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.

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.

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.'