Art Disarming Philosophy. Non-philosophy and Aesthetics

  • Authors Steven Shakespeare, Niamh Malone, Gary Anderson
  • Release Date 2021-10-01
  • ISBN 9781538147467
  • Publisher Rowman International

Nonphilosophy poses a challenge to philosophical thought, inspired by the work of Francois Laruelle. It questions the idea that philosophy, or other disciplines, can tell us what it means to think. This edited collection brings together an internationally known and interdisciplinary group of scholars, including a major new essay by Laruelle himself. Together they use nonphilosophy to cross the boundaries between philosophy and performance.

Philosophers have been busy for centuries looking for the foundations of truth, value, and reality. They try to say what it all means and how it all fits together. Areas of life like science and art have to wait for the philosopher to show up to tell them what they are really about. Theory dictates meaning: performance just puts it into effect. Nonphilosophy is different. It says that reality is not an object out there that we can think and understand. The Real is the place we stand: it is where we think from.

Crucially, nonphilosophy understands philosophy itself to be performative. It enacts modes of thinking that do not dominate the material of thought and do not capture the Real in concepts. Philosophy is mutated by its performances; and performances themselves think, are modes of theory. What happens when we bring philosophy, art, and performance together, without hierarchy? How can they get inside and change one another? The thinkers in this collection answer these pressing questions.

Experiments in Listening

  • Authors Rajni Shah
  • Release Date 2021-07-01
  • ISBN 978-1-5381-4428-2
  • Publisher Rowman

Through an exploration of both practice and theory, this book investigates the relationship between listening and the theatrical encounter in the context of Western theatre and performance. Rather than looking to the stage for a politics or ethics of performance, Rajni Shah asks what work needs to happen in order for the stage itself to appear, exploring some of the factors that might allow or prevent a group of individuals to gather together as an ‘audience’. 

Shah proposes that the theatrical encounter is a structure that prioritises the attentive over the declarative; each of the five chapters is an exploration of this proposition. The first two chapters propose readings for the terms ‘listening’ and ‘audience’, drawing primarily on Gemma Corradi Fiumara’s writing about the philosophy of listening and Stanley Cavell’s writing about being-in-audience. The third chapter reflects on the work of Lying Fallow, the first of two practice elements which were part of this research, asking whether and how this project…

Rancière and Performance

  • Authors Colette Conroy, Nic Fryer
  • Release Date 2021-02-01
  • ISBN 978-1-5381-4657-6
  • Publisher Rowman & Littlefield

Jacques Rancière has been hugely influential in the field of political philosophy and aesthetics. This edited collection is the first to investigate the points of contact between the work of Rancière and the field of theatre and performance studies. Recent scholarly works in this discipline have drawn upon concepts from Rancière’s writing, from theatrocracy to emancipated spectators, to investigate problems of audience, participation, politics and aesthetics. Before these concepts and critical tools peel away from the works through which they emerged, this book seeks a detailed critical assessment of the works themselves and their implications for theatre and performance studies. The collection examines the critical and analytical interventions that have been made to date and looks forward towards challenges to the future uses of Rancière’s work in performance and theatre studies. It also considers a wide range of performance work, from a performance for the residents of a Victorian workhouse to the activist performances of Liberate Tate. This collection includes work by ten scholars and is an essential resource for researchers and academics working in areas of performance and aesthetics, performance and activism, and performance and philosophy.

The Routledge Companion to Performance Philosophy

  • Authors Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca, Alice Lagaay
  • Release Date 2020-07-09
  • ISBN 9781138495623
  • Publisher Routledge

The Routledge Companion to Performance Philosophy is a volume of especially commissioned critical essays, conversations, collaborative, creative and performative writing mapping the key contexts, debates, methods, discourses and practices in this developing field.

Firstly, the collection offers new insights on the fundamental question of how thinking happens: where, when, how and by whom philosophy is performed. Secondly, it provides a plurality of new accounts of performance and performativity – as the production of ideas, bodies and knowledges – in the arts and beyond. Comprising texts written by international artists, philosophers and scholars from multiple disciplines, the essays engage with questions of how performance thinks and how thought is performed in a wide range of philosophies and performances, from the ancient to the contemporary. Concepts and practices from diverse geographical regions and cultural traditions are analysed to draw conclusions about how performance operates across art, philosophy and everyday life.

