13(24)#2 2024

Creative Commons licenca
This journal is open access and this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

DOI 10.46640/imr.13.24.2
UDK 7.091:316.774
Izvorni članak
Original scientific paper
Primljeno: 15.11.2023.



Divna Vuksanović i Dragan Ćalović

Fakultet dramskih umetnosti, Univerzitet umetnosti, Srbija
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Fakultet savremenih umetnosti
Svetozara Miletića 12, Beograd, Srbija
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Digital Performances: a Problem-based Approach

Puni tekst: pdf (336 KB), English, Str. 3967 - 3979




Starting from Austin’s theory of speech acts and the difference that is established at the meta-linguistic level between two types of utterance: performative and constative, the authors, from the point of view of media philosophy, claim that in the digital universe, where linguistic and every other expression is transposed by the media, every interaction, being a media creation and therefore without foundations in reality, is performative. Recognizing digitization, i.e. the actions and procedures that confirm it through interaction, as economically based and therefore the entire digital space as bound to the ruling capitalist socio-economic paradigm, the authors questioning whether is enough to claim that the performativity of digital devices and algorithmic structure represent, without distinction, a necessary and sufficient condition for overall digital performativity? That is, if all interactions in the digital world were reduced exclusively to logical operations, there would be no “symbolic surplus” that makes language to be a language and art to be an art, regardless of their material basis. The authors conclude that digital culture establishes a new dystopian line of cultural development, which (in the considered case) finds its manifestation in digital performances. Mentioned form has its origin in a particular software culture as an anti-cultural deviation of digital culture. Digital performances, viewed from that point, are understood as non-performances, or entities that exist only in their connection to performances, which, again, can never become.


Key words: art, digital culture, digital performance, digitization, media philosophy, new media, software culture.



Performance, as a phenomenon, seems to be as old as human communities. It revolves around the spontaneous gatherings and various (cultural) practices of indigenous communities. While some of these practices endure to this day (conversations, communal walks, etc.), others have been supplanted by newer ones (listening to music, going to cinemas and parties, watching television, engaging in digital interactions). Contemporary so-called “digital communities” whether they comprise ‘emigrants’ (Digital Immigrants) or “natives” (Digital Natives) (Prensky 2001), conduct their activities within the artificially constructed realm of digital media. Consequently, the entire digital culture aligns with digital practices, which can be examined either as distinct entities, compared to traditional culture, or within a relatively autonomous framework of interpretation.  

In contrast to performance in previous eras, largely synonymous with the performing arts, today’s era is characterized by the migration of numerous forms and contents from the physical to the digital realm (Baudrillard), performance becomes essential, and sometimes the primary practice  within media and new media culture. What exactly do we, as media philosophers, actually mean by that? To address this question at least partially, it is necessary to recall a particular event, that is, a kind of “philosophical revolutionolution” (van Oort 1996-1997).

In our current context of exposition, the reference is primarily directed towards the foundational linguistic aspects of performance; the contemporary understanding of performance is closely linked to Austin’s theory of speech acts,  and the distinction established at the meta-linguistic level between two types of statements: performative and constative. This retrospective, first of all to what is known as the  “language revolution” (Rorty) - a precursor both chronologically and logically to the media revolution and prepared it for further refinement and paved the way for performances intertwined with artificial intelligence and mutual machine mediation and interaction, for example, is crucial in illustrating the “change of ontology”, encompassing both the interpretation and establishment of new forms of “reality” in our era.

The aforementioned Austin’s distinction, which views certain speech acts as statements about the world, and others as self-referential and even autonomous concerning linguistic, and even any other reality, and finally, in relation to the question of truth, is relevant to understandings of performance in the digital space, since they are, by assumption, performative. Therefore, in the digital universe, where language and every other expression is transposed by the media, and it is not exclusively a mechanical mediation, as one might initially think, every interaction is, in fact, performative since, quite literally, as a media creation, it cannot have a counterpart in reality. Thus, simultaneously, Baudrillard’s defined simulacrum is explained - as a sign without a referent, which at the same time means the abandonment of truth from the circular procedures of simulations and simulacrums.

