Gabriella Giannachi

Gabriella Giannachi is Professor of Performance and New Media and Director of the Centre for Intermedia at the University of Exeter. She is the coauthor (with Steve Benford) of Performing Mixed Reality (MIT Press).

  • Archive Everything

    Archive Everything

    Mapping the Everyday

    Gabriella Giannachi

    How the archive evolved to include new technologies, practices, and media, and how it became the apparatus through which we map the everyday.

    In Archive Everything, Gabriella Giannachi traces the evolution of the archive into the apparatus through which we map the everyday. The archive, traditionally a body of documents or a site for the preservation of documents, changed over the centuries to encompass, often concurrently, a broad but interrelated number of practices not traditionally considered as archival. Archives now consist of not only documents and sites but also artworks, installations, museums, social media platforms, and mediated and mixed reality environments. Giannachi tracks the evolution of these diverse archival practices across the centuries. 

    Archives today offer a multiplicity of viewing platforms to replay the past, capture the present, and map our presence. Giannachi uses archaeological practices to explore all the layers of the archive, analyzing Lynn Hershman Leeson's !Women Art Revolution project, a digital archive of feminist artists. She considers the archive as a memory laboratory, with case studies that include visitors' encounters with archival materials in the Jewish Museum in Berlin. She discusses the importance of participatory archiving, examining the “multimedia roadshow” Digital Diaspora Family Reunion as an example. She explores the use of the archive in works that express the relationship between ourselves and our environment, citing Andy Warhol and Ant Farm, among others. And she looks at the transmission of the archive through the body in performance, bioart, and database artworks, closing with a detailed analysis of Lynn Hershman Leeson's Infinity Engine.

    • Hardcover $45.00 £38.00
  • Performing Mixed Reality

    Performing Mixed Reality

    Steve Benford and Gabriella Giannachi

    A computer scientist and a performance and new media theorist define and document the emerging field of mixed reality performance.

    Working at the cutting edge of live performance, an emerging generation of artists is employing digital technologies to create distinctive forms of interactive, distributed, and often deeply subjective theatrical performance. The work of these artists is not only fundamentally transforming the experience of theater, it is also reshaping the nature of human interaction with computers. In this book, Steve Benford and Gabriella Giannachi offer a new theoretical framework for understanding these experiences—which they term mixed reality performances—and document a series of landmark performances and installations that mix the real and the virtual, live performance and interactivity.

    Benford and Giannachi draw on a number of works that have been developed at the University of Nottingham's Mixed Reality Laboratory, describing collaborations with artists (most notably the group Blast Theory) that have gradually evolved a distinctive interdisciplinary approach to combining practice with research. They offer detailed and extended accounts of these works from different perspectives, including interviews with the artists and Mixed Reality Laboratory researchers. The authors develop an overarching theory to guide the study and design of mixed reality performances based on the approach of interleaved trajectories through hybrid structures of space, time, interfaces, and roles. Combinations of canonical, participant, and historic trajectories show how such performances establish complex configurations of real and virtual, local and global, factual and fictional, and personal and social.

    • Hardcover $45.00 £38.00