A busker's world: performance space and cinematic representation

Date
2014
Authors
Fitzgerald, Dora R.
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Abstract

This is a study on the public phenomenon known as busking, which may be loosely defined as any type of premeditated street performance occurring on public streets using a multitude of artistic performance types. In most busking as opposed to street performance, there may be a monetary exchange between the performers and the spectators. The focus was to study the space in which the performance takes place, namely the urban street, and the actions of performers and audience members in the creation of a phenomenon I call urban sanctuary. The shift in human interaction and human experience, which occur with large-scale urban busking, will form the epicenter of the space to be interrogated. This study will investigate the practice of busking with original research, utilizing the case study method, which will chronicle the activities of a group of present-day buskers known as The Crooners. The case study includes data collected from individual interviews, focus group sessions, and physical data in the form of video footage of their performances. This data will be analyzed using phenomenology as a basis for understanding the lived experience of the participants. The Crooners have practiced busking since 2001. Theoretical insights and case study results will be juxtaposed with analysis from a three contemporary films (The Soloist, Once, and The Visitor) that represent busking within their narratives in profoundly different ways. Phenomenology is also employed in the discussion of the three films as well as the band's experience of the films. The ultimate intent of this work is to assess affect in both the lifeworld and cinematic world concerning the practice of busking.

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Keywords
film and representation, phenomenology, Street performance, communication and the arts
Citation
Department
Bicultural-Bilingual Studies