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In Session: Researching Performance in Digital Scholarship: Three Case Studies
2: Digital Tools for Tracing Historical Changes in Indonesian Theatre
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
8:30am – 10:00am EDT
Miguel Escobar Varela
National University of Singapore, Singapore
Geotemporal data is well suited for tracing changes in performances over time. Since 2015 I have been collecting data on the places and dates of traditional Javanese theatre, based on online resources later verified by research assistants. Analyzing this data provides us with a bird’s-eye view of remarkably stable geotemporal patterns over the past five years. But this data doesn’t enable a detailed overview of what actually happens in the performances. This is where multimedia editions come in. A multimedia edition is a video of a single performance annotated in agreement with scholarly standards, that provides insight into the aesthetics and context of a single performance. For the past few years I have also worked together with scholars and translators to generated freely accessible editions of this kind online. This level of detail can only be applied to a handful of performance recordings, while the geotemporal data includes records of more than 6000 performances per year. But taken together, visualizations of geotemporal patterns and multimedia editions can help us better understand how traditional performances are changing in contemporary Indonesia.