Although not directly refer to language and aesthetics, but rather on concepts related to identity (gender) phenomena, as Erika Fischer-Lichte (Fisher-Lichte) claims in the book The Transformative Power of Performance: A New Aesthetics referencing the phenomenological interpretations of Judith Butler, the publication underscores the significance of the American author’s comprehension, and elaborates in detail the terms ‘performative’ and ‘performance’ (Fisher-Lchte 2008: 25-37), and highlighting the similarities and differences between Austin’s understanding of the performative (in its primarily linguistic use) and the same term employed by Butler in understanding identity within the framework of a “cultural philosophy” (Fisher-Lichte 2008: 26).

Further analyzing Butler’s essay titled: “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory”, Fischer-Lichte emphasizes the importance of bodily acts which, according to Butler, those performative acts that constitute gender and all other identities (Fisher-Lichte 2008: 27); these acts are characterized by two features - “dramaticness” and “non-referentiality” (Fisher-Lichte 2008: 27). The property of non-referentiality is, particularly interesting and instructive for us, because it is also the basis (following Baudrillard’s direction in defining the simulacrum) of the interpretation of digital, as a materialistic culture. Fischer-Lichte asserts that the differences between Austin’s definition of speech acts and Judith Butler’s corporeal (gender) performativity are actually subtle, with the emphasis on corporeality rather than language, rendering Butler’s theory more applicable and bringing it closer to common practices and understandings (Fischer-Lichte 2008: 27).

But do linguistic, logical, “bodily” and procedural practices, which are performed in the digital environment, correspond to traditional, that is, to those modern concepts of praxis, understood in the range from Aristotle (Aristoteles) through Marx (Marx) , Habermas, all the way to Freire, for whom practice entails action within a reflexive community; moreover, it includes all activities that are in a critical relationship with reality, and are therefore effective.

At first glance, one would say that today’s understanding of the user’s practice, realized in the digital space, does not align with any of the aforementioned paradigms - neither interaction has ethical, nor even political characteristics in the earlier sense of the word (although contemporary discourse often discusses political activism on the Internet and in the so-called social media), and not even cultural, if the scope of the concept of culture does not include literally everything that exists. Furthermore, contrary to both  ancient Greek and Habermasian ideals, theory and practice today are by no means unified; numerous interactions on the Internet, in fact, are devoid of the user’s awareness, and unfolding “spontaneously”or almost automatically. Consequently, it appears that the foundation of digitization, and the actions and procedures that confirm it through interaction, is exclusively economic in nature, and therefore, the entire digital sphere appears tightly bound to the prevailing capitalist socio-economic paradigm.

What kind of sociality is this, and does it possess the characteristics of culture, i.e. of such behavior within digital community/communities that could be deemed part of contemporary culture? Undoubtedly, a number of media theorists believe that in the Internet environment, by analogy with the physical world, both culture and customs (manifestations representing cultural practices on the Internet), as well as artistic projects, which most often fall under the definition - digital art, are realized (performances). Consequently, we need to explore the concept of digital culture and its relationship to performance.

First and foremost, it should be noted that theoretical reflection, on the one hand, and performances, on the other hand, historically speaking, have something in common - and that is dialogue. Namely, poetic, musical and dramatic performances (especially tragedies), as well as Socratic dialogues, form the foundation of European culture. It’s understood, of course, that dance culture exists outside of this cultural research paradigm. However, cultural performances, in addition to the aforementioned artistic and discursive ones, can be interprete much more broadly, whether it involves a return to rituals from the pre-antique era, or a spatial expansion of action to the area of the East - Asian theater, Eastern rituals and festivities (Fischer-Lichte , 2014: 113-140). In any case, the thin thread separating cultural from early artistic (theatrical) practices shows their distinction, which is historical in its character, where cultural practices are, in all likelihood, both temporally and logically older than artistic ones, and indeed precede them.

