Authenticity Issue in Performing Arts using Live Electronics

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


SMC Conference 2007 (2007)




The CASPAR project is an European project devoted to the preservation of digitally encoded information. In the course of the project, the contemporary arts testbed aims at building a preservation framework for contemporary arts using electronic devices, and particularly for performing arts (music, dance, video installations...). The project addresses very specific issues as digital rights, or authenticity. In this paper, we address the issue of authenticity and give an overview of our approach. The approach of authenticity in CASPAR is based on provenance, that is to say, addressing the question of who, when, and why. Implementing this approach in the field of contemporary artistic production including electronic devices is not a trivial task. In CASPAR we intend to study the production process, and extract from the elements and traces left by the production process key elements for future assessment of authenticity. We will present some "case studies" in order to explain our approach. Notably, in the production of the String Quartet by Florence Baschet, the electronic processes are evaluated towards their robustness against changes of instrumentist, changes of tempo, changes in the hardware settings (particularly, removal of a specific sensor). We will show the interest of this evaluation for authenticity preservation issues, and give an insight on the tools we intend to develop, aiming at proving, beyond authentication of provenance, authentication of the results that can be assessed towards author's intentions.