Entertaining Other Options…

Restaging "Theory" in the Age of Practice as Research

© Professor S. Melrose
January 2002
School of Arts
Middlesex University
London N14 4YZ


Protesting Too Much?

In the dying days of the 20th century, the Arts and Humanities Research Board made a public announcement concerning a pilot Competition D award to fund the PhD in the Creative and Performing Arts. While the award merely formalised existing PhD provision in many creative arts practices (albeit in a relatively small number of institutions), it set the university Theatre and Performing Arts sector, which is genuinely national, scurrying to establish the terms and conditions for a practice-based PhD in Performing Arts, which might satisfy Academic Boards and be acceptable to Quality Review Boards.

Plainly the AHRB did not act alone in determining this provision; rather its possibility had been entertained, formally and informally, since the results of the 1996 RAE were announced. Meanwhile, the outcome of the Christopher Frayling-led debates initiated by the UK Council for Graduate Education on the question of practice as research in the creative and performing arts, fed into the Quality Agency higher degree qualification consultation process, which concluded in 1999 that a mixed-mode PhD submission could be entertained, to include an artefact or a performance together with a written commentary of appropriate length and function.

Significantly, however, organised discussion of these issues was led by Art and Design and not by Theatre or Performing Arts, although Dance and Music professional associations joined the debate in 1999. It was similarly my impression that Theatre and Performing Arts in the university largely abstained from participation in the higher degree qualifications consultation process, except to the extent that the discipline could be represented by small-scale-specialist providers.

Meanwhile, many of those who might appear to be best-placed to lead the higher degree practice debate in Theatre and Performing Arts in the university have not themselves worked as performing arts professionals and/or trainers. They may well be professionally-resistant, for historical reasons as well as inclination, to the institutions of and the market-place for the performing arts. The PhD holders within that community have, generally-speaking, researched doctorates for which writing, in traditionally "PhD-worthy" registers, was not just the norm, but may well continue to inform the attitude brought to the new provision, regardless of their public profession of a "knowledge-political" commitment to change.

From another angle, it might be observed that the development of Performance Studies, in what were often fledgling university-sector Drama, Theatre and Performing Arts Departments, has further divided a sector which might at any rate claim some expertise in handling and even in instigating dramatic conflict. From approaches which might be summarised as "theatre anthropological", via the "textualising", "semiological" and discursivizing "turns" of the late 1970s and 1980s, Performance Studies in the late 1990s would seem to have proceeded self-consciously through to what, in 2001 Jon McKenzie described, in his Perform or Else, as a self-affirming concern with "the efficacy of certain activities [,] capable of challenging … social norms and symbolic structures", aimed at "returning" performance itself to "an embodied and discursive politics"(39) 1 .

It is precisely because my point of view with regard to performance disciplines differs, in significant part, from the otherwise highly challenging McKenzie - his subtitle is "from discipline to performance" - that I cite his text here. On the other hand, I am also concerned with practices which "challenge … symbolic structures", including those "structures", if the term is to stand, which are specific to to higher degree research "training", as well as those specific to performance disciplines. In these sorts of terms, I want to identify challenging performance work under the heading of critical meta-practice - by which I simply mean a disciplinary practice or practices which both maintain conventions specific to the discipline (and the judgements it entails) while challenging and/or interrogating certain of its practices. I'll show you an example in a moment of what I mean by professional devised performance as critical meta-practice.

Secondly, I am much less concerned with McKenzie's "discursive politics" - whatever that may mean in the performance-making context - than with the terms of what I should want to call a more general ethics of practice. My third point here relates to the interdisciplinary or multi-disciplinary institutional context: I want to identify the interface practices more generally which we pursue in this specific higher degree context as instances of mixed-mode meta-practice. Writing does figure within mixed-mode meta-practice, but I am supposing that its registers may well be those of what have been called the meta-languages of production, rather than those registers specific to and formulated within what I have elsewhere called "spectator studies within the university", or indeed those pursued in the traditional 80,000 word dissertation.

