Doctoral Students

Canan Bunk
Started in

Research summary


Approaching the performative dimension of virtual contexts

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, artists and cultural practitioners have become increasingly aware of the importance of engaging with digital technologies within aesthetic practice. The shared experience of art and culture, as an important dimension of social negotiation processes, has been shifted into the digital space, without having aesthetic or technological answers to the lack of physical co-presence in mediatized performances. It is now important to understand this phenomenon in order to work with it, neither naively nor by demonizing it.

From there, the research will focus on exploring new aesthetics of encounter in an increasingly digital world. It seeks to understand the specific qualities and dimensions of space and action within the digital and to propose a new way of dealing with it. Drawing on traditional forms of performance and the current state of performance theory, spatial (inter-)actions that explicitly engage with the demands of new media, will be explored.

The research interest aligns with my artistic practice at the intersection of scenography and participatory practice and correlates with an interest in reflecting on its relationship to technological developments.

Methodologically, the research project involves a circular research process, similar to a hermeneutic approach. The feedback loop between artistic-technical experimental setups and theoretical elaboration allows for a gradual approach to the research question and a continuous development of theory and practice. In reenactments, intersubjective spaces of thought and action emerge, where research results materialize as happenings. In this sense, the reenactments aim to provoke a process of negotiating the research question through an embodied/aesthetic experience.



Canan Bunk (1993, DE) is an artistic researcher and designer based in Hamburg, Germany.

She holds an MA in Visual Communication with a focus on time-based media from HAW Hamburg (2022).

Her practice, situated at the intersection of scenography and participatory practice, explores the relationship between techniques/technologies, (inter-)action, and the notion of space as a discursive construct (context). Her current research explores the performative dimension of virtual contexts and their potential as sites of aesthetic, social, and political processes.

She has created several transmedial stage and set designs for concerts and various performance formats. Her research interest also extends to analog space, where she is involved in socio-political projects to design and construct spaces/social contexts of encounter.

Her master's thesis was selected by the Design Zentrum Hamburg as one of the twenty best graduation projects of 2022.


Individual projects