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The Justice Syndicate: using iPads to increase the intensity of participation, conduct agency and encourage flow in live interactive performance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Daniel Barnard, Kris De Meyer

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-87
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media
Issue number1
Published1 Jan 2020

King's Authors


The Justice Syndicate is an interactive performance, featuring an audience who take on the role of jurors considering a difficult case. Participants receive evidence, witness testimonies and prompts to vote and discuss the case on iPads. With this practice-as-research project we explored what are the most effective means of inviting people to participate; how to widen their ‘horizon of participation’; how to heighten the intensity of interaction in order to increase the level of ‘agentive behaviour’ of the participants; and how to create a sense of Flow in participants. We found that an effective solution to the fear of experiencing or causing embarrassment is for the invitation to participate to come from a machine and for there to be no distinction between ‘audience’ and ‘participants’. This also proved an effective way of stimulating a high intensity of ‘agentive behaviour’ among audience members, although it did not automatically lead to a greater feeling of agency. Applying an adapted version of Lindinger and colleagues’ [(2013). “The (St)Age of Participation: Audience Involvement in Interactive Performances.” Digital Creativity 24 (2): 119–129. doi:10.1080/14626268.2013.808966] codification of how to stimulate a state of Flow in audience members also proved effective in creating a highly immersive experience.

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