On the Nature of Collectivity in Cultural Performance
- Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 14, 2022
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
Introduction — The Aesthetic Collective
Chapter One: Proximity and Pragnanz — Space, Order, Touch
Insides/Outsides, Proxemics & Containment
Aesthetic Fields, Collective Domains
Proximity & Prägnanz
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
Chapter Four: Character and Contagion
Character as Roles and Dramatis Personae
Essence and Essentialisation
Characterisation, Characterising, Mood
Chapter Five: Mood, Affect, Feeling, Emotion
Chapter six — Encountering Atmospheres
Foam Structures — Atmospheres
Climate and Human Weather
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.