Sylvie Bissonnette

Sylvie Bissonnette researches ways in which animated bodies are extensions of the human body and transform our understanding of ‘the human’. She writes widely on film and theatre, has experience with making new media performances, and has specialized in studies of the work of Robert Lepage.


Sylvie_BissonnetteFilmmaker and poet, Sylvie Bissonnette holds a master’s degree in Film Studies and she is doing her PH.D. in Performance Studies at Davis. She contributes to the online periodical Nouvelles «vues» sur le cinéma québécois and has published articles on theatricality in film, film adaptation, and Quebec films. Specialist of Robert Lepage’s theatre and films, she also explores the cultural relations between cinema and science through animation films, complexity, poetics, magic, phenomenology and cognitive sciences.

Bissonnette is currently researching the hypothesis that animated bodies are extensions of ourselves : Animated bodies can be conceived as tools to explore humans’ physical limits, culturally extend their sense of self, and reshape their political boundaries. Because these extensions to human perception challenge the concept of the human as conceptualized by liberal humanism, I examine “perception” in a particular historical register, namely, that of “the human,” in contrast to an alternative mode of perception that exceeds or escapes this historical mement, namely, that of “the posthuman.” I adopt a perspective that explores the neurological, cultural and perceptual types of extensions that animated bodies enable to demosntrate the occurrence of a posthuman perception that is distinct from human perception. This project’s aim is to transform our understanding of the role of perception in our interpretation of everyday media, scientific documentaries and psychophysics experiments.

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