Bodily experience and imagination: Designing ritual interactions for participatory live-art contexts

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, 2012, pp. 779 - 788
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We are exploring new possibilities for bodily-focused aesthetic experiences within participatory live-art contexts. As artist-researchers, we are interested in how we can understand and shape bodily experience and imagination as primary components of an interactive aesthetic experience, sonically mediated by digital biofeedback technologies. Through the making of a participatory live-art installation, we illustrate how we used the Bodyweather performance methodology to inform the design of ritual interactions intended to reframe the audience experience of self, body and the world through imaginative processes of scaling and metaphor. We report on the insights into the varieties of audience experience gathered from audience testing of the prototype artwork, with a particular focus on the relationship between the embodied imagination and felt sensation; the influence of objects and costume; and the sonically mediated experience of physiological processes of breathing and heartbeat. We offer some reflections on the use of ritual and scripted interactions as a strategy for facilitating coherent forms of bodily experience.
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