The lecture-performance Presence by visual artist and theatre maker Royce Ng is concerned with the concept of ‘presence’ in technology. It is the subject matter of the piece but is also enacted through the staging of the work. Performed remotely into a physical space, the piece uses various technologies to test the limits of the audience’s perception of the artist’s virtual presence despite his physical absence.
The concept of telepresence is the phenomenon of individuals feeling present in a digital avatar, it also can be understood as digital embodiment or conversely psychophysical disembodiment. As a result of the global pandemic, telepresence technologies have become pervasive, and this performance examines this ‘feeling’ of being virtually present in a space while being physically remote. Not unlike the phantom limb syndrome, but extended to consciousness, it could also be understood as phantom consciousness.