This publication written in French by Camille Pernelet (RESEO) was translated into English by Roshnara Corby for RESEO Spring Conference 2016.
How can the performing arts, in which audiences and artists share one physical space, adapt to a consumer model that places a screen between them? How can they reach spectators who spend their days in front of a computer, when the rule upon entering a performance hall is to turn off all devices? How does the omnipresence of screens influence relations between art forms, artists, institutions and audiences? How do digital media and new technologies affect the work of educators, outreach and audience development departments? How are institutions innovating in order to bring in new audiences, renew their relationships with established ones and increase the appeal of their activities?
RESEO, the European Network for Opera and Dance Education, decided to take a closer look at these issues on the occasion of Culture Num on 9 July 2015 in Aix-en-Provence. We asked our members – over 90 performing arts institutions in 25 countries in Europe and beyond – about the digital communication strategies implemented by their education services as well as audience education projects directly using new media. We were able to deduce four main observations about the impact of digital media on their work and the nature of their relations with audiences:
- The growing importance of social networks in communication strategies and their impact on the form and nature of content,
- The evolution of educational resources made available to teachers and families before performances and allowing them to prepare for them,
- Increased physical, geographical and temporal circulation made possible by digital media taking the work out of the performance hall,
- Emphasis on participation of the public, now actively involved in the various stages of production and musical creation as well as the day-to-day life of the institution.
These conclusions are the result of the examination of concrete examples of digital mediation projects alongside studies and both European and national reports on the impact of digital technology on cultural practices, education, interaction with art forms, audience development, and behavior of younger generations.