Overview and research interests
Richard's thesis aims to provide a critical analysis of emerging modes of multi and cross-disciplinary participatory performance. As evidenced by the inclusion on the 2011 Arts Council England National Portfolio of organisations and groups such as Coney, Punchdrunk, dreamthinkspeak and Blast Theory, multi-disciplinary, interactive, performance-based arts are moving from the margins of the cultural landscape.
In discussing the theoretical basis of such work, a range of tools and positions can be applied, ranging from social aesthetics and the politics of spectatorship to the theory of performance gaming and play.
Empirical analysis of specific performances will focus on the convening of an autonomous, temporary society where unique codes of communication are proposed. Through the analysis of these codes and their function, Richard's research will comparatively assess the relationship between the form and established theatrical forms and conventions.
To achieve this, his research identifies the work of German sociologist Niklas Luhmann, specifically his social-systems theory of art, as a theoretical concept that allows for analysis from both a theoretical and empirical perspective.