Let me show you a first example of critical meta-practice, from the professional theatre work in the early 1980s of the Polish director, Tadeusz Kantor: Wielopole Wielopole2. The director's own signature practices - which include looking intensely at the work from its margins, entering and leaving it as though by chance, but lightly - seem to me to ostend or draw attention to established convention, without for all that subverting it.

animated GIF from Kantor videotape animated GIF from Kantor videotape

My second example of meta-practice is a short film dated 1930. Enthusiasm 3 might now appear to thematise practice, rather than to challenge it, through a differentially-calculated critical juxtaposition; on the other hand, the editing together of difference proliferated in film and video-making in the final third of the twentieth century, and this proliferation may mean that what was seen, in its context of production, as critical meta-practice, may now appear to have lost that quality. In its time and place of production, it also undoubtedly triggered amongst viewers "discursive politics" with regard to the bodywork of physical labour and the "mechanics" of stylised physical practice calculated in part upon it. What I have found more interesting is the extent to which both practices, in Enthusiasm, render the performers anonymous and relatively speaking undifferentiated.

animated GIF from Enthusiasm videotape animated GIF from Enthusiasm videotape

In both instances, critical meta-practice entails a compositional intervention. Our identification of it is based on comparison - but of what, with what? My suggestion is that in the simplest of terms, both examples maintain the disciplinary - combining for example technical mastery with the concrete realisation of what (after Berger 4) might be called signature-specific "ways of seeing" and doing. Both of these, I would argue, operate schematically, as though "within the work" (whereas their operation lies in fact between "work" and "user/s" of it). It is the (perceived) highly particular juggling and intersection of a number of these schemata which we identify with the art and the artist. In these examples, both practitioners intervene practically (in and through practice) in some aspects only of the operation of these schemata. In terms of the present enquiry, what neither example provides, however, is any insight whatsoever into how performances identifiable in disciplinary terms were obtained by director or choreographer from the performers concerned. In my experience this is a widespread rather than unusual absence. Its effect, in terms of knowledge practices more generally, is to render workshop practice esoteric, personality-bound, apparently unwritable because unwritten.

Let's come back for a moment to the take on Performance Studies and performance disciplines to which McKenzie referred: I have remarked elsewhere, and indeed demonstrated, that while it is not difficult to enable the production of, or to assess, postgraduate performance projects on the basis of their ability to rehearse "an embodied and discursive politics", it is a rather more delicate, not to mention resource-hungry matter, to train or continue training the students concerned in those performance knowledges and skills, upon whose "body" - a further metaphor - such a discursive politics might be staged. Or at least, to do so in terms which the wider performance community and market-place (within which I include Arts funding bodies) might feel to be of sufficient interest to support.

Who can at any rate be trained in those knowledge-bases and skills? Who should be refused a place applied for, because while she can provide written and verbal evidence of exceptional intelligence and a passion for performance, she also demonstrates, on her feet, no ability to grasp in and as practice the modes of operation of - typically - spatial, actional and human negotiating intelligence, upon which effective performance-making depends? In such cases, in my experience, outstanding mastery of certain "knowledge fields" and writerly practices, provides no guarantees of, and may actually militate against, the mastery of performance-making practices which some of us would consider to be "higher degree worthy".

In these sorts of terms, I would argue that decisions made by the higher degree program are always "political"; and they are "embodied", if by McKenzie's use of that curious term he refers to live practices involving different participants in a ritualised scene, such as the audition or higher degree interview. These decisions are supported by "symbolic structures", which I am supposing that new provision may have to challenge. These decisions will remain political, so as long as entry onto a performing arts practices higher degree program is selective, targeting experienced practitioners who can work on their feet, "economically" in every sense of the term; and to the end of meeting criteria we need with some urgency to determine, under the heading of "PhD-worthy".