In other words, cultural practices not only precede artistic practices, they are also the foundation of performativity, which only much later extended to language, understood in the narrower sense of the term, as well as discursive dialogic forms of expression. Moreover, cultural practices recognized as foundational activities of ancient communities, including theater ones, primarily rely on non-verbal communication, which is form of interaction, it differs from dialogue, a concept typically emphasized in more mature and developed Eurocentric formed cultures. Furthermore, as Erika Fischer-Lichte emphasizes in her book Theater and Performance Studies, everything that has the characteristics of performativity, i.e. performance, does not necessarily belong to theater, even when it contains elements that are typical for the theater (actor, stage and audience); for example, it refers to Brecht’s “street scenes”, which resemble events from everyday life. (Fischer-Lichte, 2014: 181).

Overall, performance is present in all cultures; at first they were cultural, then artistic (theatrical) and linguistic performances. In recent times, there is more and more talk about digital performances, that is, about such activities that are realized in the digital space and have the characteristics of perforatormativity.

In the digital horizon of performance, dialogue has certainly been replaced by interaction, which we do not consider an essential supstitucijom.[18]  In addition, the question arises whether dialogue as such is a desirable social practice, if it does not carry a critical, i.e. self-critical, potential. For example, the Freire Institute, which educates students in accordance with the author’s attitude towards contemporary pedagogy (which is also one of the forms of social practice important to us), with special emphasis on poor and oppressed citizens, the concept of praxis, following Freiore’s glossary, determines with regard to the dialogue, but also the actions resulting from it, which are based on a critical attitude towards reality.[19]

In essence, dialogue, facilitated by critical thinking, should transform practice, which, in that case, is equated with problematic thinking within dialogue, and with the practical outcomes of those reflections, empowering consciousness to enact change upon reality through its activities. Therefore, according to these statements, and in the spirit of Freire’s understanding, it is not enough for people to come together and talk for the purpose of acquiring knowledge about their social reality. Instead, individuals must collectively engage in action upon their environment, not only to critically reflect on reality but also to effect substantial change in order not only to critically reflect on reality, but also to significantly change it, and through further action and critical reflection.

And to summarize in the spirit of the ideas of media philosophy that we represent here. Judging by the previous observations, performances in digital media can have, in addition to language, cultural and artistic features, but they are not in any way compatible with dialogic forms of communication. At first glance, it is a paradox that arises from the fact that the performativity of the language used in digital media misses the dialogue, even though it is about activities that are basically related to language and its phenomena. Here, of course, it is not a question of some kind of misuse of language that does not lead to dialogue, but, in the best case, there is a technically mediated monologue between the two, which represents the exchange of user activities in digital media. Then, by itself, communication in digital communities is considered a form of digital culture, which, in a special way (at least conceptually and terminologically), maintains ties with culture in the traditional sense of the word. And, finally, what kind of culture is it, apart from the fact that it is media-mediated, that is, “digitalized”, and what are the elements of performance in it that make it special?

In essence, it could be argued that all activities within a digitally defined framework of interaction constitute aspects of culture. Especially if it is perceived as the entirety of human achievements in reality. Furthermore, it prompts the question of whether all these activities are performative, and what distinguishes digital performativity from performance within the realm explored by performance studies.

One of the more extreme interpretations refers to the performativity that we supposedly find within digital media, and which presupposes completely new forms of internal action (the so-called intra-activity), and that between the so-called agents (whether they are of human or machine origin), and on the basis of epistemological and ontological assumptions, the so-called New Materialism (New Materialism), whereby every “turn” (linguistic, cultural, etc.), historically observed, ends with the return of “matter to matter” (Barad 2003). In this context, we are talking about the so-called posthumanist performativity. In the spirit of performativity considered in this way, all digital cultures would be seen as performative, since they are basically based on digital technology, which certainly offers new possibilities for performative practices and interventions. But can performativity, in all its heterogeneous dimensions, without bypassing the action of agents, be solely reduced to the simple material basis of the digital space and the agents that confirm it? In this sense, is it enough to claim that the performativity of digital devices and algorithmic organization represent a necessary and sufficient condition for overall digital performativity, without distinction?

