Bodily extensions and performance

Sita Popat (Corresponding Author), Sarah Whatley, Rory O'Connor, Abbe Brown, Shawn Harmon

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

3 Citations (Scopus)


In contemporary technological society, bodily extension has become a regular occurrence for many people. Extensions can attach to or connect with human bodies to adjust, change or augment them in physical or virtual spaces, including artificial limbs, contact lenses and digital avatars. They can be as hi-tech as a surgeon manipulating a device to operate remotely on a patient in another country, as media-present as a Paralympic athlete with running blades, or as everyday as a blind person using a stick. We might use extensions ourselves or witness others using them in workplaces, social environments, at home, and in the media. They may be perceived as enabling tools by some, replacing or augmenting body parts, capacities or abilities, perhaps leading to superhuman feats. However, others may see them as disabling restrictions, with their use enforced by social or cultural expectations about what a body should be. Inevitably, extensions are incorporated into body images and implicated in social identities. This Special Issue on ‘Bodily Extensions and Performance’ raises critical questions about the nature of extended bodies and body-technology practices. The six essays are concerned with the lived experiences of such bodies, highlighting processes of incorporation and hybridity (Donnarumma), influence and exchange (O’Brien), blurring and entanglement (Wilson), shifting identities (Riszko), destabilisation and metamorphosis (Stępień) and defamiliarisation of the everyday (Sobchack).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-104
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media
Issue number2
Early online date28 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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