1st Edition

Aesthetic Collectives
On the Nature of Collectivity in Cultural Performance



  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 14, 2022
ISBN 9781032071350
March 14, 2022 Forthcoming by Routledge
280 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

This book focuses attention on groups of performing people that are unique aesthetic objects, the focus of an artist’s vision, but at the same time a collective being; a singular, whole mass that exists and behaves like an individual entity.

This text explores this unique experience, which is far from rare or special. Indeed, it is pervasive, ubiquitous and has, since the dawn of performance, been with us. Surveying installation art from Vanessa Beecroft & Kanye West, Greek tragedy, back-up dancing groups and even the mass dance of clubbing crowds, this text examines and names this phenomenon: Aesthetic Collectives. Drawing on a range of methods of investigation spanning performance studies, acting theory, studies of atmosphere and affect and sociology it presents an intervention in the literature for something that has long deserved its own attention.

This book will be of great interest to scholars, students and practitioners in performance studies, theatre, live art, sociology (particularly of groups and subcultures), cultural studies and cultural geography.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Introduction — The Aesthetic Collective

PART ONE

Precis

Chapter One: Proximity and Pragnanz — Space, Order, Touch

Insides/Outsides, Proxemics & Containment

Aesthetic Fields, Collective Domains

Proximity & Prägnanz

The Discharge

Touch — Known, Unknown; Security, Threat

Communitas and Affect Transmission

Chapter Two: Similarity — Authority and Agency

VB16, VB35, VB45, VB46, VB48

Manipulating Agency and Authority

Directions/Instructions — Explicit and Implied

Chapter Three: Common Fate — Objective, Agency & Essence

Choreography and Rhythm

Dialogue

Rôle/Character

Agentic States

PART TWO

Precis

Chapter Four: Character and Contagion

Character as Roles and Dramatis Personae

Essence and Essentialisation

Characterisation, Characterising, Mood

Contagion

Chapter Five: Mood, Affect, Feeling, Emotion

Mood-Making

Affective Dimensions

Mood Setting/Contagion

Chapter six — Encountering Atmospheres

The Encounter

Immersion

Foam Structures — Atmospheres

Conditioning

Climate and Human Weather

Conclusion

Appendix A

Appendix B

Appendix C

Bibliography

Index

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Author(s)

Biography

Dr. Andrew Wiskowski is a lecturer in performance, having recently been in the faculty of Creative and Digital Industries at Lambeth College, London Southbank University.