The Body Skinned Rethinking performative presence

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In this paper I examine the transformation that the skin has undergone over the centuries. This change in conception in the skin whereby the skin is considered less a boundary space and more akin to a milieu, a meeting place for the other senses, allows me to posit the performative body as one engaged in a haptic condition, as a body in intimately lived-in spaces with tactile relations. A shift from the optical towards the haptic, in which the all- encompassing god-like view of traditional performance environments becomes replaced by a more haptic condition, as can be exemplified in performances in dispersed environments, posits the body skinned as a fragile body that wants to favour the incomplete and the fragmented. The body skinned is a body initiated by the observed and the perspectival, but it is nourished by means of the local and the embodied. It is a body that, like the skin, is more akin to a meeting place of, and for, the other senses, as well as for senses of the others. Most clearly, the body skinned brings to the fore a potential of being ‘connected a little less’. It is a body that embraces notions of the incomplete, of glances, and of fantasies, and in this light may be a body more ideally suited to environments that purposely displace performative action, such as found in network performance environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-64
Number of pages5
JournalPerformance Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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