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The Embodiment of Authority

Perspectives on Performances


Edited By Taina Riikonen and Marjaana Virtanen

Performance is a forum for social action, embodied interaction and shared authority. Recently, as the various acts and agencies surrounding a performance have become the target of scholarly interest, the complex split between theory and practice has been challenged, as has the idea of a singular, disembodied authorial ownership of the socio-material meanings surrounding performance. The Embodiment of Authority approaches performance, issues of authority and negotiated knowledge production through multi-material research data and interdisciplinary methods. The book discusses the relationship between authorial questions and performances via the following topics: shared authorities, ontologies of art work, diverse roles of rehearsals in the performance process, and embodied knowledge.
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The Embodiment of Authority Conference was held at the Sibelius Academy (currently University of Arts Helsinki, Finland), at the Department of Doctoral Studies on Performing Arts in September 2010. Approximately 70 scholars and artists from all over the world participated in a diverse range of discussion sessions on authorships, embodied meanings of performing and performance and the continuing socio-material signification processes of art making and arts’ cultural values.

The idea of organising the conference had come about two years earlier, during the course of a research project called Shared Creativity in Finnish Contemporary Music, which was based at the University of Turku and investigated the creation processes of newly commissioned compositions. The project team included the project leader, Professor Tomi Mäkelä (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg), PhD Taina Riikonen and PhD Marjaana Virtanen.

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