If things were viewed that way, every action in the digital space, regardless of its origin and purpose, would be performative by definition, and such activities (be they economic, political, cultural or artistic) would not be mutually exclusive, since is the medium itself, as a subject - the digital one, that is, in the last instance - the material one. Then the identity formula would read: A=A; it would be equal to the logical one, i.e. empty identity, and would not say anything about the cultural and artistic moment of interaction, which is what we care about in this text. Therefore, considered in a vulgar-materialist manner – where anything digital and material, and at the same time performative - is the so-called. digital culture, which mediates a “return to matter”, would be a mere hypostasis of a material world that mediates and interacts from the inside (technically).

Indeed, reducing all interactions in the digital realm exclusively to logical identity operations, would eliminate the “symbolic excess” that makes language language and art art, regardless of their material basis. Because, if the various interactions in the digital medium were to differ only in terms of genre, but not structurally, then any differentiation would merely be a matter of convention; and political discourse, for example, could be uncritically equated with artistic expression , and economic activities, with cultural or social discourse, since it is always a digital interactive performative space. Hence, any practice in digital media would grounded in identity-based operations, it would always confirm the same, matter as space, regardless of the “mode” of performance.

In the narrower sense, digital identity would represent “a set of information about an individual, organization or electronic device that exists online” ( This encompasses patterns of information use, which can be “read” as performative, and are grounded in the body of information, i.e. matter. When considering identity in this context, it becomes evident that it is not merely comprised of empty transactions, and if it can be observed, not only in space, but also in time, then in that time mediation can be shown as the same, but also as different, and thus identity/identities they can manifest in different ways in time. By introducing a temporal component into body-spatial identities, they become, instead of tatutological (which are constantly repeated, pointing to the same), dialectical in nature.

Art, according to our understanding, uses the digital space not only as a “material” basis (infrastructure) of its activity, similar to all other interactions but also in the context of permeation with the material, which at the same time implies a potential challenge (art is something more), it potentially builds and/or emancipates another reality and value (which is not necessarily profitable): it emerges from  the relationship with the digital, and should do something different, omething other. Although digital art, as Erika Fischer-Lichte claims,t “destabilizes the aesthetic form of the work of art” (Fischer-Lichte 2008: 75), it remains in the realm of the material, as a particular form of materialization (“performance”). Of course, it also raises the question of the “compatibility” of the work of art, considered in the traditional conceptions, with the “materiality” of the performance (Fischer-Lichte 2008: 75). However, such (dematerialized, in the sense of “work”) art (whose foundation is digital technology) can also “produce” something non-identical, as Theodor Adorno would suggest.   

If, namely, all digital cultures are, in principle, performative, their artistic value cannot simply be equated with ordinary performativity (since, supposedly, everything that is digital is performative), i.e. - it cannot be reduced exclusively to performativity, in that case there would be no difference compared to other interactions in the digital space. Dialectical mediation and struggle, in the case of art, take place in the relationship between medium (technology) and the art itself (technique / devoid of “aura”, material), whereby art rests on the logic of language games, but that logic, if it is to truly be considered art, overcomes it through dialectics. Hence, art should be something more than artificial intelligence and algorithmically organized digital space. Even when completely desauratized (a replica of Benjamin’s “Work of Art in the Era of Technical Reproducibility”/”Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit”/), it actually denies its technologically generated essence, as one of the possible material worlds of production, and through that moment of non-identity with the actualized world of the capitalist mode of production and the same rationality, as well as the relationship to itself, its own history and the aesthetic categories that confirm it, it persists as a difference - therefore, art.

