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Tina Stefanou to explore digital identity, agency and ownership in new Melbourne show

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Greek Australian vocal artist, Tina Stefanou, was shocked to discover that 40 seconds of a song called Outro that she had performed half a decade ago was being used without her consent by a right-wing French media outlet.

“It kind of went viral, and five years later, I find out it was used as their introduction for over 240 episodes,” Stefanou said in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald.

It was an experience that sparked Stefanou to interrogate questions about her identity, agency, ownership and the distribution of data in the digital age.

Themes she says are explored in My Self in That Moment, a contemporary performance directed by Tamara Saulwick that she is starring in this month.

“How much agency do I have of a past self that’s been funnelled through machines? How much of that is me? Well, I don’t know. I don’t know that,” Stefanou said.

Tina Stefanou. Photo: Andrew Kaineder

The vocal artist is set to perform live at the show’s premiere this Wednesday to Friday at The Substation in Newport, Melbourne, accompanied by a polyphonic chorus of 49 tablets.

The work was conceived by creative director, Tamara Saulwick, three years ago and explores the swiftly evolving ability to replicate, deconstruct and distribute a person’s image and voice.

According to the performance’s synopsis: “The edges of self are increasingly frayed as our relationship with devices and systems becomes ever more entangled, fragmenting notions of ‘me’ and ‘mine’.”

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