Performing Nature

Explorations in Ecology and the Arts

by Gabriella Giannachi (Volume editor) Nigel Stewart (Volume editor)
©2005 Edited Collection 438 Pages


The essays in this volume explore the borderland between ecology and the arts. Nature is here read by a number of contributors as ‘cultural’, by others as an ‘independent domain’, or even as a powerful process of exchange ’between the human and the other-than-human’. The four parts of the volume reflect these different understandings of nature and performance. Informed by psychoanalysis and cultural materialism, contributors to the first part, ‘Spectacle: Landscape and Subjectivity’, look at ways in which particular social and scientific experiments, theatre and film productions and photography either reinforce or contest our ideas about nature and human-human or human-animal relations and identities. The second part, ‘World: Hermeneutic Language and Social Ecology’, investigates political protest, social practice art, acoustic ecology, dance theatre, family therapy and ritual in terms of social philosophy. Contributors to the third part, ‘Environment: Immersiveness and Interactivity’, explore architecture and sculpture, site-specific and mediatised dance and paratheatre through radical theories of urban and virtual space and time, or else phenomenological philosophy. The final part, ‘Void: Death, Life and the Sublime’, indicates the possibilities in dance, architecture and animal behaviour of a shift to an existential ontology in which nature has ‘the capacity to perform itself’.


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2006 (January)
Künste Natur Aufsatzsammlung Acoustic Ecology Nature/Art Spectacle/Landscape Ecology of Performance Sound Walking
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Wien, 2005. 438pp., 45 fig. b/w.

Biographical notes

Gabriella Giannachi (Volume editor) Nigel Stewart (Volume editor)

The Editors: Gabriella Giannachi is Senior Lecturer in Drama at the University of Exeter, UK. Her specialist areas include performance, new media theatre and bio-art. She is co-editor, with Mary Luckhurst, of On Directing (1999), co-author, with Nick Kaye, of Staging the Post-Avant-Garde (2002), and author of Virtual Theatres (2004) and Politics – New Media – Theatre: Life (2006). She is Co-Director of the Centre for Intermedia at Exeter University. Nigel Stewart is Lecturer in Theatre Studies at Lancaster University, UK. He is a dance artist and scholar with interests in movement analysis, notation, and environmental, hermeneutic and phenomenological aesthetics. He has worked extensively both nationally and internationally as a choreographer, dancer and director, and has published articles in several major journals and books.


Title: Performing Nature