Maria Chatzichristodoulou, Janis Jefferies, Rachel Zerihan – Interfaces of Performance

Maria Chatzichristodoulou

Ashgate, ISBN: 9780754675761, 232 pages, 2009, English
The concept of the performance space has been definitively questioned by the use of media technologies, multiplying the possible dimensions and extending the borders. Even more important, perhaps, is the role of the “interface” in the performance field. Here the term “interface” is very well defined as “a shared space of exchange and dialogue as well as a site of contestation and tension.” The aim of the contributors to this book appears to be the opening of performance boundaries at large, something which involves analysis (both theoretical or practical) and discussion (through interviews) with a number of artists representing with their practice, specific qualities and methods (among them Blast Theory, Gob Squad, igloo, ORLAN, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, and Critical Art Ensemble.) The ideas and processes of these emblematic performers facilitates a discussion about the spectrum of technologies used and their purposes, radically redefining, for example the new role of the audience (present or remote), or expressing new explicit political concepts. The five areas explored in the respective chapters (Environments, Bodies, Audiences, Politics, and Affect) facilitate a fundamental shift in performance, underlined by Chris Salter: from an anthropocentric one to those of “non-human enunciation”, based on the new forms of “hybrid human and machine subjectivities.” At this point new dramaturgies can be ultimately be created and new “interfaces” can be conceived for the encounter between the performer and the audience.