Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Beyond Performance Studies: Mediated Performance and the Posthuman

Ralf Remshardt


My project is not to create a model for intermedial performance analysis, but rather to set the discourse about it in a larger context. Given the rich variety of mediated performances, the notion that there is a definable and delineated act of «performance» demands methodological scrutiny because the discipline of Performance Studies has yet to find a coherent approach to a type of performance that is not grounded in the presence of the body. I suggest that the view that tiesperformance to individual human agency, to the performer and the body of the performer is a liability in the study of mediated performance; but also, perhaps paradoxically, that the analysis of mediated performance, once the anthropic bias is discounted, allows us to revalorize certain seemingly obsolete «humanist» categories by embracing the notion of posthumanism. Discussing a number of instances of mediated performance, including video, digital avatars, and CGI, the article posits that performance analysis should embrace posthumanism and models of consciousness as a way of coming to terms with the «theory machine» of digital/virtual performance modes.

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