Joshua Sofaer

Learning

Life Lecture

Developed in cooperation with the Interactive-Science-Program ZMI Giessen
Published and distributed by Live Art Development Agency

Life Lecture is an online resource which structures and directs an audience to deliver a lecture to themselves about themselves.

It aims to create a collective autobiography of the audience while simultaneously challenging our understanding of what autobiography is.

It can be used as a tool for research into theories of the self, questions of memory and confession between truth and fiction, but also – as the authoritative lecturer is missing in this setting – into questions of collective knowledge production, lecture performance, group behaviour and structures of communications.

How can I use Life Lecture?

Life Lecture can be used wherever there is space, an internet portal and a group of people. It is intended for use in workshop, education, research and performance settings.

Who is Life Lecture aimed at?
It is aimed at learners and researchers in a variety of fields, for example: performance studies, creative writing, oral history, cultural studies, sociology and psychology. As the content is created by the audience, Life Lecture will work with a broad range of workshop groups. It can be used as an effective ‘ice-breaker’ at the beginning of a project, as a means to gather material for investigation and creative processes etc.

What will I need?
– a good internet signal
– a way of screening the website – projection with external speakers for a larger group, or computer screen for small groups
– if you are using a projector, you may wish to toggle the internet browser window into full screen mode Life Lecture works best with the most up-to-date Firefox or Safari browsers
– a designated place for people to present (a lectern could be useful)
– with larger groups in larger spaces a microphone and further amplification could be useful

How many people can participate?
Life Lecture works best for groups of between 7 and 30 people but you could work with it on your own or in large groups if you wanted. Life Lecture works best when all participants can be seated in one row in a semicircle in front of the lectern and projection. It should be as easy as possible for participants to get up and reach the lectern.

Will I need to facilitate any sessions?

Life Lecture has been designed to be almost entirely self sufficient. Life Lecture will be more rewarding if the following points are considered:
– as the organiser/host of Life Lecture you might want to welcome the participants and invite them to take an active part in the lecture, before you start the programme on the website
– be clear about the purpose you are using Life Lecture for, and communicate it to the participants
Life Lecture can work quite differently depending on the context
– if you use Life Lecture as a tool for specific research, you could note general questions you are interested in and discuss them with the participants after the launch has ended
– there are times when the audience is left to decide things for themselves and this decision needs to be inputted into the website for the programme to continue. You may choose to do this yourself or to nominate someone else
– with larger groups in larger spaces a microphone and further amplification could be useful

What languages does Life Lecture operate in?
At the moment Life Lecture only operates in English. We are keen to encourage translations, so if you are interested in developing one, please contact us.

How long does Life Lecture last?
It depends on the group but as an average, you should plan for about 2 hours for the whole experience. (30 minutes for the introduction and preliminary exercises, an hour for the lecture and 30 minutes for the discussion).

Life Lecture is by created and written by Joshua Sofaer.
Illustrations by Goh Ideta.
The Dramaturg and Editor in Chief is Sibylle Peters in cooperation with the Interactive-Science-Program / ZMI Giessen. Life Lecture is published and distributed by Live Art Development Agency, London. Webdesign and authoring by Platform3.