In interaction design for experience-oriented uses of technology, a central facet of aesthetics of interaction is rooted in the user's experience of herself “performing her perception.” By drawing on performance (theater) theory, phenomenology and sociology and with references to recent HCI-work on the relation between the system and the performer/user and the spectator's relation to this dynamic, we show how the user is simultaneously operator, performer and spectator when interacting. By engaging with the system, she continuously acts out these three roles and her awareness of them is crucial in her experience. We argue that this 3-in-1 is always already shaping the user's understanding and perception of her interaction as it is staged through her experience of the object's form and expression. Through examples ranging from everyday technologies utilizing performances of interaction to spatial contemporary artworks, digital as well as analogue, we address the notion of the performative spectator and the spectating performer. We demonstrate how perception is also performative and how focus on this aspect seems to be crucial when designing experience-oriented products, systems and services.
A C M Transactions on Computer - Human Interaction, 2008, Vol 15, Issue 3