on the Web are influenced and constrained by the structures of online publishing. At the same time, the strategies of sharing articles and comments online have to confront the presence of strong virtual communities, that act as a sum of individuals, able to interact directly with the critic and discuss his/her statements through a non regulated access to public social media platforms. This creates a sort of collective response to the voice raised by a single professional. These processes are only partly regulated by a coherent sum of human choices, and rather, primarily, by the inherent nature of the digital platforms. This paper aims at demonstrating how some of those methodologies and rhetorical principles that used to enforce a critic’s argument on contemporary theatre are rapidly being replaced by others deriving from digital systems and the mechanisms of online discourse, that strongly depend on the features of (often very specialized) virtual communities and the background of the individuals they gather together. As a case study, I present a theatre review which, using the “open letter” format, created controversial reactions in the readers and challenged the role of the critic as authoritative mediator, moving the focus of attention from critical analysis to a wider discussion about the current Italian theatrical system. This case study investigates the influence of virtual communities in how spectators and critics relate to contemporary performing arts.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11573/1650988
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