When Performance and Philosophy Become Design Materials
Can we re-enact the experiences and histories of others? Are there ethical implications when affect becomes a design material? Can the performative methods currently used in human-computer interaction (HCI) design be refined and expanded using dance improvisation?
These divergent questions were starting points for media scholar Susan Kozel’s talk about body-based approaches to design and HCI. Kozel’s method is informed by the Scandinavian design context and draws from a range of somatic and improvisatory practices that feed into movement and dance improvisation. This talk emphasized the applied qualities of performativity and phenomenology, exploring the potential for practical and material performances of bodies, memories, and data. Kozel’s personal research opens out various strands from the Living Archives research project at Malmö University in Sweden.
Susan Kozel is a Professor with the School of Arts and Culture at Malmö University whose work explores the convergence of philosophy, dance, and media technologies. Kozel’s research is foundational to understanding the body and phenomenology in digital culture. She teaches for the Interaction Design program and is Project Leader of the major research project Living Archives funded by the Swedish National Research Council. Kozel has an active artistic practice and has published widely on topics from affect to archiving, ubiquitous technologies to electronic music. Publications include the monograph Closer: Performance, Technologies, Phenomenology; and the articles “Devices of Existence: Contact Improvisation, Mobile Performances, and Dancing through Twitter” in Improvisation and Social Aesthetics, and “AffeXity: Performing Affect using Augmented Reality” in Fibreculture Journal. Kozel’s current research considers politics, philosophies, and embodied practices of what Kozel calls Affective Choreographies.