The collection both contributes to and critiques the philosophy of music, dance, theatre and performance, exploring the idea of a philosophy from the arts. It is crucial reading material for those interested in the hierarchy of the relationship between philosophy and the arts, advancing debates on philosophical method, and the relation between Performance and Philosophy more broadly.

What role for presence in the practices of academia?

What role for presence in the practices of academia? A dialogue on the performativity of theory in the context of Performance Philosophy (mit Anna Seitz), Brazilian Journal of Presence Studies 2019.

Seeing as Practice

  • Authors Eva Schürmann
  • Release Date 2019-01-01
  • ISBN 978-3-030-14507-1
  • Publisher Palgrave

Seeing as Practice
Philosophical Investigations Into The Relation Between Sight And Insight (2019)

This study provides an overview of philosophical questions relating to sight and vision. It discusses the intertwinement of seeing and ways of seeing against the background of an entirely different theoretical framework.

Seeing is both a proven means of acquiring information and a personality-specific way of disclosing the apparent, perceptible world, conditioned by individual and cultural variations. In a peculiar way, the eye holds a middle position between inside and outside of the self and its relations towards itself and others. This book provides a way out of false alternatives by offering a third way with reference to concrete cases of aesthetical and ethical experiences. It will be of particular interest to scholars of the phenomenology and philosophy of perception and it will be valuable to students of philosophy, cultural studies and art.

Performance in Philosophy/Philosophy in Performance

Performance in Philosophy/Philosophy in Performance: How can performative practices enhance the teaching of theory?

Co-authored with Jörg Holkenbrink. In: Performance Matters, Vol. 2.1. “Performance and Pedagogy” 2016.

Actors and the Art of Performance

  • Authors Susanne Granzer Translated by: Laura Radosh & Alice Lagaay
  • Release Date 2016-01-01
  • Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Actors and the Art of Performance: Under Exposure combines the author's two main biographical paths: her professional commitment to the fields of both theatre and philosophy. The art of acting on stage is analysed here not only from the theoretical perspective of a spectator, but also from the perspective of the actor. The author draws on her experience as both a theatre actor and a university professor whose teachings in the art of acting rely heavily on her own experience and also on her philosophical knowledge. The book is unique not only in terms of its content but also in terms of its style. Written in a multiplicity of voices, the text oscillates between philosophical reasoning and narrative forms of writing, including micro-narratives, fables, parables, and inter alia by Carroll, Hoffmann and Kleist. Hence the book claims that a trans-disciplinary dialogue between the art of acting and the art of philosophical thinking calls for an aesthetical research that questions and begins to seek alternatives to traditionally established and ingrained formats of philosophy.

The Theatre of Death

This book is concerned with such questions as the following: What is the life of the past in the present? How might “the theatre of death” and “the uncanny in mimesis” allow us to conceive of the afterlife of a supposedly ephemeral art practice? How might a theatrical iconology engage with such fundamental social relations as those between the living and the dead? 

Distinct from the dominant expectation that actors should appear life-like onstage, why is it that some theatre artists – from Craig to Castellucci – have conceived of the actor in the image of the dead? Furthermore, how might an iconology of the actor allow us to imagine the afterlife of an apparently ephemeral art practice? This book explores such questions through the implications of the twofold analogy proposed in its very title: as theatre is to the uncanny, so death is to mimesis; and as theatre is to mimesis, so death is to the uncanny.

Walter Benjamin once observed that: “The point at issue in the theatre today can be more accurately defined in relation to the stage than to the play. It concerns the filling-in of the orchestra pit. The abyss which separates the actors from the audience like the dead from the living…” If the relation between the living and the dead can be thought of in terms of an analogy with ancient theatre, how might avant-garde theatre be thought of in terms of this same relation “today”?

