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’.
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien, 2005. 437 pp.
Contents: Gabriella Giannachi/Nigel Stewart: Ecology, Nature and the Arts Spectacle, World, Environment, Void – Baz Kershaw:
The Ecologies of Performance: On Biospheres and Theatres – John Adams: Performative Locations: Wilderness Space and Place
in Early Film – Una Chaudhuri: Animal Geographies: Zooësis and the Space of Modern Drama – Mike Pearson: P-P-P-Pick
Up a Penguin: Men and Animals in Antarctic Exploration – Geraldine Harris: Turing Test: doo-cot Theatre Company’s Frankenstein:
The Final Blasphemy and the ‘limits of the (post)human’ – Andrew Quick: The Space Between: Disorienting Landscape in the
Photographic Works of Willie Doherty – Elaine Aston: ‘A Licence to Kill’: Caryl Churchill’s Socialist-Feminist ‘Ideas of Nature’
– Bronislaw Szerszynski: Beating the Unbound: Political Theatre in the Laboratory Without Walls – Wallace Heim: Navigating
Voices – Andra McCartney: Performing Soundwalks for Journées sonores, canal de Lachine – Valerie A. Briginshaw: From
Performance through Narrative to Interconnected Subjectivities – Enzo Cozzi: Chilean Sacred Dancers and Western Secular Magicians:
Two Paratheatrical Ecologies of Mind – Nick Kaye: Performed Ecologies: Body, Material, Architecture – Frances Bronet: Beating
a Path: Designing in the Posture of Body – Johannes Birringer: Environments for Interactive Dance – Sondra Fraleigh:
Spacetime and Mud in Butoh – Theresa J. May: Re-Membering the Mountain: Grotowski’s Deep Ecology – Nigel Stewart: Dancing
the Time of Place: Fieldwork, Phenomenology and Nature’s Choreography – Gabriella Giannachi: The Museum of Voids – Alan Read:
Play-Ground-Nature-Table – Wallace Heim: Performance and Ecology: A Reader’s Guide.