Surviving Festival Disruptions: The Transformation of the New Life | Performance Cultural Ecosystem in Contemporary Bangkok Due to the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic
Keywords:Festival, Performance, COVID-19, New Normal, Cultural Ecosystem, Contemporary Bangkok, Placemaking
This article examines how COVID-19 disrupted the Life | Performance festival in Bangkok in 2020; focusing on changes in three festival components. Viewing the festival as a cultural ecosystem interrupted by the 2020 novel coronavirus, the article will focus on the disruptions forced on three pieces: Eko Supriyanto’s Urban Movement Laboratory, Gecko Parade’s Lindbergh’s Flight and Pichet Klunchun’s No. 60: Exhibition, Lecture | Demonstration. The pandemic-induced disruptions in these performances highlight several important ways that the COVID-19 pandemic transformed the Life | Performance urban festival. Changes occurred in the timing/scheduling, spacing/location, relationship with audiences/viewers and their mode of performance for all three pieces. The pandemic also compelled rearranging performances into new spaces, a greater mediatization of the festival and the development of new site-specific, community-centered platforms. These disruptions led to a reorientation of the festival toward efforts to enhance creative placemaking within a smaller urban zone.
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