7.5 Chapter Summary


Image credit: Christian Van Bebber




In this chapter I have put forward the performance ontology of becoming that I developed in support of my performance practice. I have discussed how life, as a self-organising structure, develops itself through a body-world connection. I have isolated a corporeal phenomenon within this ontology that I call wild life and that I claim is the basis of creativity. I have discussed how live knowing is an encounter that places practitioners between the edges of things in ways that can disrupt typical systems of knowledge about mind/body, subject/object binaries.  In performance I disrupt these binaries by closely attuning-to visceral phenomena, focusing in-between things, and imagining immersive conditions in acts of live knowing. Using an example from a discovery workshop, a performance vignette and a Focusing session, I discuss how I have enacted this performance ontology of becoming by attuning-to wild life.

I claim that wild life manifests as a corporeal intelligence that is a constant structural feature of lived experience, and that it can be accessed at any time if we so choose. I propose that attuning-to wild life, in support of artistic expression, requires a sustained attentiveness to visceral phenomena, as well as a sustained attentiveness to that which is in-between things. In my experience, attuning-to wild life also awakens a body-world connection that supports and sustains artistic practice. I also claim that employing the imagination through sensory metaphor activates wild life so that things are always opening out, always differentiating. I argue that engaging in live knowing through performance events can reveal how wild life uses the fundamental structures of lived experience for artistic expression.

Finally, I note that engaging with philosophy, examining artists’ accounts of the creative process, and applying my findings to practice have helped me to question binary pairs, consciously access experience differently, and identify how lived experience operates in service of artistic creativity. In doing so, my research forges a closer relationship between philosophy and performance. I argue that the enactment of philosophical ideas through the employment of a (syn)aesthetic performance style has allowed me to make direct contact with philosophy, and contribute to the emerging field of Performance Philosophy. My original performance work is an experiential form of philosophy that creates the conditions for a witnessed, present moment, creative evolutionary event. This particular kind of performance fosters a corporeal attentiveness that recognises the events of wild life as they occur in the domain of becoming.


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