Performance art probably dates back to the 1970’s where American artists such as Laurie Anderson were first dabbling in the form, though some argue its origins were even earlier in the ‘60’s.
Interestingly, it is a genre normally reserved for a single performer who is not always the focus, but often the facilitator of the event. Essentially, performance art is a multimedia experience, combining technology with performance. It can involve synthesised music, computers, lighting, poetry, slide projection, verse, dialogue, sound scapes and video in a single show. Dancers and acrobats can also be a part of the action. The emphasis is on the visual elements and possibly choreographed movement. The performer is not necessarily a character with traditional spoken lines. Performance art is sometimes used for political purposes and statements.
In many ways, performance art is a total theatre experience, combining both the visual and performing arts into a hybrid art form that encompasses many different aspects of each area.