Being Swept in

  • Brigid M. CostelloEmail author
Part of the Springer Series on Cultural Computing book series (SSCC)


When users first encounter an interactive application, their personal rhythms need to synchronise with and become attuned to its rhythms. Any breakdown of rhythmic synchrony at this stage can leave users confused, distracted, frustrated or bored. Often, users can’t explain this breakdown, apart from having a sense that the application “just didn’t grab” them, and it can occur no matter how interesting the work’s content may be. At the other end of the scale, the rhythms of a work can grab users so fast that they feel as if they have been taken over and possessed. An experience they might then describe as addictive. The rhythms of a beginning lead users into the patterns within a work, guiding attention and developing expectations about how these patterns might then progress. Their flow has an energy that, when combined with a user’s rhythms, pulls the interactive experience ever onwards towards whatever it is to become. Beginnings sow the seeds not just for rhythmic progression but also for its potential resolution or ending. The rhythmic flow of the beginning of a work is also a key focus in the theatre and performance practice of Clare Grant, a director, dramaturg and performer. Grant is internationally recognised as a leader in the field of experimental theatre and has worked with companies across Europe and Australasia. Her performances experiment with the boundaries between audience and performer, and often involve audience interaction. Like this chapter, Clare Grant’s interview focuses on the rhythmic processes of captivation. As she emphasises, this process is not just about grabbing attention but also about the quality of the way that you might hold that attention and then let it go. It’s about being swept in and out. Thus, it’s about rhythmically shaping both entrances and exits.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of the Arts and MediaThe University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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