Jessica Rajko

Jessica Rajko

Associate Chair

Jessica Rajko

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Jessica Rajko is the Associate Chair of the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance at Wayne State University. As an artist/scholar, she works at the intersection of dance and computing. Artistically, this includes the design of intimate, haptic/sonic data representations and performance systems. She has designed haptic/sonic media for live performance for BAIRA MVMNT PHLOSPHY and Brother(hood) Dance!. She has presented and performed in collaborative artworks nationally and internationally, including Center for Performance Research (Brooklyn), White Wave Dance (Brooklyn), OT301 (Amsterdam), Scotiabank Nuit Blanche festival (Toronto), and The Joyce Theatre (NYC). Her artwork has been commissioned by Currents New Media Festival, Breaking Ground Dance Festival, Mesa Arts Center, and Phoenix Art Museum.

Her scholarly research investigates how dance efforts to gain access to technology capital markets predetermine the embodied aesthetics and movement vernaculars valued within dance and computing collaborations. Rajko has published in the Journal of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, Politics of the Machine proceedings by the British Computer Society, and the International Conference of Movement and Computing proceedings by ACM Multimedia, along with several chapter contributions in dance, human-computer interaction, and digital humanities. She has been invited to present research at University of Michigan’s Performing Arts Technology Seminar Series, Harvard’s Digital Futures Consortium, UPenn’s Price Lab for Digital Humanities, Davidson College’s Gender and Technology Seminar Series, and University of New Mexico’s ART Lab.

Area of Expertise

Digital Media Design, Interaction Design, Contemporary Dance Technique, Choreography, Dance Administration, Transdisciplinary Collaboration

Degrees and Certifications

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Master of Fine Arts, Dance & Interdisciplinary Digital Media and Performance (2009) [Outstanding Graduate of the Year]

Hope College, Holland, MI
Bachelor of Arts, Dance Performance & Choreography (2005)
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology (2005)



Recent Publications

Rajko, J., McCall, A., Sigler, L., Williams, E. “Reimagining Dance/Technology Training in an Era of Techno-Neoliberalism: Collective Models for New Media Design Education in Dance.” Theatre, Dance, and Performance Training Journal: Special Issue on Performance Training and Well-Being. (2022)

Rajko, J. “Geocultural Precarities in Canonizing Computing Research Involving Dance.” 8th International Conference on Movement and Computing. ACM Press. (2022)

Rajko, J. “Techno-Neoliberalism’s Body:Dance(r) Labour in Computing Research and Race as Always Already Additive.” Politics of the Machine Berlin 2021 Rogue Research Conference—Decolonizing the Machine Track. British Computer Society. (2022)

Rajko, J “Designing Palpable Data Representations.” 22nd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. Springer. (2020)

Rajko, J. & Hayes, L. “Towards an Aesthetics of Touch.” 4th International Conference on Movement and Computing. ACM Press. (2017)

Rajko, J., Wernimont, J., & Rajko, S. The Living Net: A Haptic Experience of Personal Data. 2017 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM Press. (2017)

Rajko, J., Krzyzaniak, M., Wernimont, J., Standley, E., & Rajko, S. Touching Data Through Personal Devices: Engaging Somatic Practice and Haptic Design in Felt Experiences of Personal Data. 3rd International Conference on Movement and Computing. ACM Press. (2016)

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