Location, location, location…

We’ve added a number of new books on place, space, performance art and walking to the library collections w/c 07/10/13:

One place after another: site-specific art and locational identity
Miwon Kwon

709.0407 KWO
Main Book Collection

Site-specific art emerged in the late 1960s in reaction to the growing commodification of art and the prevailing ideals of art’s autonomy and universality. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, as site-specific art intersected with land art, process art, performance art, conceptual art, installation art, institutional critique, community-based art, and public art, its creators insisted on the inseparability of the work and its context. In recent years, however, the presumption of unrepeatability and immobility encapsulated in Richard Serra’s famous dictum “to remove the work is to destroy the work” is being challenged by new models of site specificity and changes in institutional and market forces.

One Place after Another offers a critical history of site-specific art since the late 1960s and a theoretical framework for examining the rhetoric of aesthetic vanguardism and political progressivism associated with its many permutations. Informed by urban theory, postmodernist criticism in art and architecture, and debates concerning identity politics and the public sphere, the book addresses the siting of art as more than an artistic problem. It examines site specificity as a complex cipher of the unstable relationship between location and identity in the era of late capitalism. The book addresses the work of, among others, John Ahearn, Mark Dion, Andrea Fraser, Donald Judd, Renee Green, Suzanne Lacy, Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, Richard Serra, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, and Fred Wilson.

Source: http://mitpress2.mit.edu/ 03/10/13

Site-specific performance
Mike Pearson

792.022 PER
Main Book Collection

Site-specific performance – acts of theatre and performative events at landscape locations, in village streets, in urban situations. In houses, chapels, barns, disused factories, railway stations; on hillsides, in forest clearings, underwater. At the scale of civil engineering; as intimate as a guided walk.

Leading theatre artist and scholar Mike Pearson draws upon thirty years practical experience, proposing original approaches to the creation and study of performance outside the auditorium. In this book he suggests organizing principles, innovative strategies, methods and exercises for making theatre in a variety of contexts and locations, and through examples, case studies and projects develops distinctive theoretical insights into the relationship of site and performance, scenario and scenography. This book encourages practical initiatives in the conception, devising and staging of performances, while also recommending effective models for its critical appreciation.

Source: http://www.amazon.co.uk 03/10/13

Performance and place
Leslie Hill & Helen Paris (ed)

791.01 PER
Main Book Collection

Featuring a mix of practitioners and scholars this much-needed book explores the numerous sites of contemporary performance and the notion of place. Addressing critical issues including the relationships between site, memory, longing and identity, this volume provides performance studies with a core text in notions of place and will be useful to students, scholars and practitioners alike. Leslie Hill and Helen Paris are writers, performers, filmmakers and co-directors of Curious, the award winning London-based production company.

Contributors include: Johannes Birringer, Laurie Beth Clark, Matthew Goulish, Lin Hixon, Lois Keidan, Graeme Miller, Paul Heritage and Martha Wilson.

Source: http://thisisunbound.co.uk/ 03/10/13

Mythogeography: a guide to walking sideways
Phil Smith

791.01 SMI
Main Book Collection

At its simplest, this is a book about walking: the funny and touching account of the author’s walk across the heart of the English countryside in the footsteps of Edwardian oak tree planter Charles Hurst. What Phil Smith found was a countryside littered with beer cans and 100 years of change, punctured by cars and populated by an extraordinary cast, each with a story to tell about their connection to the places they call home. But Phil Smith is no ordinary walker. Consistently one of Europe’s most exciting and innovative performance artists, he has made ‘walking sideways’ into an art. Later in the book, his ‘handbook of drifting’, ‘tool bag of actions’ and ‘the orrery’ offer a whirlwind of ideas on how to walk like a stalker, a swimmer, a ghost, an explorer, a pilgrim…As he says: Mythogeography is a way of walking, thinking and organising on many levels at the same time. Anyone can do it. You can do it…By setting ourselves in motion through a world of images we make ourselves human movie cameras or camera phones – both interpreters and producers. By the particular focuses and the angles of trajectory we choose, we make an interpretation of our world, and from our impressions we begin to re-make its meanings. The productions that follow from these experiences – a conversation in a bar, a procession, a conspiracy, a plan, a map, an organisation, a gesture – are what mythogeography is. At another level, “Mythogeography” celebrates a loose weave of artists, teachers, activists and walkers whose practices have, in the last decade, taken up where psychogeography left off and started to bring together a range of disciplines and activisms including site-specific artists and performers, urbanists, derivistes, philosophers, drifters, geographers, anthropologists, film-makers and sociologists. On this plane, “Mythogeography” is a handbook for tripping up the ordinary. As the author says: Drawing on a history of Dadaist deambulation, situationist derive, dematerialised land art, mad-dog marketeering and activist intervention, it weaves between totalising utopias and defeatism, while skulking in holy places, trading under fake colours and planning its next false flag operations. It provides a series of theoretical investigations into the underpinnings of resistant walking – in myth, in cellular and spiral organisation, in the dematerialisation of sculpture and the ‘tight organisation’ of the drift. All this in the guise of a mystery about walkers. Deceitful and hopeful, this is the first manifesto of a new kind of everyday: Walking 4.0. In short, walking isn’t what it used to be. It’s been deconstructed, theorised, analysed, performed, philosophised, disgraced and reinvented. This is a book about what walking has become.

