Chiel Kattenbelt’s research is mainly theoretical and focuses on theatre (defined as a collective term for all live performing arts) in its relationship with other arts and media, and in the context of our contemporary culture as it is characterized by performativity and media saturation. He argues that theatre could be considered as a ‘hypermedium’ and as the paradigm of all arts. Performativity and intermediality are key terms in his research. Performativity refers to the act of staging in all its implications and consequences (under which falls self-reference and self-reflection). Intermediality refers to the interplay of different media, redefining each other through the act of staging, and resulting in a re-sensibility of perception. This last refers to the way in which previously existing, medium-specific conventions are changed, allowing for new dimensions of experience, expression and perception to be explored.
The aim of his current research is discussion of intermediality in terms of changing relationships between materiality, mediality and aesthetic conventions of producing and perceiving. For that purpose, the contemporary interdisciplinary arts practice, in particular within the domain of the performing arts, is the main point of reference.