Embodied Philosophy in Dance

Representing the first comprehensive analysis of Gaga and Ohad Naharin's aesthetic approach, this book following the sensual and mental emphases of the movement research practiced by dancers of the Batsheva Dance Company. Considering the body as a means of expression, Embodied Philosophy in Dance deciphers forms of meaning in dance as a medium for perception and realization within the body. In doing so, the book addresses embodied philosophies of mind, hermeneutics, pragmatism, and social theories in order to illuminate the perceptual experience of dancing. It also reveals the interconnections between physical and mental processes of reasoning and explores the nature of physical intelligence.

Performing Antagonism

This book combines performance analysis with contemporary political philosophy to advance new ways of understanding both political performance and the performativity of the politics of the street.

Our times are pre-eminently political times and have drawn radical responses from many theatre and performance practitioners. However, a decade of conflict in the Middle East and Afghanistan, the eruption of new social movements around the world, the growth of anti-capitalist and anti-globalisation struggles, the upsurge of protests against the blockades of neoliberalism, and the rising tide of dissent and anger against corporate power, with its exorbitant social costs, have left theatre and performance scholarship confronting something of a dilemma: how to theorize the political antagonisms of our day? Drawing on the resources of ‘post-Marxist’ political thinkers such as Chantal Mouffe and Jacques Rancière, the book explores how new theoretical horizons have been made available for performance analysis.

Performance and Temporalisation

  • Authors Stuart Grant Jody McNeilly Maeva Veerapen
  • Release Date 2015-01-01
  • Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Performance and Temporalisation features a diverse collection of scholars and artists gathered from across performance studies, philosophy, architecture, film and new media studies writing of a moment when time happens. The volume offers different accounts of the coming forth of time as it shapes, and is shaped, by human experience. Whether drawing, designing, watching performance, being baptised, digitally mediated, playing cricket, dancing, eating, walking or looking at caves, each author proposes their own conception and doing of time that underlies and activates their art making, scholarship and everyday lives. These essays engage with several philosophical traditions in their discourse and practice, offering multiple perspectives on the temporalised dimensions of place, space, bodies, movement, language, reality, subjectivity, identity, transcendence, world and other. As a new contribution to the discipline of Performance Philosophy, the book elucidates philosophical problems through a range of performative practices while clarifying philosophical thinking for the understanding of performance. 

Choreographic Problems

This book illuminates the relationship between philosophy and experimental choreographic practice today in the works of leading European choreographers. A discussion of key issues in contemporary performance from the viewpoint of Deleuze, Spinoza and Berg

Encounters in Performance Philosophy

  • Authors Laura Cull, Alice Lagaay
  • Release Date 2014-10-10
  • Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Encounters in Performance Philosophy is a collection of 14 essays by international scholars and practitioners from across the disciplines of Philosophy, Literature and Theatre and Performance Studies, addressing the nature of the relationship between philosophy and performance. The essays cover a wide range of concerns common to performance and philosophy including: the body, language, performativity, mimesis and tragedy.

The essays introduce and demonstrate the vitality of the emerging field of Performance Philosophy today, but they also provide thorough analyses of the rich history of thinking and practice that this new field inherits. Chapters engage with the work of theatrical philosophers and philosophical theatre makers from the ancient, modern and contemporary periods. Topics addressed include the work of Socrates, Plato, Nietzsche, Deleuze, J.L. Austin, Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger and Lacoue-Labarthe; explored in relation to practices from Greek tragedy and Shakespeare, music and actor training, to experimental theatre and site-specific performance.

Zizek and Performance

Slavoj Žižek is a cultural phenomenon. His writings have influenced the way we think about politics, psychoanalysis, and a range of cultural issues in our increasingly volatile political and economic climate. This is the first collection to relate explicitly his thoughts on neoliberalism, globalisation, social change and subjectivity to the theory and practice of theatre and performance. Are there common grounds between Žižek's performative persona, his writing style, and performative and theatrical events? Can theatre and performance theories and practices shed some more light on the 'Elvis of cultural theory' and his often controversial work? This volume features 16 critical essays that examine a truly eclectic range of performance makers, events, and moments  - from Wagner's Parsifal to Daniel Radcliffe, from Forced Entertainment to Hollywood dance. It concludes with a new text from Žižek himself, as he turns, for the first time, his gaze to performance. 

