Marie-Claude Poulin

Mutations – bodily perception, analog and digital dispositives

The tension between the organic, the mechanical and the digital is a crucial subject of debate in our time, giving rise to currents of thought such as the post-human and post-media discourses and the paradigms of the post-digital era, all of which justify the need for the re-appropriation and reclaiming of the physical body. There is extensive evidence that technologies have penetrated our daily lives to the extent that our perception of our identities and our manner of embodiment are in mutation. Investigations are needed to understand these realities in all domains, including the arts, and this calls for a fundamental intertwining of the disciplines to carry them out.

“Mutations – bodily perception, analog and digital dispositives” is based on the premise that the various dispositives we engage with, from the pencil to the smartphone, but also from language to the school system, model and determine our actions. Interweaving performance arts, digital arts, choreography, and somatic practices, this doctoral research project will be led by Marie-Claude Poulin, under the supervision of Professor Ruth Schnell, within the Digital Arts Department of the University for Applied Arts, Vienna. Marie-Claude Poulin works since 1995 as digital artist, choreographer, performer, “movement expert” and artistic researcher in transdisciplinary collaboration (kondition pluriel – Montreal/Wien).

The project is built around the realization, the dissection, and the contextualisation of the creation process of an ensemble of interrelated performance and installation works structured through specific dispositives implicating performers and/or the public. This complex of works will provide a sufficient amount of significant information on processes and methods to analyze and reflect upon.

The inquiry will particularly focus on the impact of dispositives in the artistic work of the artist in particular, as well as in transdisciplinary research-creation involving performance and digital arts in general.

It is therefore anchored in practice that this research project will address the following themes:

  • Body-Mind Extension/Augmentation
  • Play, Sense of Playfulness, and Agency
  • Public and Private Spaces – Observation, Surveillance and Self-Mediatization
  • Telematic and Virtual Communication
  • Mediation and Transformation – the Spectator-Performer-Spectator Continuum
  • Human Omnipresence and Social Immersion
  • The Cohabitation of Artificial Life and Human Beings – Human-Machine Behaviour Score

The artistic research will be contextualized by the artistic practices of peers and theories from art, philosophy, cognitive sciences and somatic practices that view the physical body, experience, and perception as the tools that are essential for apprehending the world.

“Mutations – bodily perception, analog and digital dispositives” seeks to contribute to the opening-up of a field of artistic creation that takes account of the societal transformations occurring today – a contribution to the field of artistic practice and art theory, with potential repercussions for the philosophical, psychological, and social domains.

Supervision: Ruth Schnell

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Photo: // Foto: Performer: Audrey Rochette, Photographer: Bruno Colpron, © kondition pluriel/M-C Poulin.