Dixon, Steve 1956-

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Dixon, Steve 1956-

PERSONAL:

Born 1956, in Manchester England.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Brunel University, West London, Uxbridge Campus, Middlesex UB8 3PH, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Actor, comedian, producer, director, educator, and author. Salford University, Salford, England, former head of performance and director of performance research; former director of training for Glasgow Film and Video Workshop; The Chameleons Group, director, 1994—; Brunel University, West London, England, former head of school of arts, professor of performance and technology and deputy director of BitLab Research Centre, 2005—, became Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Development; Digital Performance Archive, codirector; director of five independent films; producer of an opera for Opera North; director of television programs for Anglia and Granada Television; has also worked as a stand-up comic at the Comedy Store and Comic Strip in London, England.

AWARDS, HONORS:

New York Expo Award, 1997 and 1998, for CD-ROM productions; Professional/Scholarly Publishing Award for Excellence in the music and the performing arts category, Association of American Publishers, 2007, for Digital Performance: A History of New Media in Theater, Dance, Performance Art, and Installation. Won a directing award for work on a corporate video.

WRITINGS:

(With contributions by Barry Smith) Digital Performance: A History of New Media in Theater, Dance, Performance Art, and Installation, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 2007.

Contributor to periodicals, including Performance Arts International, Drama Review, CTheory, and Body, Space, and Technology. Associate editor, International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media.

SIDELIGHTS:

In Digital Performance: A History of New Media in Theater, Dance, Performance Art, and Installation, Steve Dixon provides a detailed history of new media in the arts and also challenges critical perspectives on this subject. Many readers welcomed the book as an exhaustively researched, insightful, and sometimes provocative work that, as Georgia Institute of Technology professor Kathryn Farley observed in a review posted on her home page, offers "a comprehensive account of the genesis and impact of new media technologies on diverse performing arts genres." Using materials from the Digital Performance Archive, which he compiled and manages with Barry Smith, who contributed material to the book, Dixon explains the historical context of new media in performance from the ancient Greeks to the twenty-first century. He considers various theories that address avant-garde traditions in art, and analyzes specific themes, actions, and events in which digital technologies—including use of virtual space, projected scenes, robot and cyborg performances, and other innovations—are central to performance.

While Farley felt that the book does not fully succeed in explaining the implications of the material it presents, she praised it as a "Herculean undertaking [that] should be considered required reading for scholars, teachers, practitioners and aficionados of contemporary arts praxis." Farley concluded that the book "will occupy a central position in the evolving canon of digital performance literature." Dixon's insights on postmodern theory, wrote Dene Grigar in Leonardo Online, are "right on target" and will be "felt as breaths of fresh air." Digital Performance, Grigar added, "possesses both depth and breadth," making it not merely a history of digital performance but "a book about the whole concept of digital performance."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

ONLINE

Brunel University West London, School of Arts Web site,http://www.brunel.ac/uk/ (January 28, 2008), Steve Dixon faculty profile.

Kathryn Farley Home Page,http://www.kathrynfarley.org/ (January 28, 2008), review of Digital Performance: A History of New Media in Theater, Dance, Performance Art, and Installation.

Leonardo Online,http://www.leonardo.info/ (January 28, 2008), Dene Grigar, review of Digital Performance.

M/C Reviews,http://reviews.media-culture.org.au/ (January 28, 2008), review of Digital Performance.

MIT Press Web site,http://mitpress.mit.edu/ (January 28, 2008), Steve Dixon profile.