But for the sake of further understanding of the relationship between digital performances and art, it is necessary to dwell a little more on the aforementioned Benjamin’s text, especially in terms of his prognostic announcement of a turn in the change of the further development of art. The development of reproduction techniques, at the turn from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, signaled a profound shift in production relations,, which, it seems, experienced its full affirmation with the rise of digital technologies. Such relationships, as he observed, have encroached upon art itself. However, the observed changes, despite the radical change in artistic practice, do not yet lead to its end in Benjamin’s reading. Nevertheless, it seems that approximately a century after the publication of this text, we are witnessing the entry of the process of transformation into a new phase, caused by changes in the field of technology. Digital performances, although supposedly cultural within the the context of digital culture’s development, challenge their own cultural significance by abolishing traditional references that define culture. It is a change that literally takes place on the level of language, which is why the insistence on distinguishing between digital performances and art is not only necessary for the sake of understanding art itself, in the conditions of the development of digital reproducibility techniques, but also for defending culture rooted in humane assumptions. 

We recognize the implosion of language, the result of which is the affirmation of the code, as one of the central consequences of the transformation of technique. Understood in the ancient Greek understanding of the term as man’s ability, but also the knowledge to act in the world, technique necessarily presupposes a linguistic foundation. The entire historical development of technology ran parallel to the evolution of natural language, forming an inseparable relationship. By abandoning this connection, thanks to the change in production conditions, the technique is entering a post-historical development phase. This is no longer about understanding the avant-garde as software (cf. Manovich /Manovich/), but software culture as a new avant-garde.

The performativity of digital culture, in this sense, at the same time maintains and breaks ties with the historical performative, making it simultaneously present and absent. For a more complete understanding of the initiated changes, it is necessary to introduce a conceptual distinction between digitally mediated performances, digitized performances and digital performances.

Digitally mediated performances will be considered the realization of digital records of performances in the traditional sense of the term. Here, therefore, we are not talking about a performance that uses digital technologies in its realization, although it may refer to them on a theoretical-poetic level, or rely on them in any way at the media level. In a narrower sense, these performances could be seen as digital records, or documents, but not as performances themselves. Despite this, applying Benjamin’s argumentation about the independence of technical reproduction, in this case too we can observe a certain independence thanks to which these kind of copies change their status.

The development of digital culture intensified the process of separating the copy from the original, which began with the appearance of technical reproductions (cf. Benjamin, Vuksanović, Ćalović). The digital copy not only introduces the origin into new circumstances, allowing its further transformations, but at the same time becomes a performable product of digital culture. This separation is part of wider socio-historical movements by which digital culture establishes itself as independent. Throughout history, special cultural practices and related technologies have appeared as agents of cultural development, without fear that, despite possible changes in the flow, they could threaten it. However, this is not the case with digital technologies. The development of the concept of posthumanism has shifted the paradigm of cultural development, opening up the possibility of its movement independent of the connection with human civilization. The concept of culture itself, which was traditionally not possible to connect with other species, is undergoing a transformation, expanding its content to the action of the so-called. intelligent systems. The visions of posthumanism, although they do not encompass digital culture entirely, open the way for a new development that dominates of human-centric culture. The world of digital culture, therefore, is not merely a segment of broader cultural movements, but (through the establishment of software culture) also the origin of their alternative.

A digitized copy of a performance, traditionally understood, thus does not exclusively represent a document, or its image, but at the same time the performance itself. It is a special digital event that, within the framework of digital culture, should be understood as a performance at the level of data exchange. The original performance was not completely abolished by this, but it was reduced to the level of referential. It becomes a concept that, thanks to linguistic action, is introduced into the context of digital culture, thus forming part of a new semiological system.

