Manifest der Interaktionskunst / Manifesto of interactive art

Interaktionslabor, the media lab founded by Johannes Birringer, celebrated its 10th anniversary (in 2013) on the grounds of the former coal mine Göttelborn (Germany). n the summer of 2014 the lab completed its third book publication: “Manifesto of interactive art.”

Edited by Johannes Birringer and Klaus Behringer (for PoCul Publishers), the book describes the history of the interaction laboratory and its gradual evolution into one of the most unusual cultural phenomena of the Saarland region. Since 2003, this autonomous media lab has attracted artists, engineers and computer scientists from around the world, offering two-week residencices every summer for the exploration of the artistic potential of new interactive media. The participants experimented with software and sensors, performance, sound and film compositions, conducting research into interactive architectures and real time processes. They also developed prototypes for productions that were later presented on stages or in galleries, while debating the possible outlines of a manifesto. This book takes stock not only of the interactive experiments, but also of these programmatic and poetic discussions that took place over the past years.
After a historical review of the laboratory by its founding director (introductory chapter), the book presents two versions of the manifesto in German and English, followed by seven further chapters written by members of last year's laboratory, including a video essay by Turkish artist Hayriye Koç Basara, a critical essay on interactive dance by Italian choreographer Vanessa Michielon, and a detailed analysis of interactive wearables by British designer Michèle Danjoux who had prototyped several of her remarkable costumes in Göttelborn. The American dancer Anna Kroll reflects the phenomenon of temporality in art, while Vanessa Vozzo writes about interfaces in interactive installations. Local authors Uschi and Andreas Schmidt-Lenhard enrich the book with humorous meditations on the problem of interaction, while co-editor Klaus Behringer offers a moving account of his "outsider perspective" as a photographer and longtime observer of the working methods of the laboratory. The longest chapter in the book transcribes the "Göttelborner Debates” on the apparent impossibilty of a “manifesto” for interactive art, illuminating contentious issues, technical and philosophical implications, and the social and political significance of contemporary media practices.


The book is available in bookstores or can be ordered at
An overview of all projects can be found on the website:

This project participates in the transeuropean research project METABODY: Media Embodiment Tekhne and Bridges of Diversity (EU Culture Program). It has received support from the Ministerium für Bildung und Kunst des Saarlandes and Saartoto Gmbh, as well as from IndustrieKulturSaar (IKS) and Willi Meiser Computertechnik.




Tanz und WahnSinn / Dance and ChoreoMania
ed. Johannes Birringer & Josephine Fenger
Yearbook 21 of German Society for Dance Research.
August 2011 / Leipzig: Henschel Verlag, ISBN-10: 3894877103
In German and English. € 24,90

Throughout the history of civilization, dance and madness have been intricately linked to each other – from the Dionysian Mysteries of antiquity
to contemporary flash mobs and techno raves. Individual and collective states of exception have found expression and reflection as well as
cathartic healing through dancing. "Tanz und WahnSinn/Dance and ChoreoMania" presents a provocative collection of interdisciplinary studies
on dance and madness combining historical, cultural, schizoanalytic, medical, philosophical, therapeutic and artistic perspectives
that explore the phenomenon.

Please do visit our website



Johannes Birringer, “Corpo, Carne e Espírito: Musical Visuality of the Body” in Blood, Sweat & Theory: Research
through Practice in Performance
, ed John Freeman. Middlesex Univ. Press.



Performance, Technology, and Science by Johannes Birringer

Paperback: 338 pages
Publisher: PAJ Publications/New York (December 2008)
ISBN: 978-1-55554-079-1 . List Price $ 24.95

see announcement on dance tech net
for ordering go to the distributor:


This ground-breaking work of scholarship explores convergences between performance and science through an investigation of new
technologies that drive computer-mediated, interactive art. In tracing the evolution of digital performance within a particular
history of engineering and theatre that now expands to a wide range of practices in dance, design, architecture, fashion, games, music,
robotics, telematic performance, and "post-production"-theatre, the author focuses on interactive performance, installation and Internet art.

Internationally known practitioners and their works are introduced to formulate provocative ideas on computation, complexity, emergence
and self-organizing systems in contemporary peformance which are inspired by biology and biotechnology. Wide-ranging and richly
illustrated essays uncover shifts that have occurred globally in the aesthetic understanding of performance within computer-augmented
virtual and networked environments.

The work of key artists, theatre/dance companies, and laboratories demonstrates how scientific concepts have influenced digital performance, and how performance relates to neuroscience, biology and the life sciences. Challenging common assumptions about embodiment and the digital, this study addresses how artists use
artificial intelligence, machine learning, and sensing technologies not only to enhance the range of expression and visualization, but to bridge the gap between the work and its user.




Tanz im Kopf/Dance and Cognition.

Johannes Birringer and Josephine Fenger (eds), Jahrbuch 15 der Gesellschaft für Tanzforschung. Hamburg: LIT Verlag.

ISBN 3-8258-8712-x


    Tanz im Kopf / Dance and Cognition (Yearbook No. 15) is a bilingual anthology of new dance studies reflecting the annual research focus proposed for 2004 by the German Association for Dance Research. The title refers to tendencies both in contemporary dance practices and in dance scholarship. The discursive thread of the eighteen essays collected in the book runs from a historical understanding of dance which tended largely to separate dancing from thinking to the current proposition that dancing is thinking. Theoretical considerations regarding contemporary concept dance are examined along with sociological dimensions of dance culture and pedagogical concepts. Intercultural projects are included and analyzed along with approaches to dance improvisation and dance experiments with media technologies.

The discussion forum "Dance and Science" offers a special focus on various new research approaches in the cognitive neurosciences and experimental psychology and their impact on dance research and aesthetics. The essays in this forum present innovative models for the analysis of cognition and movement, and provide a critical framework for examining the influence of media and visualization technologies in dance production and research. Observational analyses of sensorimotoric behavior yield new findings that are relevant both for composition and performance practice as well as for dance pedagogical and therapeutic methods and improvisational techniques. This yearbook breaks new ground in international dance research advocating a strong cross-disciplinary emphasis on aesthetic and scientific investigations of performance and cognition.  




Transformations of Culture

by Johannes Birringer

Performance on the Edge takes the reader on a journey across geographical borders and conceptual boundaries in order to map out the new territory of contemporary theatre, dance, media arts and activism. Working across social, cultural and political fault lines, the book explores performance as both process and contact, as the commitment to political activism and the reconstruction of community, as site-specific intervention into the social and technological structures of abandonment, and as the highly charged embodiments of erotic fantasies.
Performance on the Edge addresses the politics of community-oriented and reconstructive artmaking in an era marked by the AIDS crisis, cultural and racial polarization, warfare, separatism and xenophobia. Provocatively illustrated with work from North and Central America and Eastern and Western Europe, the book challenges our assumptions about the relations between media and activism, technological imperatives and social processes, and bodily identities and virtual communities.

(London/New Brunswick: Athlone, 2000). ISBN 0 485 00418 6
US ORDER: hardback: $ 69.95
New paperpack edition, 285 pages (1st and 2nd impression)
Publisher: Continuum; ISBN: 0826457797, Price: $ 29.95
CONTINUUM: The Tower Building, 11 York Road, London SE1 7NX