eXtended Reality and Performing Arts


Fuoco Ester Fuoco

Ester Fuoco

IULM University, Italy


The 21st century opens the Performing Arts more and more to a process of Aesthetic and artistic democratization, thanks to the introduction and subsequent integration of eXtended Reality(XR). The scenario of live performance is paradoxically opening up to the virtual and the immaterial. A first reflection concerns the semantic mutations that have taken place in the artificial 'system of objects/subjects', which become increasingly autonomous interlocutors and enter a new relational sphere with their users, i.e. they acquire an in-between territory, between life and non-life, between automatism and autonomy. The bodies of actors’ or dancers’ can be duplicated and invaded by technology, or continuously reflected with a constant crossing of boundaries in a virtual world. In addition, eXtended Reality, which includes Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality, offers a new audience engagement that is fluid and still being defined. This special session is open to scholars from the fields of Anthropology, Sociology, Aesthetics and the Performing Arts, as well as artists who have developed critical thinking or experimented artistically about the integration of XR in the field of Live Art. The special session will be developed from the perspective of a transdisciplinary dialogue.


The session will cover a variety of topics including but not limited to:

  • eXtended Reality and Performing Arts (theories, case studies and application of XR/presence/immersion/involvement to theatre/dance context);
  • The perceptual and phenomenological implications of virtualities;
  • The ontological status of body and presence in relation to the EXtended Reality;
  • Masks and Avatars;
  • Virtual Scenography;
  • Audience engagement (immersion, interactivity,entanglement);


Ester Fuoco has a PhD in Digital Humanities and Histoire et Sémiologie du Texte et de l’Image, with National qualification to Associate Professor. In 2022 she obtained the French qualification of Maitresse de confèrence en Art du spectacle. In 2021, she won a research grant at the Institute of Biorobotics of the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna for robotic development and experimentation in the Performing Arts. She is currently a post-doc researcher at IULM University with a two-year project entitled "Teatro Onlife: convergenze creative e di fruizione tra live, digital e transmedialità”. She has held numerous seminars and conferences abroad and in Italy, and her research and publications are in the areas of Contemporary Performing Arts, Aesthetic of Digital Performance and Theatrical Anthropology. Her recent publications include the book “Né qui, né ora : peripezie mediali della performance contemporanea”.