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Title: Choreographing the posthuman : a critical examination of the body in digital performance
Author: Han, Seok J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5365 4921
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2015
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In the field of dance, the advent of the virtual and robotic body of a human performing subject pushes choreography in new dimensions since these nonhuman presences bring into question how they engage with the perceptual and embodied experience of the human subject. To resolve this question, this thesis analyses selected digital performances where choreographic composition is employed in creating the posthuman, addressing how the human body is engaged with its technological self and vice versa, and then how these choreographic practices evoke ideas about the posthuman subject and its embodiment. For the analyses of the case studies, I draw upon critical posthumanism and post-Merleau-Pontian phenomenology as a theoretical framework, which helps the posthuman escape from an anthropocentric humanist bias against technology’s physical and cognitive ability as a threat to humanity and from a popular posthumanist desire for the disembodiment and transcendence of the body. This thesis argues that in the case studies the choreographers manifest the posthuman, as an alternative and affirmative vision of the human, which resists an anthropocentric view on the nonhuman as the ‘Other’ or something to control. Instead, they rethink technology as a constituent part of the construction of human subjectivity, while reframing choreographic knowledge of human embodiment as a synthesis of corporeal and digital thoughts. Posthuman embodiment in the choreographic works urges us to rethink the notion of the anthropocentric and Cartesian human subject in terms of the human’s relation to machine, and re-inscribes the body’s doubled condition of presence and absence in the experience of the (physical and/or virtual) world. Also, the case studies reveal the validity of choreographers’ specialised knowledge of bodily ways of being-in-the-world in a posthuman age and the possibility of expanding their knowledge into further domains.
Supervisor: Blanco Borelli, Melissa; Salazar-Sutil, Nicolas Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available