Source: http://www.amazon.co.uk 07/10/13

Architecturally speaking: practices of art, architecture and the everyday
Alan Read (ed)

720.1 ARC
Main Book Collection

This book is an international collection of essays by leading architects, artists and theorists of locality and space. New work by celebrated contributors including Mark Auge, Kryzstof Wodiczko, Anthony Vidler, Lebbeus Woods and Zaha Hadid is juxtaposed with seminal essays by Bernard Tschumi and Doreen Massey. This book will appeal to urbanists, geographers, artists, architects, cultural historians and theorists.

Source: http://www.copac.ac.uk 08/10/13

Walking, writing & performance: autobiographical texts by Deirdre Heddon, Carl Lavery & Phil Smith
Roberta Mock (ed)

791.01 WAL
Main Book Collection

This collection charts three projects by performance-makers who generate autobiographical writing by taking walks through inspirational landscapes. It includes performance texts and photographs, as well as essays by the artists that explore processes of development, writing, and performance. There are performances based on exploratory walking in South Devon, Munich, Herm and San Gimignano, a walk exploring ‘an ethics of autobiographical performance’, and multi-disciplinary collaborative processes. Taken together and separately, the work of all three artists raises important issues about memory, the ethics of autobiographical performance, ritual, life writing, textuality, subjectivity and site in performance.

Source: http://www.copac.ac.uk 08/10/13

In comes I: performance, memory and landscape
Mike Pearson

792.22 PEA
Main Book Collection

In Comes I is about performance and land, biography and locality, memory and place. The book reflects on performances past and present, taking the form of a series of excursions in the agricultural landscape of eastern England, and drawing from archaeology, geomorphology, folklore, local and family history. Mike Pearson, a leading theatre artist and solo-performer, returns to the landscape of his childhood – off the beaten track in Lincolnshire – and uses it as a mnemonic to reflect widely upon performance theory and practice. Rather than focusing on author, period and genre as is conventional in the study of drama, the book takes region as its optic, acknowledging the affective ties between people and place. Offering new approaches to the study of performance, he integrates intensely personal narrative with analytical reflection, juxtaposing anecdote with theoretical insight, dramatic text with interdisciplinary perception. The performances, ranging from folk drama to contemporary site-specific work, are seen in their relationship to their cultural and physical environment. The author’s highly individual approach to academic writing provides the stamp of authenticity – integrating personal childhood memories with scholarly perception. Innovative form: It is structured as a series of excursions into the landscape, with a large number of personal photographs, reminiscent of the elegiac style of W. G. Sebald’s creative writing. Readers have seen parallels with such evocative books as Flora Thompson’s “Lark Rise to Candleford” and Jacquetta Hawkes’s “A Land.

Source: http://www.copac.ac.uk 08/10/13

Mike Pearson & Michael Shanks

792.01 PEA
Main Book Collection

Theatre/Archaeology is a provocative challenge to disciplinary practice and intellectual boundaries. It brings together radical proposals in both archaeological and performance theory to generate a startlingly original and intriguing methodological framework. It facilitates a new way of investigating landscape and cityscape, and notions of physicality, encounter, site and context. The book takes scholarly innovation to new levels. It is the result of a long-term, unique collaboration between a renowned archaeological theorist and a leading theatre artist. The result is a vibrant dialogic writing which bridges the scholarly/poetic divide. In its unique integration of theory, narrative, and autobiography, Theatre/Archaeology brings a new dimension to two burgeoning fields of inquiry.

Source: http://www.copac.ac.uk 08/10/13

Theatre ecology: environments and performance events
Baz Kershaw

792 KER
Main Book Collection

First published in 2007, this book asks what are the challenges to theatre and the purposes of performance in an ecologically threatened world? Is there a future for theatre as an ethically and politically alert art through environmental action? How might ecological understandings refigure the natural virtues of theatre and performance? Theatre Ecology gets to grips with such questions by investigating an eclectic cosmopolitan sample of environments and performance events, in theatres and beyond. It proposes that performance is a peculiarly twenty-first century addiction at the root global warming. Encountering this prospect head-on, it searches for pathological hope in historical theatre at the end of its tether and rumbles the contemporary paradigm of performance for signs of eco-sanity. Recognising the future is always before its time, Theatre Ecology is a paradoxical tract for survival past the final ecological era.

Source: http://www.copac.ac.uk 08/10/13