Performing from the edge of the body
Thompson, Jessica Leanne
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As the means of production continue to become faster, cheaper and more accessible, and as mobile technologies such as smart phones become more sophisticated and more prevalent within everyday life, there has been increasing interest in the artistic and commercial potentialities of interactive media in the general public. Artists that create participatory artworks for use in public spaces now encounter larger, more diverse and more sophisticated audiences whose expectations of artworks is informed by commercial devices. Artists now have an opportunity to push the boundaries of mobile and portable media beyond the production of devices and into the realm of performance. It is through performance that artworks retain their ability to facilitate extraordinary situations within ordinary spaces. Performing from the Edge of the Body investigates some of the ontological conditions that inform how the engagement with objects can facilitate new modes of performativity in public spaces. Through a detailed analysis of my own artwork, Swinging Suitcase , I will argue that performing from the edge of the body is an itinerant state defined by three primary parameters: that peripatetic artworks position the body as the primary state of reception, that embodied action through portable and wearable media facilitates new modes of cognitive engagement, and how the generating sound through gesture activates space outside the body through the physical manifestation of voice.