Aesthetics and Performance


Screen Performance Creates Embodied Aesthetics This video captures the human working the machine during a recording of the video, Truing. [need to revise this video with the screen camera trained on the composing] As has been pointed out a good deal (Anderson and Sayers; Reid), the digital has multiple material instantations. We can recongize these materializations in software (Drucker) and hardware (Kirschenbaum). And we can take a different tac and highlight the crosscurrents between the screen and our physical bodies, perhaps weaving together strands from posthuman and cyborg theory with conceptions of cinema (Shaviro) with theories of embodiment and texts (Barthes).

These strands can help us better recognize how "materiality comes into existence . . . when attention fuses with physicality. . . ." (Hayles) Katherine Hayles says, this materiality is linked with attention. Examining an artifact like Truing--picking out the shapes and movements within its frame--highlights a kind of formal materiality that links attention with the representations and structures of the screen (91). Turning the camera on the keyboard as the video gets performed, however, brings to light the embodied processes of hand or heart driving the composing. Hayles cites tactile engagements with materials like clay, but the camera captures similar registers of feeling in bodies even as they work within the flattened space of the screen. This engagment becomes both physical and formal, dissolving boundaries in what Hayles (following Pickering) calls a "fluid dance."

[Expand on cinema and embodiment]

[Expand on rhetoric and embodiment]