What if performance challenges strict divisions about where the art ends and the rest of the world begins?
Social Works: performing art, supporting publics

BACKNEXT master thesis / November 4, 2015

For those of us identified with performance, the language of autonomy is a conflicted one, as the art form”s inter-drependancewith ensembles, technologies, and audiences has always been hard to disavow. But to bemoan the compromises of performance’s aesthetic interdependence is also to assume a clear division between the autonomous performance event and its heteronomous environment. What if the formal challenge of performance lies in the ambiguity of such a division? What if, for instance, the formal parameters of the form include the audience relation, casting such inter-subjective exchange, not as the extraneous context that surrounds it, but as the material of performance itself?

Shannon Jackson, Social Works: performing art, supporting publics