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Title: Resistant environments: technologically mediated empowerment networks in extradisciplinary performance
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The proliferation in improvised performance of chance strategies, game-like scores, playful exercises, one-off collaborations, prepared, new and hacked instruments suggests a ubiquitous commitment to excavate unforeseen creative possibilities that exist beyond the edge of consciousness. Such strategies are deployed to resist mastery and bring forth the possibility for collision out of which fractures emanate allowing the unfamiliar to flow forth. In this research project I draw upon my experience of sitesufficient extradisciplinary performance to unpack the mechanisms at work in these strategies. The proceeding theoretical discourse initially draws upon the interrelated notions of habitus and norm-circles to illuminate the manner in which dispositions to act are inculcated in the individual and conditioned by the socio-cultural environment to which they are exposed. The aesthetics of liminal phenomena reveal the theatre as a site in which to interrogate these habitual behaviours. This discourse is shown to be too narrow to account for embodied disciplinary-specific performance vocabularies, however, further insights are gained from contemporary cognitive science. The theory of autopoiesis specifies that the individual is fundamentally embodied, bringing forth meaning in the world through perceptually guided action. We see that the body permeates cognition, conditioning our understanding of the world. The notions of external scaffolding and epistemic action are introduced and express the way in which the environment is manipulated to empower the individual. The theory of affordances is subsequently deployed to articulate the perceptual and actional fields available to the individual with respect to their environment. Subsequently this discourse enriches our understanding of the way in which environments constitute networks of empowerment. This theoretical discourse is exemplified in the practical experiments conducted during this research project. Performance technologies associated with electronic music are deployed to create environments for collaborative performance – sites that empower the individual as an extradisciplinary performer.
Description: PhD Thesis: Multimedia items accompanying this thesis to be consulted at Robinson Library
Appears in Collections:School of Arts and Cultures

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