Bodies in Motion: working through plurality
This collaborative paper aims to address questions regarding the notion of plurality as experienced in the performer body. Through practice and writing we attempt to account for such a body, and address wider questions regarding the body and identity in performance.
As professional performance-makers working independently through practice-as-research (in a doctoral context at Middlesex University) we have undertaken an on-going collaboration based on our mutual concern for the process of embodying our research. This article aims to frame certain tendencies, which occur when working with others in the studio. The set of conditions for this on-going project has provided a good terrain to break down some of the mechanisms of performance making, and therefore allowed us to illuminate some aspects of contemporary performance making.
Drawing on philosophical approach to performance making including William James‘ Radical Empiricism, we discuss in detail our shared practice, and attempt to find strategies that will allow us to examine the shifting tension between our sense of the monadic ‘I’ and the idea of the distributed self that Brian Rotman describes in Becoming Beside Ourselves: The Alphabet, Ghosts, and Distributed Human Being (2008).