I am thrilled to announce the successful approval of the STAGE project titled From Stage to Data, the Digital Turn of Contemporary Performing Arts Historiography (STAGE). This initiative has been granted the European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant. Over the course of five years, this project will bring together a diverse team of performing arts researchers, digital humanists, and computer scientists. To provide a brief overview, the project abstract is outlined below. You can also refer to the interview issued by my university. More information to follow.
Digital sources are one of the most significant challenges facing performing arts historiography. At the intersection of history, epistemology, and digital humanities, STAGE’s key goal is to move performing arts studies into a digital context to establish a new historiography of mise en scène and their creative processes in Europe since WWII. It proposes a groundbreaking theoretical and methodological framework merging culture analytics, actor-network theory, data modeling, and computer vision to challenge conventional approaches to the paradigm shift of digital traces in performing arts studies. I call this new field “performing arts analytics.” STAGE will allow a Copernican revolution of our methodologies combining close reading with distant reading and distant viewing; hypothesis-driven with data-driven analysis; hermeneutics with artificial intelligence, computer vision, and digital humanities; qualitative interpretation with quantitative evidence. STAGE will build from the Avignon festival collection before opening to larger corpora to scale up our results and expand our analysis. Through the two prisms of influence and collaboration, STAGE will reveal creation contexts and networks, aesthetic influences, and creative process models in an unprecedented way. It will make it possible to test new algorithms for medium-sized corpora; to develop a new approach to studying collaborations over time through digital traces; to demonstrate the potential of a data-driven approach and interdisciplinary research in humanities; to create accessible corpora for future research; to demonstrate the importance of digital traces for cultural heritage and research projects. STAGE is transferable in that it will create widely open science tools, methodologies, and theoretical frameworks. It will be of value to historians and art historians who explore digital traces of the past, promising a potential impact beyond performing arts studies.