AustLit logo
Issue Details: First known date: 2015... 2015 Drones, Projections, and Ghosts : Restaging Virtual War in Grounded and You Are Dead. You Are Here.
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The United States relies increasingly upon digital technologies and live-virtual mixed-reality environments to prepare for, pursue, and recover from asymmetrical war. However, Iraqis and Afghans modeled in such systems are structurally excluded from occupying their 'first-person-shooter' viewpoints. This essay recasts Emma Willis's use of Levinasian ethics and Judith Butler's proposal that war's framing excludes certain subjects from full humanity to address the obstacles and opportunities for ethical spectatorship that virtual war's structural occlusions pose to theatre. It does so by investigating how two recent US plays, George Brant's Grounded and Christine Evans's You Are Dead. You Are Here., which incorporates Virtual Iraq and was written by this essay's author, interrogate virtualized war to reframe and restage absent Iraqi and Afghan perspectives and human consequences. The essay argues that despite their achievements, the 'hero's journey' structure of both plays, in concert with the wider public framing of war via the military-industrial-entertainment network, nevertheless reframed the Other as a vehicle for the Western soldier-subject's cathartic crisis. Expanding on Doreen Massey's vision of space as multiple trajectories rather than a depthless surface, the essay concludes that thick mapping, such as that modeled by the Digital Archive of Japan's 2011 Disasters (JDA), offers new options for performances engaging virtualized war, allowing them to de-couple narrative structure and spectatorship by generating heterotopic and heterogeneous interpretative spaces.' (Publication summary)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Theatre Journal vol. 67 no. 4 December 2015 9616134 2015 periodical issue 2015 pg. 663-686
Last amended 7 Jun 2016 13:17:37
663-686 Drones, Projections, and Ghosts : Restaging Virtual War in Grounded and You Are Dead. You Are Here.small AustLit logo Theatre Journal