Volume 25 Issue 2
On Dark Ecologies
Issue editors: Angenette Spalink & Jonah Winn-Lenetsky
Publication date: 31 May 2020
Timothy Morton describes dark ecology as ‘ecological awareness, dark-depressing. Yet ecological awareness is also dark-uncanny. And strangely it is dark-sweet.’ The concept of dark ecology represents a crucial intervention in the current moment of political conservatism and climate change denial and enables a focused exploration of a wide range of issues relating to performance and ecology. Human activity on the planet is responsible for a number of ecological and political dilemmas, including (but not limited to) global climate change, pollution, leaking pipelines, fragmentation of ecosystems, diminishing natural resources and nuclear meltdowns. While some may harbour hope and positivity about the future, it is easy to feel overwhelmingly hopeless about these large-scale, complex problems. Morton refers to the awareness of these substantial ecological dilemmas as ‘ecognosis’, which he describes as ‘a riddle… It is something like coexisting. It is like being accustomed to something strange.’ It is this tension between hope and despair, the coexistence between ‘depressing’ and ‘sweet’ — this space of ‘dark ecologies’ in our current political and ecological climate — that we explore in this special issue. The essays in this issue consider dark ecology in relation to performance and explore the ways that performance can intervene in or engage with a plurality of dark ecologies.
Volume 25 Issue 3
Issue editors: Jens Hauser & Lucie Strecker
Publication date: 30 June 2020
This issue aims to scrutinize both the epistemological and aesthetic potential of the notion of ‘microperformativity’. The concept denotes a current trend in theories of performativity and performative artistic practices to destabilize human scales (both spatial and temporal) as the dominant plane of reference and to emphasize biological and technological micro-agencies that relate the invisibility of the microscopic to the incomprehensibility of the macroscopic. Investigations into microperformativity redefine what art, philosophy and the technosciences actually consider a ‘body’ today, in times when performance art shifts towards generalized and pervasive performativity in art. Microperformative positions enquire how artistic methods can engage critically with technologies that exploit life on a microscopic and molecular level to merge bio- and digital media, including for global capitalization. How can performative art and discourses inform these processes to think biopolitics and necropolitics in relation to the dystopia of economy and the utopia of ecology alike? This issue contains contributions on biotechnological performances, physiological processes and micro-gestures, traditional rituals and techniques of craft, on microperformativity seen through the lens of the natural sciences, as well as in economics in times of algorithmic finance and high frequency trading.
Volume 25 Issue 4
Issue editors: Annouchka Bayley
Publication date: 31 July 2020
‘On Diffraction’ is an invitation to explore the nuanced performativities of the quantum world in and for performance studies. This issue responds to Haraway and Barad’s call for creating urgent, new ways of thinking about the performance and performativity of phenomena that we often take for granted—the world of atoms and photons, waves and wavelengths, microbes and microscopes—that extend beyond human-centred ways of performing the world, in all its vibrancy. We will foreground the spooky, dynamic and subtle ways that diffraction impacts on our understanding of how matter comes to matter—on how all things emerge out of tiny indeterminacies that shape us and the world we live in. At the heart of this issue lies the redefining of political response-ability: how we might go about creating new, critical and performance-based investigations into what it is to perform and be performed within an entanglement of non/human agencies.