Archaeologies of Presence  book cover
1st Edition

Archaeologies of Presence

ISBN 9780203126738
Published April 27, 2012 by Routledge
304 Pages

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Book Description

Archaeologies of Presence is a brilliant exploration of how the performance of presence can be understood through the relationships between performance theory and archaeological thinking. Drawing together carefully commissioned contributions by leading international scholars and artists, this radical new work poses a number of essential questions:

  • What are the principle signifiers of theatrical presence?
  • How is presence achieved through theatrical performance?
  • What makes a memory come alive and live again?
  • How is presence connected with identity?
  • Is presence synonymous with 'being in the moment'?
  • What is the nature of the ‘co-presence’ of audience and performer?
  • Where does performance practice end and its documentation begin?

Co-edited by performance specialists Gabriella Giannachi and Nick Kaye, and archaeologist Michael Shanks, Archaeologies of Presence represents an innovative and rewarding feat of interdisciplinary scholarship.

Table of Contents

1 Gabriella Giannachi, Nick Kaye and Michael Shanks

Introduction: Archaeologies of Presence


Being Here: place and time


2 Josette Féral,

How to Define Presence Effects: the Work of Janet Cardiff

3 Gabriella Giannachi

Environmental Presence

4 Rebecca Schneider

Performance Remains Again

5 Jon Erickson

Tension/Release and the Production of Time in Performance


Being Before: stage and gaze


6 Erika Fischer-Lichte

Appearing As Embodied Mind – Defining a weak, a strong and a radical concept of presence

7 Phillip Zarrilli

‘…presence…’ as a question and emergent possibility: a case study from the performer’s perspective

8 Simon Jones

Out-Standing Standing-Within: being alone together in the work of Bodies in Flight

9 Nicholas Ridout

Mis-spectatorship, or, ‘redistributing the sensible’

10 Tim Etchells, Gabriella Giannachi and Nick Kaye

Looking Back: a conversation about presence, 2006


Traces: after presence


11 Amelia Jones

Temporal Anxiety/’Presence’ in absentia: experiencing performance as documentation

12 Lynn Hershman Leeson and Michael Shanks

Here and Now

13 Nick Kaye

Photographic presence: time and the image

14 Mike Pearson

Neither Here nor There….

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Gabriella Giannachi is Professor in Performance and New Media, and Director of the Centre for Intermedia at the University of Exeter. Her book publications include: Virtual Theatres: an Introduction (2004); Performing Nature: Explorations in Ecology and the Arts, ed. with Nigel Stewart (2005); The Politics of New Media Theatre (2007); Performing Presence: Between the Live and the Simulated, co-authored with Nick Kaye (2011); and Performing Mixed Reality, with Steve Benford (2011).

Nick Kaye is Dean of the College of Humanities and Professor of Performance Studies, at the University of Exeter. His books include: Postmodernism and Performance (1994), Art into Theatre: Performance Interviews and Documents (1996), Site-Specific Art: Performance, Place and Documentation (2000), Staging the Post-Avant-Garde: Italian Performance After 1970, with Gabriella Giannachi (2002), Multi-media: video - installation - performance (2007) and Performing Presence: Between the Live and the Simulated, with Gabriella Giannachi, (2011). He is co-director of REACT, an AHRC Knowledge Exchange Hub that will invest over £4million in creating collaborations between academic researchers and the creative industries 2012-16.

Michael Shanks is the Omar and Althea Hoskins Professor of Classics and Director of Stanford Archaeology Center's Metamedia Lab. His major book publications include: ReConstructing Archaeology (1987), Social Theory and Archaeology (1987), Art and the Greek City State (1999), Classical Archaeology: Experiences of the Discipline (1996), Experiencing the Past: On the Character of Archaeology (1992) and Theatre/Archaeology, with Mike Pearson (Routledge 2001).


‘Comprised of contributions from theorists and practitioners, external case-study analyses and internal reflections, and utilizing theoretical and performative modes of writing, alongside interviews, Archaeologies of Presence is a stimulating, enjoyable, varied and accessible publication… it is a delightfully produced publication to be found on the bookshelves of students, researchers, practitioners, theorists and enthusiasts alike.’– Studies in Theatre and Performance, Hannah Cummings