Return Beat

About Dr Taiwo

Dr Olu Taiwo: Senior lecturer at the University of Winchester 
Olu teaches in Street Arts, Visual Development and Contemporary Performance. He has a background in Fine Art, Street Dance, African percussion, physical theatre and the martial arts including Tai Chi Chuan and Animal spirit movement. He has performed in national and international contexts pioneering concepts surrounding practice as research in the relationship between the body and technology. This includes how practice as a research strategy can explore the nature of performance and the relationships between ‘effort’, ‘performance’ and ‘performative actions’ as they occur in different settings. Consequently, the aim of this website is to, through the use of practice, propagate contemporary issues concerning the interaction between the body, identity, audience, street and technology in an age of mass Globalisation. His interests include: Practice as Research, Visual design, Movement, Theatre, Street Arts, New technology, Trans-cultural studies, Philosophy and contemporary deportment.

Research statement

The results of my 'creative research inquiry revealed and  defined a creative form, while offering critical tools to understand the innovation inherent within contemporary performance culture. The questions I proposed were:

  • What are the creative insights for behaviour after playing an avatar?
  • How can I develop improvisational expressions, whilst embodying the behaviour of an avatar?
  • How does interactivity function dramaturgically,  when using sensors to trigger rhythmic sounds and visual content?


I used 'practice as research' to develop a critical model for interactive installations, exploring within the on-line  world of second-life, how my avatar would visualize and perform in an extended physical installation. 

With reflective practice, I questioned assumptions surrounding the nature of artistic dimensions beyond the standard four dimensions of: 1D, 2D, 3D and 4D. I explored these enquiries by studying my impulses, while exploring excursions into the on-line world of Second-life, creatively employing improvisation to explore instincts through movement and installation design. Embodying my avatar was achieved when both the movements and 

installation were integrated. Visually, I captured key insights to evaluate whether the movements corresponded to my original impulses. As the explorations progressed, particular relationships and movement patterns emerged, creating a conceptual language, which I incorporated into an article and a performance. I used reflective practice to capture key 


moments, oscillating between action and reflection. The concept behind the event was to 

create a digital mirror that would capture the audience’s reflections and, by using sonar and

floor pads, trigger pre-recorded sounds and images of my embodied avatar’s movements

in the same digital environment, using the same lighting conditions and angles. 

Thus giving the illusion of appearance and disappearance.



  • Working with an avatars offers a way to explore new relationships between self, behaviour and identity mediated through technology.


  • The research articulated new artistic dimensions: a fifth (network of choice) and a sixth       (an avatar remaking behavioural choices).