Adorno and Performance


The work of the leading Frankfurt School philosopher Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969) continues to have an immense influence on contemporary cultural and critical theory, sociology, musicology, aesthetics, and political thought. Just as Adorno's theoretical approach spans a wide interdisciplinary terrain, so too does the emerging field of performance philosophy bring many disciplinary approaches together to articulate a renewed understanding of the practice of philosophy and the philosophical dimensions of performance. Adorno and Performance argues for the 'actuality' of Adorno's philosophy of art and dialectical criticism for the discipline of performance philosophy, where, following Max Pensky, the term actuality refers to both 'relevance for the present and its concerns' or 'up to date,' 'still in fashion.' The volume's essays work through Adorno's philosophy as it relates to theatre, drama, music, aesthetics, everyday life, the relation of art to society, theory to practice, and other domains of 'performance.' 

Destruction in the Performative

  • Authors Alice Lagaay (Editor), Michael Lorber (Editor)
  • Release Date 2012-02-01
  • ISBN 978-9042034570
  • Publisher Rodopi

Edited with an introduction by Alice Lagaay and Michael Lorber, Amsterdam/New York, Ropodi 2012

Cultural transformation tends to be described in one of two ways: either with reference to what comes about, is created or emerges in the process of change or with reference to what is destroyed or obscured in that process. Within a performative paradigm, that is, from a perspective which focuses on the manner in which social and cultural reality is constituted or brought about by human activity, theorists have, in recent years, tended to underline the productive aspects of transformation by emphasising the creative thrust of performative processes and events. In so doing, this perspective has tended to overlook the extent to which a certain destructive element may in fact be inherent to such performative processes. Drawing upon a range of historical and contemporary constellations of socio-cultural change and a variety of different types of events and activities, the articles in this volume describe different forms of destruction and their respective role in processes of transformation. Their shared aim is to explore the manner in which destructivity, such as the destabilisation and destruction of orders, subjects and bodies, can be grasped by concepts of performativity. In other words, to what extent may a certain destructive dynamic be inscribed within this very notion?

Ökonomien der Zurückhaltung. Kulturelles Handeln zwischen Askese und Restriktion

  • Authors Alice Lagaay, Barbara Gronau (Author)
  • Release Date 2010-07-01
  • ISBN 978-3837612608
  • Publisher Transcript Verlag

Herausgegeben mit Barbara Gronau, Bielefeld: transcript 2010

Es gibt kulturelle, ästhetische und politische Handlungsformen, die einer Ökonomie der Zurückhaltung folgen. Handlung erscheint hier nicht nur als freiwilliges, affirmatives Tun, sondern auch als Zusammenspiel von Sich-Zurückhalten (Zaudern, Zögern, Diskretion) und Zurückgehalten-Werden (Nicht-Können, Nicht-Dürfen). Die interdisziplinären Beiträge des Bandes untersuchen ein diskursives Feld entlang der Begriffe Abstinenz, Diskretion, Reserviertheit und Beschränkung mit einem doppelten Fokus: der Askese als innerer, selbst auferlegter Zurückhaltung und der Restriktion als äußerem Zurückgehalten-Werden. Mit Beiträgen u.a. von Giorgio Agamben, Bazon Brock, Sybille Krämer, Thomas Macho und Joseph Vogl.

Passivity at Work. On an Element in the Philosophy of Giorgio Agamben

Passivity at Work. On an Element in the Philosophy of Giorgio Agamben (zus. mit J. Schiffers), in: Law Critique 20, 2009, 325-337.

Between Sound and Silence: Voice in the History of Psychoanalysis

Between Sound and Silence: Voice in the History of Psychoanalysis, in: Episteme, Vol. 1 (1), 2008, 53-62.

Performanzen des Nichttuns

  • Authors Barbara Gronau, Alice Lagaay
  • Release Date 2008-10-01
  • ISBN 978-3851658125
  • Publisher Passagen Verlag Ges.M.B.H

Herausgegeben mit Barbara Gronau, Wien: Passagen Verlag 2008

Performanzen des Nichttuns widmet sich denjenigen Dimensionen des Performativen, die sich nicht als Aktivität, Machen und Herstellen beschreiben lassen, sondern in Formen des Nichttuns, des Unterlassens, des Schweigens oder der Askese in Erscheinung treten.

