Spilt Cargo: Flotsam, Jetsam and Ligan: Performance as a field of enquiry

Allbwn ymchwil: Cyfraniad at gynhadleddPapuradolygiad gan gymheiriaid


Performance (as aesthetic practice) and Performance Studies (as academic discipline) together with Performance Research (as practice-informed theoretical enquiry) are burgeoning areas of development (research, practice and teaching) within the UK. This presentation will advance performance as an optic through which to examine a variety of representational practices, (thereby widening understanding of performance as both a vital artistic practice and as a means to understand historical, social and cultural processes) and focus upon examples from the sustained (thirty five year) activity of the Centre for Performance Research (CPR) in Wales.

The notion of fields of enquiry and networks of scholarship (knowledge practices and research teams) is crucial to an understanding of CPR’s approach to the creation of new knowledge and the dissemination of research. It is a deliberate strategy employed to expand the research beyond the individual and beyond the bureaucratic restraint of a single assessable item, indeed transgressing the whole notion of item and at times seemingly at odds with the Academy’s demands and expectations - based upon a privileging of the text and the monograph – CPR’s greater contribution to the discipline has been the creation of projects, fields of enquiry, networks of knowledge that function more like a multi-layered fan.

This presentation will trace the history of CPR, the inauguration of Performance Research and the formation of PSi (the international association of Performance Studies), it will also reflect upon practice as research, where the ‘research act’ can be located and how 'new knowledge' can be formulated and distributed by other means than books/texts/scripts. However, it will also consider the role and function of Performance Research (the print journal - now published bi-monthly and entering its twentieth year); describing the editorial composition as a dramaturgy, considering the page as stage and the journal as a site for critical and theoretical reflection.
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