Merleau-Ponty’s understanding of art is tied with his phenomenological view point of perception. According to him, the important matter in art, is not only about beauty, but about perception and expression as well. Merleau-Ponty seeks to describe the relation between the artist, the objects and the world he paints. In other words, he considered the relation between the artist and the artwork. However, in this study we are looking for another aspect of the relationship. Our purpose here is to describe the interaction of artwork and the audience. With this aim, rather than addressing his direct comments about art, we will return to Merleau-Ponty’s philosophical project. In this paper, first of all, we investigate fundamental concepts of Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy and then use these concepts to describe the relationship of the audience with interactive art event in general, and to describe the interweaving of the body of performer with the audience in an interactive performance in particular. In the end, by emphasizing on research data and analyzing them in the field of interactive art we look at the performance of “ Field “ (performer: Amir Mobed) and we analyze the importance of the aspect of embodiment in performer and audience in event and the interaction between them. It is important that interactive art, despite its expansion in the world of contemporary art and despite numerous research studies in this area, has been less studied from a philosophical perspective. By means of Merleau-Ponty’s philosophical views in the context of interactive art, it is a possibility to free a work of art from definitions, limitations, as well as dualism of outside / inside, artist / audience. Interaction of the audience with the artwork is the resurgence for art in order to establish a common world between the artist, audience and interactive art event.
According to philosophical concepts of Merleau-Ponty, in the performance “Field”, performer is not the source and promoter of performance and all the body’s actions are not independent from the audience. He is exposed to embodiment, including looking, sensation and movement, and also the expression and bodily activity of audience. Interactive event is the common world of performer and audience, in which they are exposed to eachother’s perception, and influenced by eachother’s actions. In this performance, Merleau-Ponty’s concepts of expression are frequently manifested prior to any thought and reasoning, which is because of the physical proximity of performer and audienc.