Nicht(s) sagen. Strategien der Sprachabwendung im 20. Jahrhundert

Herausgegeben mit Emmanuel Alloa, Bielefeld: transcript 2008, Amazon

Das 20. Jahrhundert war durch eine radikale Rückbesinnung auf die Möglichkeiten und Grenzen von Sprache gekennzeichnet. Der neuzeitliche Traum einer restlosen Benennung des Weltganzen wird fraglich, wenn ihr Medium – die propositionale Aussagelogik – unter Verdacht gerät.

Der Band wirft die brisante Frage auf, ob der für das Jahrhundert prägende linguistic turn nicht so sehr in einer Hinwendung, als vielmehr in einer »Abwendung« vom Sagen besteht, die sich in der Entsagungsgeste von Melvilles Bartleby emblematisch verkörpert. Einzelanalysen zu literarischen Strategien bei Mallarmé, Wittgenstein, Celan, Foucault, Adorno, Derrida, Lévinas u.a.m. führen vor, wie Unterlassen nicht nur ein kritisches, sondern auch stets ein schöpferisches Moment in sich birgt.

Mit Beiträgen von Giorgio Agamben, Kathrin Busch, Jean Clam, Mirjam Schaub, Rüdiger Zill u.v.a.m.

Medientheorien. Eine philosophische Einführung

Herausgegeben zusammen mit David Lauer, Campus Verlag 2004

Medientheorien gelten in mehr und mehr akademischen Disziplinen als unverzichtbares Handwerkszeug. Mindestens so allgegenwärtig wie der Medienbegriff ist jedoch die Klage über seine Unschärfe. Hier setzt die vorliegende Einführung an. Sie stellt elf wichtige Medientheoretiker vor, von Marshall McLuhan und Derrick de Kerckhove über Niklas Luhmann und Jean Baudrillard bis hin zu Friedrich Kittler und Lev Manovich, und untersucht anhand der einzelnen Ansätze, welches Potenzial dem Medienbegriff als kulturwissenschaftlichem und philosophischem Grundbegriff zukommt.

Metaphysics of Performance

Im Horizont der Frage nach dem ambivalenten Verhältnis von Theater und Philosophie klärt Alice Lagaay was “Performativität” als gemeinsamer Bezugspunkt sprachtheoretischer, kulturtheoretischer und theaterwissenschaftlicher Debatten bedeutet. Hierzu werden zunächst Diskurse der Performativität und der Performanz (performance) in ihren aktuell relevanten Bezügen diskutiert. Ein zweiter Teil widmet sich der weit zurück reichenden Auseinandersetzung zwischen Theater und Philosophie. Die hier gefundene “Metaphysik der Performanz” erweist sich als Schlüssel zum Verständnis der gegenwärtigen “performativen Wende”. Berlin, Logos 2001

Wissen Formen. Performative Akte zwischen Bildung, Wissenschaft und Kunst. Erkundungen mit dem Theat

  • Authors Alice Lagaay Anna Seitz (Hg.)
  • ISBN 978-3-8376-3964-3
  • Publisher transcript

Was passiert, wenn die Sprache der Wissenschaften auf die Sprache der performativen Künste trifft? Welche Formen der öffentlichen Inszenierung, Darstellung und Versammlung laden dazu ein, sich auf die Produktivität der Fremdheit im Umgang mit Themen und Situationen, mit Anderen und mit sich selbst einzulassen?

Jörg Holkenbrink und das Theater der Versammlung gelten als Pioniere solcher Verhandlungspraxen und performativen Forschungen, die sie seit 1992 an der Universität Bremen und darüber hinaus in den unterschiedlichsten regionalen, überregionalen und internationalen Kontexten praktizieren. Der Band zeigt, wie diese Prozesse etliche neue grenzüberschreitende Formate zu Tage gefördert und dadurch innovative Inhalte evoziert haben. Die Autor_innen widmen sich diesen Neuorientierungen vor dem Hintergrund von Bildung, Wissenschaft und Kunst und anhand einer Vielzahl sich ergänzender Darstellungsweisen.