Digitized performances, unlike those mentioned above, are already linked to digital culture by their origin. They arise as part of new appropriations of technological practices, but without abandoning the vision of humane cultural development. Throughout history, the emergence of new technologies was accompanied by socio-historical changes that outlined new trends in civilization. As these technological changes did not arise outside of society and social needs, their mutual influence remained inextricable. And since technological development was a part of wider social movements, it was understandable that certain achievements widened their field of acceptance, including cultural practices. Digitized performances are part of the tradition that arose from this expansion, stemming from the exploration of the expressive possibilities inherent in new technologies and their theoretical-poetic potential. The expansion of the media field for artistic and cultural expression, in addition, represents one of the central features of cultural development (remember, for example, the appearance of the potter’s wheel, the technique of casting bronze, the development of printing, etc.) whose dynamics especially intensified from the middle of the nineteenth century, including and appropriation of digital technologies as a medium of artistic creation (Ćalović).

Digitized performances thus continue a historical concept thanks to which new media and forms of creative expression entered the world of art. Digitized performances, as performances extended by digital technologies, including here any performance based on human action, which takes digital technologies as the medium of its own realization, in this sense, although technologically new, remain fundamentally traditional on a conceptual level. Such cultural and artistic practices remain firmly on the side of (humane) cultural development, expanding expressive means with the potentials opened by new technological development, without the danger that the field of culture itself could be destabilized.

Contrary to these tendencies, digital culture establishes a new dystopian line of development, which in terms of performativity finds its manifestation in digital performances. It is about a form that finds its origin in a particular software culture as an anti-cultural deviation of digital culture. Unlike digital culture, which still remains at the level of assumptions of human cultural development, software culture is based on the vision of creative software, which abolishes the very concept of culture in its traditional definition. Digital performances, in this sense, arise as software-initiated anti-cultural forms, that is, as performatives produced by software combinatorics, which would probably remain theoretically unnoticed if their appearance did not coincide with the spread of the ideology of posthumanism. Namely, it is a language-based performance that is autogenerated thanks to both linguistic and discursive transformations.

Here, therefore, we are dealing with a semiotic phenomenon. To explain it, we must rely on the often neglected distinction between semiotics and semiology, where semiotics, as a general theory of signs, as opposed to semiology which focuses on the role and development of signs in a social context, extends its interest to the linguistic acts of artificial systems . Going further along this line, we can conceive of digital performance, in the narrower sense of the word, as a semiotic act initiated by inhuman action, which as such has significance only in harmonizing the work of artificial systems, but which cannot be attributed any cultural significance. But here we are talking about something else. Namely, what we encounter here is a transitional structure that leaves the field of semiotics and embraces the space of social action. However, precisely at that level, this semiotic act ceases to be that, growing into a secondary semiological statement, that is, in Barthes’ terms, a myth (Barthes). At this level, digital performance is and is not at the same time. It is irresistibly reminiscent of performance, but since it was created on the basis of the laws of combinatorics, its strength can still only be in mimicry.

We could oppose the above-mentioned understanding with the counterargument that humane performances also presuppose the adoption of certain patterns, figures, conventions, etc., so they themselves are in many cases of combinatorial origin. Nevertheless, they carry a higher purpose, based on the intention to convey deeper emotional and meaningful layers through the material element, which are precisely the reason for the existence of the material element. Contrary to this, digital performances, deprived of the essence that every work of art necessarily includes, remain an end in themselves. Their only goal is to use the skill of combinatorial models to get as close as possible to the material level in order to be equal to it.

We can really anticipate reaching this level of mimicry. Even at today’s level of development of digital technologies, it is not incredible to imagine the possibility that a software creation, on a material level, looks exactly as it would appear if it were the result of human creative work. Despite this, without penetrating to that higher level, i.e. without understanding the physical element only as a carrier of that essence for the sake of which its creation was initiated, such creations fail to rise to the level of performance itself, precisely because they remain outside the world of art.

