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Faculty Publication: Dr. Will Lewis

Performativity 3.0: Hacking Postdigital Subjectivities

Performativity 3.0 Book Cover

Visiting Assistant Professor of Performance and Directing Dr. Will Lewis has a book chapter titled “Performativity 3.0: Hacking Postdigital Subjectivities” recently published in Avatars, Activism and Postdigital Performance: Precarious Intermedial Identities edited by Liam Jarvis and Karen Savage for Bloomsbury Methuen Drama. 
The formation of human subjectivities and subsequently their performed identities have become dependent on interactions with algorithmic machines through the processes of datafication and dataveillance. This chapter highlights the ways users of technology can “hack” these processes in order to assert control over their own subjective selves. Blast Theory’s smartphone-based app/performance Karen serves as a case study where acts of data role-play help explain how these users may act in subversive way by actively taking on the role of spectator as interactive player. In this example, data role-play operates as a mode of techno-performativity where these players gain the opportunity to construct multiple posthuman selves which can then distort and negate the power “smart” machines’ have to subjectivize. By analyzing a playthrough of this digitally delivered project, mediatized spectators are asked to rethink their power position within systems of subjectivity formation with algorithmic-based technologies, opening a window into posthuman modes of identity construction through acts of data manipulation.

You can find more information about this publication here.


January 2022