The acting and its whole network of tasks and techniques, in the past three decades has been hit by digital technology. This involves both the methods of recording and reproduction of the actor, and the ability to control automatic events in live performance. However the state of the art does not allow a formal definition for an aesthetic of acting in the digital age. Nevertheless, to summarize the complexity of the phenomenon, we use the term "virtual actor" as an attempt to draw a field of action in which may emerge some key points, and in which we may foresee further analysis. Starting from the appeal of the artificial characters, in which the activity of the actor is replaced by a complex system of artificial intelligence and audio video presentation, we try to suggest few issues that we consider most relevant. On one hand the importance of acting techniques for the design of CG 3D animated characters, on the other hand the alteration of the recitatives codes when the acting is not only projected as light beam, but also recorded digitally in a very detailed data base of points in space (performance capture). In the same way we look at the issue of live presence, well tied to the myth of the here and now, and propose a reexamine in light of contemporary use of media. In this perspective emerges a question regarding the necessary virtualization of the actor, better defined as de-location.
Antonio Pizzo è Professore di Teatro e Multimedia e Drammaturgia Procedurale al DAMS dell’Università di Torino. Ha diretto il Master di Scrittura per prodotti audiovisivi del Virtual Reality & Multi Media Park di Torino e co-dirige il progetto Officine Sintetiche (www.officinesintetiche.it). Ha scritto Materiali e macchine nel mondo di Remondi e Caporossi, Napoli, IUO, 1992; Il giardino dei ciliegi di Cechov per Peter Brook, Pisa, ETS, 2004; Scarpetta e Sciosciammocca. Nascita di un buffo, Roma, Bulzoni, 2009. www.cirma.unito.it/pizzo firstname.lastname@example.org