Fine word, "worthy". A thick, even saturated term, newly contentious in the UK at least in the final decade of the 20thC, when the so-called "new university" was required by the older university to account for itself in the knowledge stakes, to reveal the operations of and justify its programs, its evaluative apparatuses, procedures and outcomes, measuring them, if implicitly and with what might be termed an institutionalized anxiety, against the traditionally identified "gold standard".

But that debate has been going on, now, for almost ten years. Surely performance-making as higher degree worthy research, "should" as a consequence simply slide into a place provided for it, should be able to be measured against mechanisms, sets of co-ordinates and criteria already elaborated within established higher degree programs. Shouldn't it?

Not Protesting Enough (I)

In terms which I would describe as both principled and pragmatic, in part but not wholly in response to the new higher degree award provision in the Creative and Performing Arts, I want to make a few observations here with regard to established higher degree procedures and practices in the interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary school.

The first is that "dramas of judgement", unresolved and possibly unresolvable in the terms available, already apply, should apply, and will continue to apply to the interface zone or zones, with regard to the array of heterogenous practices, modes of production, submission and evaluation of outcomes, to the extent at least that the multi- or interdisciplinary higher degree program not only embraces difference, but practices it with due disciplinary as well as ethical concern. We should not, in this sense, have any anxiety about broadening our repertoire of provision.

My second observation is that if it can be argued that these sorts of dramas are already acted-out in the supervised work and submission of some higher degree candidates, across the inter- and multi-disciplinary board, then such dramatics will not impede further growth and greater diversity in the sector. My argument here, however, is that such growth can only be appropriately pursued provided - and here's the rub - some of us are more prepared than appears to be the case in some universities, to accept differences in practices, while simultaneously taking the steps necessary to ensure that the quest for equivalence in higher-degree worth does not mean the tyranny of certain conventional registers of higher degree writing in the Arts, over those mixed-mode practices.

We need to entertain the possibility that even here, some experienced and established writer-examiners may genuinely consider it to be writing's mission, as well as best practice in the higher degree context, to expand its own disciplinary practices, to the end of bringing the peculiar arts of performance-making "up to" its own standards, "up to" certain registers of writing also given as default-mode for the economical articulation of complex and mixed-mode practices.

What does also need to be acknowledged is that rapid growth in the higher degree sector has brought with it the need for a greater number of supervisors and examiners, some of whom were "research-trained", or not trained at all, in rather different circumstances, and to rather different ends. What "research methodological practices" do those trained elsewhere bring with them, and how might they relate to performance-making practices in disciplinary and higher degree registers? I have been interested to observe, across the country, that supervisors of higher degree candidates, myself amongst them, tend to "rehearse" and to "perform" research-conventions, on behalf of and in the presence of registered candidates, which may well have been acquired in other contexts. In such circumstances as supervisors we may "do more than we know", and more than we profess.

Supervision and examination as research-practice, performed in learning and teaching contexts, is a curious beast, in that it is part of an action-based (dramatic) as well as a writerly economy. It draws on and rehearses many of the interpersonal and negotiating skills more generally recognised in other performance contexts. It may well include instances of the acting-out of scenarios which include the affective. It tends in my experience to mix the ritualised and the formal with the personal-professional, and to be conjugated in terms of first and second person, as much as the third.

If the judgements entailed in the term "PhD-worthy" are indeed performed, in ritualised events - such as the viva - drawing together a number of different participants; and if these events are scored and scored again in terms of recent but equally older dramatic scenarios - some of which may effectively be described as ancient - perhaps we need to ask to what extent, in "the changing university", those of us who are "supposed to know" the bases for those judgements, currently make available, to the candidates concerned, the meta-languages specific to the operations of judgement which PhD-worth supposes.

