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Somatic/embodiment/technology as an evolutive strategy: The ontological shift of the performative body in contact with technologies

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This article examines the new and multiple relationships of the senses and related perceptual and cognitive processes that characterize contemporary performance integrating new technologies. Focusing on the corresponding effects on embodiment, corporeality and performativity, it considers the sensori-perceptual ‘re-creation’, reorganization, deconstruction and reconstruction involved when the body interacts with, is ‘touched’ by, and ‘incorporates’ the effects of technology. While taking into consideration a current context of research-creation and its conceptual prerogatives, the article centres on the question of technological intervention from the perspective of its encounter(s) with the sensate, somatic body. Based on the premise of the body as a living perceptual entity, adaptive biological phenomenon and indeed, technology in its own right, the author redefines a contemporary status of the body while analysing the artistic strategies employed to inscribe the mediated body and its manifestations within a contemporary artistic production. The article concludes by suggesting that the phenomenological mediation of the performative body is an evolutive form of the sensate, somatic body that could have the potential to bring about the emergence of another form of embodiment and intercorporeality, or even, another form of dance specific to the twenty-first century. Possibly an alternative to the concept of the post-human.
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Keywords: dance and technology; embodiment; mediation; performing arts; phenomenology; somatic; technology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Quebec in Montreal (UQÀM)

Publication date: December 1, 2018

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  • This journal focuses on the relationship between dance and somatic practices, and the influence of this body of practice on the wider performing arts. The journal will be aimed at scholars and artists, providing a space for practitioners and theorists to debate the work, to consider the impact and influence of the work on performance, the interventions that somatic practices can have on other disciplines and the implications for research and teaching.
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