In this sense, digital performances can still only be understood as non-performances or entities that exist only in their connection with performances, which, again, can never become. They are not their negation, because they are not abolished by anything, but empty echoes that confirm their power. And at that level, our reading of digital performances begins by interpreting them as mythological structures. Following Barthes, digital performance could be understood as a mythological figure of software culture. At the level of its consumption, the absurdity of this phenomenon remains imperceptible, but it is the same with the figures of the bourgeois myth that Barthes talks about. However, at the level of his reading, a whole new world of meaning opens up for us. Digital performance thus becomes a clear indicator of the transformation of digital into software culture, which irresistibly resembles the former, and whose only meaning is to look exactly like something it is not.

The emergence of such linguistic structures further brings us back to Baudrillard. Although his theory of the simulacrum has attracted a lot of academic attention, one dimension of his thinking seems to have remained insufficiently noticed. It is about the question of the reason for their appearance. Why is modern social development characterized by the intensification of simulacrums? In connection with this, we can follow up with the question where does the need for non-performances come from, and in general for software-initiated non-art? To answer this, we should return to Huxley’s observation that even at that time the consumption of art materials far exceeded the work of gifted artists. Bearing in mind such historical roots, it is not difficult to conclude that this is a consequence of the capture of the field of art by capitalist relations. The development of the consumer society, which emerged during the twentieth century on the assumptions of modern capitalism, brought an acceleration of the consumption of goods in all segments of social activity. Reality itself did not retreat from these processes, as Baudrillard points out, among other things, with his observations, but equally neither did art. The maintenance of these relations in their early stage of appearance could still be satisfied by the expansion of the market to the area of activity of non-talented artists - a phenomenon noted by Huxley - but for the further survival of the market growth, new solutions had to be found. With digital performance, which was visible even before the advent of artificial intelligence and creative software, a place was secured in a society based on market relations.

Getting used to the simulation mechanisms in this sense was crucial. In conditions where economic growth implies the establishment of a market that greatly exceeds the realistic possibilities of its expansion, industrially produced surrogates, in the commodity sense, become identified with their models. However, this is no longer just about the increasing exposure to works of weak artistic value, but about replacing the need for an artistic impression - the sensory one. Digital performances, although devoid of an artistic dimension, can still have a sensory effect. Just like the works of nature, these can arouse different aesthetic feelings, while remaining very clearly demarcated from the world of art. Although devoid of any emotion, consciousness and even essential intelligence, they, like natural ones, can satisfy the need for a sensory impression, which, by all accounts, compared to the need for an artistic experience, is better adapted to the economy of the needs of current economic development.

The question that inevitably arises in such circumstances is that of the future of art. In light of the intensification of consumer relations, will the need for art still exist, or will the world of art ultimately be equated with the world of sensuality? The current danger of digital performances being equated with artistic performances thus leads us to a much more serious doubt - whether in the conditions of future socio-economic relations, their development will finally give up any pretension of approaching the world of art, abolishing in that turn any need for artistic experience.

Digital performances, in this sense, achieve their full transformation only within the boundaries of the ideology of transhumanism. Alienated by their nature, they provide sense impressions devoid of any higher purpose in their traditional understanding. Based as a reflection of software combinatorics, linguistically but not communicatively based, digital performances can still only cause fascination with combinatorics guided by statistical evaluation criteria. Their self-identity and service to the market, it seems, always already confirms this.



[18]  We previously wrote about this in detail in the chapter “Dialogue culture vs. interactive communications” in the book Philosophy of Media: Ontology, Aesthetics, Criticism, so, for this reason, we will leave out a broader elaboration of the mentioned issue in our text (Vuksanović 2007: p.113-127).

[19]  „It is not enough for people to come together in dialogue in order to gain knowledge of their social reality.  They must act together upon their environment in order critically to reflect upon their reality and so transform it through further action and critical reflection.“, “Concepts Used by Paulo Freire: Transformational educator, pedagogical thinker and radical practitioner”,  29th November 2022,



Barad, K. (2003). „Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter”, u: Gender and Science: New Issues, Vol. 28, No. 3, USA: The University of Chicago Press.

