The Body Is Present (2015)

“The Body is Present”(2015)

Created and performed by: Sahar Sajadieh

Software Development: Nathan Weitzner and Sahar Sajadieh

Technical Director: Nathan Weitzner

“The Body is Present?”, is a durational participatory performance piece, which is a digital reperformance of Marina Abramović’s “The Artist is Present”, performed in 2011 at the Museum of Modern Arts in New York City. It was performed at the Media Arts and Technology Annual Exhibition at University of California, Santa Barbara in May 2015, and at the CHI 2016 conference (Interactivity Exhibition) in San Jose Convention Center. This performance piece is a theatrical Turing test, examining the spectator’s perception towards the presence of the other body on the other side of the digital medium.

“Hello, My dear” is the second version of this performance piece. It explores participant responses in various modes of liveness (different from those in the 1st version). Additionally, it examines the participants’ perception of liveness towards the artist’s prerecorded videos, which are choreographed with the purpose of simulating liveness. We wanted to see what constitutes liveness in video communication (with no audio) for the participants. “Hello, My Dear” provokes questions about the role of gender, agency, familiarity, and emotive gestures in constituting a sense of liveness in telecommunication. This interactive exploratory artwork exemplifies performance practice as research.

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