Volume 24 Issue 6
Issue editors: Mischa Twitchin & Carl Lavery
Publication date: 15 December 2019
As the concept of ‘performance’ crosses over between the mechanistic and the creative, between serving ‘time and motion’ studies and their suspension in ‘duration’, between the ‘frictionless’ and its interruption, such distinctions themselves seem to delineate fields of research. But it is precisely these distinctions that prove to be in question when invoking the concept of ‘animism’. Although defined historically in terms of these familiar oppositions, what has come to be called the ‘new animism’ concerns what cannot be accommodated by them—inviting a sense of the ‘re-enchantment’ of the world, even as a self-styled modernity appears intent on destroying it. Not the least of what performance research explores in the name of animism, then, are ‘alternatives’ to modes of globalized practice, affirming a pluralism of understanding relations in and to the world, which are not limited to those of human ‘actors’. Participating in the work of cosmopolitics, animism implies fundamental questions about the very ‘life’ of social relations—many varied examples of which are addressed in the essays of this issue of Performance Research.
Volume 24 Issue 7
Issue editors: Esther Belvis & José Antonio Sánchez
Publication date: 31 December 2019
In these days in which existence is akin to making us visible and we have proneness to mediatized exposure, global unrest gives evidence of how we have condemned our senses to the obvious, noisy and tumultuous. The sovereignty we have granted to the visible is indicative of our ineptitude to respect our lives, account for our history and dismantle Anthropocentrism. It is precisely in this conflicting state of affairs that disappearance emerges as an alternative approach to put critical pressure on the construction of life, as it defies the visual, continuous and iterative forms of representation. Disappearance and its paradoxical manifestations—voluntary or forced—touch off delicate and thoughtful dramaturgies of the isolated, hidden or unconnected. Through its always fragmented and elusive stories and actions, a process of shared ‘attunement’ emerges, providing healing scenarios of dissent. This Performance Research issue brings together international scholars and artists who explore the fragilities of disappearance by acknowledging the effects of our daily ‘performance’ through essays, intimate scenes and provocations.
Volume 24 Issue 8
Issue editors: Helena Grehan and Peter Eckersall
Publication date: 6 January 2020
‘On Politics’ is concerned dramaturgically and existentially with relations of power in all spheres of life. We propose that life itself and all forms of economic, environmental, social and cultural production are inherently political. To say otherwise is, as Bertolt Brecht noted, to merely align oneself with the ruling group. Dramaturgically, the forms and actions of performance themselves communicate, critique and express the desire for conversations with a range of interlocutors, antagonists, audiences and others. This issue is informed by our current context of rapid and continuous transformations in environmental, technological and social life -- transformations that pose both existential and practical challenges for theatre and performance. The essays in this issue respond to this proposition through three distinct, yet interrelated themes: Diagnosis, Activism and Futures.