Books on Interactivity in Performance?

Hey all,

I’m really interested in interactivity in performance and have been looking for books that approach the topic both on a philosophical level as well as a nuts-and-bolts how-to level. My background and current practice focuses on theatrical performance, and so interactivity of technology in performance is generally about controlling the lights, projections, and sound at the same time via any number of digital sync methods. What I’m interested in is something beyond just “the light cue and sound cue happen at the same time” and also beyond the world of what I would term “one-to-one relationships”, i.e. “look, when I move my arm like this, the light moves too” and into more complex, more subtle relationships.

I’m wondering if anyone has resources (books, papers, videos, presentations, lectures, etc) on the topic of interactivity. I’ve found the following books on Amazon which intrigue me…

Max/MSP/Jitter For Music

Digital Performance: A History


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Oh man, my sophomore year Existentialism class is finally coming into use! I still have a copy of that on my shelves. Thank you! I vaguely recall ideas about the self, how the self relates to the self, and how that relationship to the self relates to the self…

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Thank you all for the interesting thoughts and citations! I’m also interested in this subject, from the perspective of the performance being primarily audience-driven. I like the relationship between the dungeon-master and the players in dungeons and dragons: the dungeon-master is primarily responsible for maintaining cohesion within some context / world, while the players make the choices that ultimately determine how they will experience the world. (Thinking of the system itself in the role of the dungeon-master, and those interacting with it being the players…)

Actually my copy of Judith Butler’s Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory just arrived in the mail yesterday. I’m not sure I should be making recommendations here since I have no background in theater and have not yet re-read it, but! Her writing made a big impact on me in college and seems relevant to this discussion.


This book is a great collection of papers which focus on the role of interactivity and the body in electronic music!