Gesture is derived from Brecht’s notion of gestus, which sounds like justice. Gestus allows actors and audiences to consider how the standard norms of psychological motivation for a character’s action can be dislocated and re-framed as a political choice during a performance.
A gesture makes manifest a set of social relations that extend beyond the performance.
A gesture shows the potential for political or social agency beyond the frame of the performance, for both actors and audience as a collective.
With both Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab and the other work we have been involved in, the aim has been to expand the idea of a gesture as also enacting and interacting with the social relationship between data-bodies and real-bodies.
At the core of a gesture is the potential of a body or of bodies to create new types of agency and social interventions. These can be added to established sets of historical social relations in order to alter or contest ones that have seemingly been predetermined by narratives on the stage, streets, or networks.
A gesture allows for this double reading to become active beyond its own staging.