Body Interfaces

Body Interfaces

Body Interfaces research

This blog is an ongoing update on the activities of the Body Interfaces artistic research project.
For portfolio, go to the project website:

Body Interfaces concept and method

"The body as interface" is an artistic concept and research that comes out of a long research in body-based performance practices, site specific art and technology. The project has a very expansive interpretation and definition of the terminology of "interface" and aims to take the combination of body - interface to a wider understanding, as a relational space between two entities, concerning the aspects of bringing together two parts, as well as separating them, being a threshold condition for the two.

The research combines working with the body and (as) materiality in the tradition of site specific performance art combined with a newer understanding of the body that we have derived through our use of technology and its terminology. The project will benefit from the methodology of technology and not use technology as such; it will research in the physical sensations and meeting points that the body has with the surroundings, inspired by tools required from studying the body in technology with the concept of the interface as a main focus point. The interventions deals with the body as interface for experience, communication in relation to other materialities and the environment that surrounds and interact with these. The interface is here read as a transmitting entity and agency between the body and the surrounding surfaces; translating signals through interaction in and with the environment.

Body Interfaces: Contesting Agency, paper presentation at the Interface Politics conference in Barcelona, April 2016

performance art, researchPosted by Tina Mariane Krogh Madsen Wed, June 08, 2016 13:43:22
The Body Interfaces research is developing new theoretical and practical ground, to analyse and de-construct narratives through site-specific practices. To infiltrate and use the transformative potentials of performance to intervene and re-activate histories connected to the places and sites where the interventions take place.

For the Interface Politics conference held in Barcelona, Spain from April 27. to 29. 2016, Madsen will present her work as a critical performance practice, read through theoretical approaches to the topic.

The conference is organized by GREDITS (Design and Social Transformation Research Group) (from Bau, Design College of Barcelona), IMAGIT/BCN (European consortium for multidisciplinary research), of which HANGAR (Production and Research Centre for Visual Arts in Barcelona) is a member and the MEDIACCIONS Research Group from the Open University of Catalonia (UOC).

Below is the paper abstract and slides from the presentation:

Tina Mariane Krogh Madsen: Body Interfaces – Contesting Agency

Body Interfaces is an artistic performance research that combines working with the body and (as) materiality in the tradition of site specific performance art combined with an understanding of the body derived through a methodology coming from technology. The interface in Body Interfaces is inscribed in the body's relation to the world and the actions that it partakes, with the body as an embodied technology in itself. It is a proposition to go beyond the mere body / machine dichotomy to an understanding of the interface as a crucial part of experiencing and sensing in everyday life, through and with the body. As theorized by Branden Hookway, the interface is seen as culture, a relational space also existing outside, but still in relation to technology. Hookway describes how two entities interact, where the threshold of the two begins and ends with the interface as a liminal condition that deals with these entities in interaction and distinguishes the interface as a "between faces" and "a facing between" (Hookway, 2014).

Site-specificity is an important component of the research, where the body and the senses are connected to the chosen environment through the interfacing act and thus creating a critical reflection and reading of contemporary society. Paul Rodaway formulates how the representation of sensuous experience is connected to the culture where it is performed; how the body relates to the given space and time, being within and a part of the world (Rodaway, 1994). This way of mapping spaces gives a possibility to recreate contemporary narratives as a part of the interfacing process, a critical relational practice that potentially can deconstruct structures and hierarchies on various levels. The interface is here a site of contestation, both in relation to actual materialities, but also in its relation to the surrounding environment and society (Hookway, 2014). Space is in this context not neutral ground, it is an ideological instrument for us to use (Lippard, 1997), where space is socially constructed, which affects our interaction with it (Lefebvre, 1974). Additionally the way that we act in the environment, in which we are present, is structured and manipulated by strategies (of power), which can be acted upon through everyday spatial practices (de Certeau, 1984). The narratives of the interfaces thus become the historical and political notions and relations inscribed into the site, where the Body Interfaces interaction takes place.

Tags/ keywords: materiality, site specificity, performance art, contestation, sensuous experience

Tina Mariane Krogh Madsen, paper presentation and final panel discussion: Lluís Anyó, César Escudero, Tina Mariane Krogh Madsen, moderated by Jara Rocha.

All photos: Malte Steiner

Slides from the presentation (in pdf)

Interface Politics conference website