Collaboration as Differentiation: Rethinking interaction intra-actively


  • Teoma Naccarato Centre for Dance Research, Coventry University
  • John MacCallum Inria, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay



Diffraction, Intra-Action, Intra-Active (Design), Interaction Design, Boundary Objects, Critical Appropriation, Collaboration, Process Philosophy, Feminist Philosophy, New Materialism


This paper is a invitation to interaction designers across disciplines to rethink the shaping of interaction “intra-actively”. Whether in human-computer interaction design or interdisciplinary and interactive performance practices, we propose to shift the emphasis from interaction between things, towards the intra-active processes of differentiation by which such things are continually made and unmade. Expanding interaction design by engaging in processes intended to bring awareness to the value systems involved in the local production of “interaction” and “things that interact” offers an opportunity to treat these values, and likewise the designers (be it engineers or choreographers or composers), as objects themselves in the design process. In the traditions of feminist, new materialist, and process philosophy we weave a narrative of appropriated perspectives in order to dismantle hegemonic accounts of correlationism and representationalism in interaction design, while investigating the concepts of boundary objects, diffraction, and critical appropriation as potential approaches to intra-active design.

Author Biographies

Teoma Naccarato, Centre for Dance Research, Coventry University

Teoma Naccarato (Canada/UK) is a choreographer and interdisciplinary artist. Through collaborative creations for stage, video and installation she explores the appropriation of surveillance and biomedical technologies in contemporary dance and performance practices.  Recent creations and publications related to her long-term collaboration with composer John MacCallum are available at <> and <>. Naccarato completed an MFA in Dance and Technology at the Ohio State University (OSU) in 2011, and has since held appointments as a Visiting Artist in Dance at OSU, Concordia University, Sam Houston State University, and Florida State University. Naccarato is presently pursuing a practice-based PhD at the Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE) at Coventry University.

John MacCallum, Inria, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay

John MacCallum (Paris): As a composer, MacCallum’s practice is heavily reliant on technology both as a compositional tool and as an integral aspect of performance. His works often employ carefully constrained algorithms that are allowed to evolve differently and yet predictably each time they are performed. MacCallum studied at the University of the Pacific (B.M.), McGill University (M.M.), and UC Berkeley (Ph.D., Music Composition). From 2010-2016 he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT). Since 2017 he has been based in Paris as a postdoctoral researcher with the Extreme Interaction (EX-SITU) research team at Inria Saclay/Université Paris-Sud/CNRS.


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How to Cite

Naccarato, T., & MacCallum, J. (2019). Collaboration as Differentiation: Rethinking interaction intra-actively. Performance Philosophy, 4(2), 410–433.