Performative (Wordhole)

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Definition from Sources


  1. relating to or marked by public, often artistic performance
  2. disapproving: made or done for show (as to bolster one's own image or make a positive impression on others)
  3. determined and reinforced by the repeated performance of socially prescribed acts and behaviors rather than by biological factors
  4. grammar: being or relating to an expression (such as a word or statement) that performs the act it specifies or that effects a transaction

Application (as used by us)

Application (In other contexts)

In How to do Things With Words. John Langshaw Austin introduces the idea of performative speech acts. Austin argues that to deliver a 'performative utterance' is to 'do something' rather than simply to report or 'state something' (Austin, 1975). Saying "I do" in the context of a wedding ceremony is an example of performative utterance given by Austin. 

In Context

  • 'Truly performative, [the artwork] simultaneously does something (it runs and produces output) and it states something (through both its output and its code)' (Ledesma, 2015, p.93).
  • 'Codeworks can potentially be executed and thus become performative' (Arns, 2005, p.8).


Citation: Mentioned in:

See also

Live Coding | Performance