The augmentation of live performance art with technology opens new methods of self-expression for the performance artist. My research posits that corporeal movements such as hand gestures, which affect virtual representations have the potential to articulate the performance artist’s underlying thoughts or motives. Interactive technology acts as an amplified extension of the artist, in the same way that a megaphone increases the volume of a speaker or an elaborate costume adds to a performer’s stage persona.

Literary scholar and new media critic Marie-Laure Ryan traces the Latin root of the word virtuality to virtualis, meaning the potential: “The virtual is not what is deprived of existence, but that which possesses the potential, or force of developing into actual existence” (Ryan, 1999, p. 88). My research aims to show how situating the performance artist as the actuator of co-authored virtual output re-frames interactive technology as an extension of the self with the potential to amplify creative expression. Susan Broadhurst, Head of Drama Studies of the BitLab Research Lab at Brunel University, explains that in performances, the body is coupled with unifying technologies that inform and recreate the performer’s experiences with the world: “This intertwining of body, technology, and world is important since instead of abandoning or subjugating the physical body, instrumentation and technology extends it by altering and recreating its embodied experience. The body, in turn, creates new technologies and instrumentation to bring potential creativity and mediation in the corporeal world” (Broadhurst, 2006, p. 149).