Intimate Aesthetics and Facilitated Interaction

Chapter
Part of the Springer Series on Cultural Computing book series (SSCC)

Abstract

With the recent emergence of intimate Live Art and performance practices in the past decades, involving artists and audiences interacting in close physical proximity and one-to-one communication, the body is brought centre stage as the site and material of aesthetic experience. Artists working with these modes of address aim to heighten and intensify the experience of the artwork, through the charged energy of face-to-face confrontation, exchange and close bodily proximity. Our particular interest as artistic practitioners is in intimate body-focused aesthetic experiences, mediated by digital technologies that explore the interactions between physiological processes, bodily sensation and subjectivity. In contrast to autonomous art objects that can be experienced by an individual without any assistance by others, we propose a model of aesthetic experience in which facilitation by artists and witnessing by others are integral components. The guidance and facilitation by artists through an experience is intended to provide safe structures and pathways within which a participant can surrender to the potentially immersive and reflective states of consciousness offered by the artwork. Our framework describes four stages of audience experience and participation that can be used to develop and evaluate body-based Live Art encounters: (1) Welcoming, (2) Fitting and Induction, (3) The Ride, and (4) Debriefing and Documentation. We show the application of our model through two case studies from our artistic practices, illustrating our particular perspective on evaluation as a form of facilitated critique and reflection for audience, as well as artists.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Design LabThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.College of Fine ArtsUNSW AustraliaSydneyAustralia

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