1st Edition

Experiencing Liveness in Contemporary Performance Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Edited By Matthew Reason, Anja Mølle Lindelof Copyright 2017
    320 Pages
    by Routledge

    320 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume brings together dynamic perspectives on the concept of liveness in the performing arts, engaging with the live through the particular analytical focus of audiences and experience. The status and significance of the live in performance has become contested: perceived as variously as a marker of ontological difference, a promotional slogan, or a mystical evocation of cultural value. Moving beyond debates about the relationship between the live and the mediated, this collection considers what we can know and say about liveness in terms of processes of experiencing and processes of making. Drawing together contributions from theatre, music, dance, and performance art, it takes an interdisciplinary approach in asking not what liveness is, but how it matters and to whom.

    The book invites readers to consider how liveness is produced through processes of audiencing - as spectators bring qualities of (a)liveness into being through the nature of their attention - and how it becomes materialized in acts of performance, acts of making, acts of archiving, and acts of remembering. Theoretical chapters and practice-based reflections explore liveness, eventness and nowness as key concepts in a range of topics such as affect, documentation, embodiment, fandom, and temporality, showing how the relationship between audience and event is rarely singular and more often malleable and multiple. With its focus on experiencing liveness, this collection will be of interest to disciplines including performance, audience and cultural studies, visual arts, cinema, and sound technologies.


    Introduction: Experiencing Liveness in Contemporary Performance

    Matthew Reason and Anja Mølle Lindelof

    Part 1: Audiencing

    Section Introduction: Matthew Reason and Anja Mølle Lindelof


    1. Coming (a)live: A Prolegomenon to any Future Research on ‘Liveness’
    2. Martin Barker

    3. Orange Dogs and Memory Responses: Creativity in Spectating and Remembering
    4. Katja Hilevaara

    5. Fandom, Liveness and Technology at Tori Amos Music Concerts: Examining the Movement of Meaning within Social Media Use
    6. Lucy Bennett

    7. Social and Online Experiences: Shaping Live Listening Expectation in Classical Music
    8. Stephanie E. Pitts

    9. The Meaning of Lived Experience
    10. Paddy Scannell

    11. Affect and Experience

    Matthew Reason


    1. Live Art, Death Threats: The Theatrical Antagonism of First Night
    2. Alexis Soloski

    3. Attention as a Tension: Affective Experience between Performer and Audience in the Live Encounter
    4. Victoria Gray

    5. Empathy and Resonant Relationships in Performance Art
    6. Lynn Lu

    7. Embodied Traces: Co-presence, Kinaesthesia and Bodily Inscription
    8. Imogene Newland

    9. An Experience of Becoming: Wearing a Tail and Alpine Walking
    10. Catherine Bagnall

    11. Sisters Academy: Radical Live Intervention into the Educational System
    12. Gry Worre Halberg

    13. One-to-One Performance: Who’s in Charge?
    14. Sarah Hogarth and Emma Bramley

    15. A Performatic Archive
    16. Kerrie Reading

    17. Theatre of Bone

    Rebecca Schneider


    Part 2: Materialising

    Section Introduction: Matthew Reason and Anja Mølle Lindelof


    1. What is a Live Event?
    2. Gary Peters

    3. Improvising Music Experience: The Eternal Ex-temporisation of Music Made Live
    4. Steve Tromans

    5. The Place of Performance: A Critical Historiography on the Topos of Time
    6. Jonah Westerman

    7. Objectifying Liveness: Labour, Agency and the Body in the 11 Rooms Exhibition
    8. Lisa Newman

    9. Reconsidering Liveness in the Age of Digital Implication
    10. Eirini Nedelkopoulou

    11. Environmental Performance: Framing Time

    Anja Mølle Lindelof, Ulrik Schmidt and Connie Svabo


    1. Three Performances: A Virtual (Musical) Improvisation
    2. Mathias Maschat and Christopher Williams  

    3. Chronography
    4. Craig Dworkin

    5. Memory, Time and Self: A Text Work based on a Conceptual Performance
    6. Paul Forte

    7. Broken Magic: The Liveness of Loudspeakers
    8. Dugal McKinnon

    9. Managing Live Audience Attention in the Age of Digital Mediation: The Good, The God and The Guillotine:
    10. Martin Blain

    11. Enlivened Serendipity
    12. Allen S. Weiss

    13. National Theatre Wales’s Coriolan/us: A ‘Live Film’
    14. Mike Pearson

    15. Machines in Queer Gardens: Performance as Mixed Surreality

    Judd Morrissey and Mark Jeffery


    So Close and Yet So Far Away: The Proxemics of Liveness

    Philip Auslander

    List of Contributors



    Matthew Reason is Professor of Theatre and Performance at York St John University, UK.

    Anja Mølle Lindelof is Assistant Professor of Performance Design at Roskilde University, Denmark.