Theater & Performance Art Interactive Installation & Digital Performance

The Body Is Present? (2015)

The Body Is Present?

“The Body is Present?” is a durational participatory performance piece, which is a digital “performance revisit” of Marina Abramović’s “The Artist is Present”, performed in 2011 at the Museum of Modern Arts in New York City. This performance problematizes and provokes dialogue about the nature of virtual interaction, presence, and embodiment in telecommunication. The piece is a theatrical Turing test, examining the spectator’s perception towards the presence of the other body on the other side of the digital medium. The Body is Present? seeks to simulate digitally-mediated liveness in video communication and blur the liminal space between live and recorded. The Body is Present? was exhibited at the Media Arts and Technology Annual Exhibition at University of California, Santa Barbara in May 2015 and CHI Interactivity 2016 exhibition at San Jose Convention Center.

*“Performance Revisit”–as opposed to “performance re-enactment”–is a term that I have created for my practice-based research, which refers to the construction of an original performance artwork in order to remember and respond to a previously-presented historical performance piece. While “Performance Re-enactment” (or “Re-performance”) is usually referred to the act of preservation of a past performance by reviving it into a new performance event, and the replication of the old one as accurate as possible, usually with archival purposes in mind, “Performance Revisit” does not attempt to function as an accurate living archive of the previously-performed work. The new performance revisit (or “Revisiting Performance”) is in fact only inspired by the historical artwork, and by no means a replication or simulation of that piece. In other words, a “Performance Revisit” is a repositioned, re-contextualized, and (Deleuzian) re-territorialized version of the older performance work, which problematizes and makes an analytical dialectic around the similar dominant themes or concepts in both.

Paper Publication:
Sajadieh, Sahar, and Nathan Weitzner. “A Theatrical Turing Test: An Encounter of Telematic Bodies.” In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 297-300. ACM, 2016.

Art Exhibition:
• 2015: Media Arts and Technology End of Year Show, UCSB

The Body is Present?

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