Expanded Performance Category
by Tanuja Amarasuriya
At heart, my aim as an artist is to make work that connects with people - by which I mean, work that invites people - audiences, if you like - to think things and feel stuff. So I'm interested in digital technologies as aesthetic and emotional textures.
My research through this Expanded Performance Fellowship has kept returning to a focus on 'emotional immersion' - the private, personal, hard to measure, but deeply impactful sense of involvement that keeps us watching, listening, playing, searching, questioning, caring. It's what moves us. It's what gets under our skin.
These essays and provocations weren't planned as a series. They're all dives into what felt most insistent at the time. The influence of Covid-19 lockdown is in there for sure. And the occasional punch line (cos art is also fun, for real). There's also a recurring resistance to the idea that technologised art can "promise" something, in terms of the felt experience. But perhaps what I see connecting them the most, is a focus on creating space for the audience to be, rather than requiring them to do. To be part of something, rather than to do to something. To feel connected, rather than having to perform connection.
Image Credit: Brian Hartley