Bodily Presence and the "Massage" of Movement

By: Ursula Payne  

The human body as a medium intersects with all of communications media. The work of Marshall McLuhan is explored throughout this paper to consider the impact of mediatized environments on the human body, sensory perception, and ultimately human interactions with each other. Where Innis believed that communications technology was central to the technological revolution because of its impact on social and cultural institutions, McLuhan considered the human body as the site of the senses. I refer to experts in kinesis, somatic, transcendence, and bodily presence as being dancers. When the body is not present de-personalization or disembodiment occurs. The ecology of learning and embodying creative human movement is responsive to communicative innovations. This paper explores how bodily presence, as it relates to creative human movement, functions as a sophisticated and generative medium within mediatized environments.

Media Cultures
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Ursula Payne

Professor, Dance, Slippery Rock University of PA, United States
United States

I graduated with my Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the Ohio State University in 1992. I have been a Professor of Dance at Slippery Rock University for twenty-three years. My creative work as an independent artist has been shown in venues throughout the USA and internationally. I have received four Pennsylvania Council of the Arts Choreographic Fellowships. As a teacher, I have been invited to teach at numerous colleges and universities nationally and internationally. I am currently enrolled as a student in the Communications Media and Instructional Technology, PHD Program at Indiana University of PA. I believe that the expertise of dancers can shed light on communicative issues related to disembodiement and tensions between virtual space and physical space, virtual bodies and physical bodies, and  lived experiences versus virtual experiencs. I am currently collaborating with Art Professor Heather Hertel on a movement project that involves wearable art pieces. I view these pieces as extensions of the body and senses. This wearable pieces add another dimension to the experience of movement in the body and how we (dancers) sense each other, interact, problem solve, and embody concepts and ideas related to the environment and media.