University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

Performance-Philosophy: A ‘philosophical turn’ in Performance Studies (and a non-philosophical turn in Philosophy)

Cull, LK (2012) Performance-Philosophy: A ‘philosophical turn’ in Performance Studies (and a non-philosophical turn in Philosophy) In: Performing Research: Creative Exchanges, 2012-01-19 - 2012-01-20, Central School of Speech and Drama. (Unpublished)

[img] Text
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License : See the attached licence file.

Download (1MB)
[img] Text (licence)
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (33kB)


Martin Puchner’s The Drama of Ideas (2010), Freddie Rokem’s Philosophers and Thespians (2010), and Simon Bayly’s The Pathognomy of Performance (2011) are only three recent publications that one could cite as evidence that the international field of Theatre and Performance Research is undergoing what we might call ‘a philosophical turn’: an intensification of its long-standing interest in and engagement with philosophy, as a source of diverse concepts, plural methods and multiple ontologies that can be productively explored in relation to performance. But what is at stake in this turn? What relationship between performance and philosophy is being staged in this work? In this presentation, I will suggest that we need to move beyond the mere application of philosophy to performance, beyond an approach to philosophy determined by a pursuit of the next new and fashionable method of performance analysis. In particular, I will propose that our experiments with what I am calling ‘performance-philosophy’ need not begin with clear and distinct definitions of each term. We do not yet know what either performance or philosophy can do; it is precisely the indeterminacy of the distinction between the activities that we call ‘performance’ and ‘philosophy’ (as exposed in the ‘nonart’ of Allan Kaprow) that makes performance-philosophy an exciting prospect. Ultimately, I will argue that the encounter between performance and philosophy is at its richest and most egalitarian if philosophy is willing to encounter performance as thinking, and as that which might extend what philosophy counts as thinking – a discussion that will also lead us to question the implications of the provocative idea that everything (not just the theatrical subject or philosophical mind) thinks. In this way, I hope to address not only the philosophical turn in performance, but also the non-philosophical turn in philosophy: the democratization of thought that has recently been called for by the French (non-) philosopher, François Laruelle. Non-philosophy will meet nonart, then – but as its equal, not as its illustration.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Guildford School of Acting
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
Cull, LK
Date : 2012
Uncontrolled Keywords : performance, philosophy, performance philosophy, practice as research, laruelle, deleuze
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 13:45
Last Modified : 05 Mar 2019 14:08

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800