Playformance offers the space for performance artists to rethink their art practice in new ways through the incorporation of augmentative technology. In this artistic practice, spontaneous movement serve that the kinetic form of creative articulation, and are translated to affect projected graphics rendered live. By situating interactive technology as an extension of the artist’s expression, playformance posits that this user-authored virtual output has the potential to convey the user’s inner thoughts and/ or motives through ludic performativity. It’s key for the director to design a visceral experience for the user, which, in turn subsequently felt and understood by the audience as well. With staged performances, come a divide between the passive audience and active performer. Inspired from this, playformance also includes the conceptual development and production of Mirada, an interactive installation, in which users collaboratively engage with sensor-embedded abstract instruments through playful haptic exploration to serendipitously affect both visual and acoustic feedback in real-time.

Playformance focuses on the creative process rather than the end result. Performances are always works-in-progress, with the performer (the human on stage) being the focal point. Technology adds to his or her craft, or enhances the concept of the artwork. If the technology can inspire the performer to facilitate one’s creative expression, then the incorporation of a worn sensor or a motion capture camera truly adds to the quality of the artwork, which is in turn perceived by the spectator. The title  was inspired by the ludic unpredictability that comes from my experiences working with performers in rehearsal and how interactive technology can have artists rethink their relationship with a poem, story or rap that they’ve known so well. Because projected graphics or sound filters are controlled by the performer and rendered live, the performer can explore when (and to what degree) to affect the mediated output as opposed to having to adhere to a linear, predetermined choreography. Playformance has the potential to offer a quality of liveness to the performance shown through unique instances, which has been both challenging and inspirational for the production team as well as the performer as we have had to leave our comfort zone. Not always, but most of the time this has been a positive and instructive experience.

This Venn diagram describes the experience of producing networked-performances. Their independent and conjoined components comprise a synthesis of performance art, Poet interactive technology and creative direction.

Performative Interactivity - Mapping Diagrams-18