Kelli Zezulka

Kelli Zezulka
Panel 2: People and Processes

Paper title: Domains of discourse: translating the language of light

Abstract: Lighting designers make use of two distinct (though overlapping) dialects: the “artistic” language of ideas and intentions and the “technical” language of processes and logistics. This ability to “code‑switch” is an important skill of the lighting designer; however, as David Crystal notes, “the English language is not a single, homogenous, stable entity: it is a complex mixture of varying structures” (1975: 202) and different creative teams will inevitably develop differing shorthand and descriptive language. Using Christopher Gauker’s (2011) notion of “cooperative conception” I will investigate one production from my PhD fieldwork, looking at how the creative team developed a common “domain of discourse” (Gauker 1997) and the lighting designer’s specific role in this process.

Biog: Kelli Zezulka is a PhD researcher in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries at the University of Leeds, where she is researching agency within creative teams through the use of language, with particular emphasis on the lighting designer’s relationships with the director and the lighting programmer. She is a non-executive director of the Association of Lighting Designers and is editor of its bi-monthly magazine, Focus.