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Distributed for Intellect Ltd

Through the Prism of the Senses

Mediation and New Realities of the Body in Contemporary Performance. Technology, Cognition and Emergent Research-Creation Methodologies

With an Afterword by Derrick de Kerckhove

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

Through the Prism of the Senses

Mediation and New Realities of the Body in Contemporary Performance. Technology, Cognition and Emergent Research-Creation Methodologies

With an Afterword by Derrick de Kerckhove
Over the past decade, new technologies have influenced a vast epistemological shift that has transformed notions of performativity and representation in the arts. Mediation has challenged both spectators’ and performers’ conventions of corporeality, cognition, and perception. Centering on contemporary synaesthetic and multimodal works, Through the Prism of the Senses examines new theory and practice in body-based arts and contemporary performance. Three main chapters present three distinct strands of methodological enquiry, one from each author, creating a work that resonates with artistic and philosophical enquiry. This book is a vital contribution to discussions surrounding research creation and the body in relation to digital media, highlighting the ways in which new technologies confront the sensate, somatic body.

A French-language version is to be published by Presses de l'Université du Québec (ISBN: 9782760551480). This includes additional chapters in English by Erin Manning, David Howes, Luc Vanier, and Elizabeth Johnson. A Spanish-language version is to be published by Centro Editoral Universidad de Caldas.

300 pages | 15 halftones | 6 3/4 x 9 3/4

Literature and Literary Criticism: Dramatic Works

Political Science: Political and Social Theory

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"This book makes a very strong argument for the concept of an extended body that emerges through a rigorous and dedicated engagement with new digital technologies. The structure of the document reminds us that it is crucial in our search for new knowledge that we must integrate different perspectives in a transdisciplinary manner in order to address the dilemmas we face in an increasingly complex contemporary world. The writers make an immense effort to understand the different perspectives of body and corporeality -- and inter-corporeality -- that exists within cultures that are not normally within their own accustomed spheres of experience. There is immense scholarship in artistic research at work in this document, and the dedication of the three authors to identifying the potentials of the body, to our perceptive capacities, and to our developing relationships with technological innovation is inspiring."

Henry Daniel, Simon Fraser University

"This is a monumental work. It reads like a choir sings. This is not just another edited collection. This work is a testimony to the power of collective – or if you prefer – distributed scholarship, which is otherwise sorely lacking in today’s academy. There is a growing literature on research-creation in the domain of new media art. This work represents a major contribution to that literature. What is more, it brings the moving body into the discussion. . . . This manuscript raises the conversation to a new level, and in so doing it breaks numerous barriers, particularly through what it has to say about the integration of the arts. This work is bound to have many repercussions not only in the arts, but in sound studies, sensory studies, body studies, communication studies and HCI as well."

David Howes, Concordia University

"A totally fascinating publication. It is human behavior that informs the forward edge of art, and it is the technologies of process and system which now inform human behavior. Seen through the prism of outstanding creative practitioners and theorists, led by Isabelle Choinière, this groundbreaking book shows how performative art, embodying the extended consciousness of telematic systems, can lead the way into the emergence of an entirely new aesthetic canon. The move is from interaction to absorption, from multimedia to moistmedia, a kind of cybersomatic artistic transformation."

Roy Ascott, University of Plymouth

"An ambitious work in which the authors take on the subject of how digital technologies have, and continue to, change us through the extension of our senses that in turn modifies and redefines our perceptions. . . . The book presents a deep level of scholarship and philosophical inquiry . . . and [an] original focus on embodied perception, emergence, the body, and the transforming nature/power of technology."

Denise Doyle, University of Wolverhampton

"An exhilarating, provocative reflection that challenges a traditional lexicon and mode of reasoning. Choinière, Pitozzi and Davidson each have a voice of their own. The argumentative structure of the book is carefully crafted so the reader is able to move easily from one perspective to the other and navigate between the key concepts. This exploration of our complex corporeality is not a scientistic daydream, but a thoughtful manifesto fostering dialogue between philosophy, art, technology, and science. It involves collaborative and collective research, artistic creative process, and theory building. The book not only offers a comprehensive view on the debate amongst critics and art theorists, but also opens up innovative paths for research-creation. And here’s the good news: the body is not obsolete. The body is significant, expressive, fluid, evolutive, transformational, and relational."

Louis Jacob, Université du Québec à Montréal

"This is a hugely important treatise, and I use that term intentionally. It is more than ‘just’ a book. It makes an extensive argument in an area of research-and-practice still undergoing rapid change. It sets out the foundations for a new way of thinking about, and working with, technology in relation to the performative body. It is also a goldmine of ideas and clues for rethinking performative practices. I expect to use it in substantive ways in my own work over the coming years, as well as to recommend it to students and other artist-practitioners. The introduction itself is groundbreaking, or perhaps it lays out the groundbreaking concepts presented in the rest of the book, clearly and cogently."

Geoffrey Edwards, Université Laval

"This book fills a huge methodological void. It will undoubtedly become the bedside book for performing arts researcher and graduate students. In particular, for those wishing to highlight their research based on their artistic performance in an academic and collaborative framework. In addition to this brilliant approach, this book is also theoretically
revolutionary on several levels. It brings new perspectives not only for the performing arts, but also for theology, technology, cognition, etc. Far from being based on a fully technological approach, this book nuances its impact, integrates it and presents a very humanist and pragmatic ways of considering artistic performance into an academic research. Every research-creation student should read it."

Jocelyne Kiss, Université Laval, Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherche en Réadaptation et Intégration Sociale-CIRRIS, Canada

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The prism of perception. Corporeality between intermedial stages and
environments by Enrico Pitozzi
Chapter 2: Seismographies of mediated bodies. A logic of creation by Isabelle Choinière
Chapter 3: The Mediated/Mediating Body by Andrea Davidson
Postface by Derrick de Kerckhove

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