Digital Performance Archive


The Digital Performance Archive (DPA) was an outcome of an Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) funded research project led by Professor Barry Smith (then Nottingham Trent University) and Professor Steve Dixon (then Salford University) to undertake a major collection and analysis of digital performance events and developments that occurred during the 1990s. The project was called DRIP-DROP, standing for Digital Resources In Performance-Digital Resources On Performance, and it documented developments in the creative use of computer technologies in performance - from live theatre and dance productions that incorporated digital media, to cyberspace interactive dramas and web-casts. The project led to the publication of an 800-page book: Digital Performance: A History of New Media in Theater, Dance Performance Art and Installation by Steve Dixon and Barry Smith (MIT Press 2007).

What the collection holds

The physical DPA is a video and CD-ROM archive, which also contains some printed material such as press cuttings and supporting information.

The material has been digitised and is awaiting online delivery as resources allow. In the meantime, the original listings of the material held in the Digital Performance Archive are available:

DPA Print Documents (Original Listings) (PDF, 295kB)

Further information

Associated Project Websites
The DRIP-DROP project from which the DPA developed was run through the Digital Research Unit (DRU) at Nottingham Trent University. The Unit's Principal Research Fellow, the artist Stelarc, also collaborated with the DRU on a number of significant projects and information on these can be found by following the link to Stelarc's website.

The Institute of Art and Ideas in Britain has released a video of a talk by Stelarc on YouTube entitled "Meat, Metal, Code" on the future impact of new scientific developments on our relationship to our bodies and our selves.

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