Performance Art and Technology


Session Title:

  • Long Papers Presentations

Presentation Title:

  • Performance Art and Technology



  • For the past three years I have written about and created art work that focuses on the integration of performance art and technology. My primary interest has been the role that gender plays in the constitution of the subject and subjectivity. I am interested in how these issues of gender and identity are addressed by combining performance and technology. Performance art is defined by its disruption of subject and object relations. It emphasizes a present embodied subject, that is antithetical to technology’s representation of the body. Technology represents the body as once was, and reinforces the Cartesian paradigm that suggests the superiority of the mind over the body. For some women artists especially in the 70’s and 80’s performance art was used as a strategy to redefine themselves as subjects. It was a vehicle through which women could speak about their personal experiences and focus on issues concerning the female body. This process called into question the terms of their objectification. As notions about the constitution of- the subject and the role that gender plays in the construction of identity changed, some women artists turned from performance and started working primarily with technology. For these women this type of media allowed them to explore their subjectivity from a different perspective and offered a way to circumvent gender. However, I maintain that embodiment is a form of epistemology and the significance of gender should not be down played. I suggest that our interaction with technology is of critical importance. Interactivity specifically addresses embodiment. Emphasizing our embodiment and understanding the political networks that play across our bodies suggest that accessibility is fundamental to revolutionizing our perceptions about technology.