Introduction to multimedia performance

This course is an introduction to the history of a recent phenomenon in contemporary art: the process of automation of technological media, most notably digital media, and its incorporation into the performance plane.

The kickoff of this, in the form of a question to be asked is: what is genuinely new in the ontology of Digital Performance? The sense of "newness" of computational technologies becomes clearer when they are considered and contextualized as means of significant social, cultural, and artistic change. In this sense, they can be seen as generators of a genuine re-evaluation of models and a rethinking of artistic and communicational techniques and paradigms.

What will you learn?

Divided into 3 modules, this course brings different sections to talk about histories, theories, and contexts from the study of 3 cases of recent digital performances, which illustrate and encapsulate key arguments and ideas. In contrast, theoretical perspectives and historical precedents are brought to the fore as we analyze these works closely.

These analyses consider the legacy of the avant-garde of the early 20th century, relating today's digital performance to the theories and practices of Constructivism, Dadaism, Futurism, Surrealism, and Expressionism. Like cinema, later television and video also exerted a significant influence on the development of digital performance.

The core concepts of body, space, and time, ancient and perennial foundations of theater and performance, have been shown to have undergone significant changes in various areas of performing arts practice where computer techniques and technologies have been involved and adopted.

Starting from the idea of body, we will examine the ways in which artists and performers conceive, manipulate, and interact with their "digital doubles" and the fears and fascinations associated with the humanization of machines and the dehumanization (or "machinization") of human beings. 

Through the concept of Space, we come to understand the ways in which computer technologies have been combined with giant projection screens to transform and amplify spatial perceptions and create immersive and kinetic scenographies, inaugurating the discussion of cyberspace as a "place." 

Regarding the concept of Time, we will reflect on works that operate ways to broaden our understandings of extratemporality and also activate ideas of "memory".

Module 1: Lectures that contextualize the general theme and present the 3 cases, notable digital performance works, that will be studied/analyzed.

Module 2: Analyses of the 3 cases presented in the previous module. From this impulse, the idea is that the reflections generated can drive practical experiments.

Module 3: Brings conclusions about the contemporary panorama and comments on the complementary material.

What is the course project?

The course intends to offer access and tools for a better understanding of the recent history of digital performance, and by observing the conceptual and technical specificities of 3 works, instigate the production of new practical or theoretical works on the subject.


None. If the student is able to read in English, he/she will have better use of the complementary materials.

  • 113 STUDENTS
  • AUDIO: Portuguese
  • SUBTITLES: English
  • LEVEL: beginner

Ana Elisa Carramaschi

She is an artist and researcher, master in Visual Arts at ECA-USP. Researches on the relationships between image, space, body and new technologies, currently developing practices linked to digital fabrication laboratories. Her artistic research investigates the contemporary gaze to a world mediated by technical images and is based on the questioning of the image perspective as a portrait of reality, promoting reflections on the gaze conducted by devices. In her master's degree, she developed a creation program that uses pre-existing images as a basis for generating infinite forms in 2D and 3D, to discuss the role of the artist no longer as a creator of forms but as a creator of projects, processes and programs.