Barthes, R. (1993). Mythologies, London: Vintage Books.

Benjamin, W. (1974). Essays, Beograd: Nolit

Concepts Used by Paulo Freire: Transformationaleducator, pedagogical thinker and radical practitioner, 29th November 2022 ,

Ćalović, D. (2013). „Art in the cyber environment“ , Philosophical research, , Vol. 2, No.33. Zagreb: Hrvatsko filozofsko društvo.

Fisher-Lichte, E. (2008).The Transformative Power of Performance: A new aesthetics. USA and Canada: Routledge.

Fisher-Lichte, E. (2014). The Routledge Introducton toTheatre and Performance Studes. London and New York: Routledge.

Lammin, H.  17th December 2022,

Manovič, L. „Avant-garde as software: from ‘new vision’ to new media“, (translated Tupanjac, Vladimir), Sretenović, D. ed. (2001). Metamedia, Beograd: Centar za savremenu umetnost

Prensky, M. (2001). „Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants“, u: From On the Horizon, Vol. 9, No. 5. MCB University Press.

TechTarget 17th december 2022, „Digital identity“,

Van Oort, R. (1996/1997). „Performative-Constative Revisited: The Genetics of Austin’s Theory of Speech Acts“, u: Anthropoetics II no. 2 Fall. California: UCLA’s first Open Access journal.

Vuksanović, D. (2007). Media philosophy: Ontology, aesthetics, criticism, Belgrade: Faculty of Dramatic Arts - Institute for Theater, Film, Radio and Television, Čigoja Štampa.

Vuksanović, D., Ćalović, D. (2016), „The New Paradigm: Original and Copy in the Digital Age“, in: Proceedings of the Faculty of Dramatic Arts, No. 29, Belgrade: Faculty of Dramatic Arts - Institute for Theater, Film, Radio and Television


Digitalna izvođenja: problemski pristup




Polazeći od Austinove teorije govornih akata i razlike koja se na metajezičkom nivou uspostavlja između dve vrste iskaza: performativa i konstativa, autori sa stanovišta filozofije medija iznose stav da je u digitalnom univerzumu, gdje se jezički i svaki drugi izraz medijski transponira, svaka interakcija, ustvari, performativna, pošto i doslovno, kao medijska tvorevina ne može imati podmet u stvarnosti. Krenuvši sa stanovišta da je osnova digitaliziranja, odnosno radnji i postupaka koje ga interakcijom potvrđuju, isključivo ekonomske prirode, pa je, stoga, dakle, cjelokupni digitalni prostor vezan za vladajuću kapitalističku društveno-ekonomsku paradigmu, autori postavljaju pitanje je li u tom smislu dovoljno tvrditi da performativnost digitalnih uređaja i algoritamsko organiziranje predstavljaju nužan i dovoljan uvjet za sveukupnu digitalnu performativnost, bez razlike? Odnosno, ukoliko bi se sve interakcije u digitalnom svijetu svele isključvio na logičke identitetske operacije, ne bi postojao „simbolički višak“ koji jezik čini jezikom, a umjetnost umjetnošću, neovisno od njihove materijalne osnove. U tekstu se zaključuje da digitalna kultura uspostavlja jednu novu distopijsku liniju kulturalnog razvoja koja na planu performativnosti svoju manifestaciju dobija u digitalnim izvođenjima. Riječ je o obliku koji ishodište pronalazi u naročitoj softverskoj kulturi kao antikulturnoj devijaciji digitalne kulture. Digitalna izvođenja, na tom nivou promatrano, u tekstu su shvaćena kao ne-izvođenja ili entiteti koji postoje tek u svojoj povezanosti sa izvođenjima, koja, opet, nikada ne mogu postati.


Ključne riječi: digitalizacija, digitalna kultura, digitalno izvođenje, filozofija medija, novi mediji, softverska kultura, umjetnost.