I have wondered, at times, in other universities, whether the teaching and examination of PhD-worth is not similarly a matter of esoteric arts - such as those seen in the case of Kantor's mise en scene - handed down through practice, some of whose apparatuses and terms might similarly appear to be unwritable, because unwritten. My sense (and I use the term advisedly) is that identification of PhD-worth, in these sorts of cases, is schematic, as much as it is logically-determined. In order to justify that schematic identification, we have recourse to logical argument; but the operations of the latter are not commensurable with those of the former. If there is any validity in this observation, then we might also need to entertain the possibility that what some of us call the "research methodological", in the national higher degree program, will not only fail to reach those parts of the performing arts candidate where her potential for excellence in performing arts production in the university is lodged, but may already fail to achieve "empirical fit" with what other arts candidates, in interface zones, more generally experience and need.

I would contend, in addition, that where the knowledge-practices which the judgement of PhD-worth entails have been "scored" in advance of their event, and proceed then to require us, on behalf of institutions, to "act-out" the terms and conditions of what has been called "determinant judgement", then those of us concerned with creative practice in such contexts might need to enquire, with some sense of urgency, as to the place of the creative, of the particular and the innovative, obtained by the candidate through immersion in practice - hence lacking that distance which so many identify as vital to critical engagement - within that wider institutional scheme.

I could go on here but prefer simply to draw your attention to a strangeness which may already lie within many established higher degree programs in the arts which include interface zones. I shall return to these. With regard to the specifics of performance-making, I would suggest that one implication of my observation that a misrecognised, ritualised "performance-culture" already lies within the public evaluation of PhD worth, is that perhaps we all of us need to make a better fist of accounting, on our candidates' behalf, for the operations of disciplinary difference within the generally-defined arts and humanities.

The disciplines of the performing arts differ remarkably from the disciplines of writing in the registers specific to the humanities, and differ, once again, across the performing arts spectrum. What does the disciplinary in performance-making - and in devised performance-making in particular - "look like", and to what extent can it be identified by those who have not trained in those disciplines? I might ask, as well, what the disciplinary "looks like" and what it performs , in writing within Visual Culture, at higher degree level. How might we identify the expert knowledge-practices, their operations and boundary-markers, within work which we also require to be challenging, innovative, and to offer new insights? And what might be its most productive relationship with writing?

I have been brooding on these questions for some time, recognising, as I did so, that I have wandered thereby, as though irresistibly, into pragmatics; and from pragmatics back to the work of the late 19thC American logician, astronomer and mathematician "father" (as some are wont to say) of semiotics. I was goaded along the way, I must admit, by two curiously-titled late 20thC texts 5 from otherwise familiar and applauded writers- texts almost fin de siècle in their tenor - both of which seemed to engage, at the end of the last century, with semiotics and pragmatics. Eco's text, at least, was also concerned with questions of the recognition and evaluation of the not-yet-identified, with schematics, and with the operations of judgement.

book covers animation

I wonder now whether both texts might not also be identified in terms of what I have elsewhere called critical-analytical writing's mid-life crisis? Both writers were concerned with perception, critical judgement and the arts. Both had "been around" and active, from the 1970s onwards. Both, too, were looking back from the late 1990s at what they had been concerned with at that earlier time, which for Eco at least had included the boast that semiotics might be used to "uncover the lie" 6 .

Both, at the end of the final three decades of the 20thC, looked back at the writing which had emerged in the context of analytical enquiry into dominant cultural practices and at their own role within it. Both looked, to some extent at least, at the apparatuses of production involved. Both necessarily wrote autobiographically, in part. In both books the tenor has seemed to me to be occasionally rueful, almost apologetic if not irritable. Both, as you can see, have something from the natural world, apparently dead, on their covers.

In arguing that "worth" is a set of rule-governed multi-participant practices of judgement, performed in ritualised events, I have suggested that its mechanisms, operations, and the scores which seem to animate them, are rarely discursively articulated as such - although it would seem that the newer universities have a better record here than others. Nonetheless, where the operations of higher-degree judgement are articulated in the supervisory or research training session whose focus is in part at least on mixed-mode creative practice, that articulation still tends to oscillate between a recourse to metaphor and to anecdote, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, to meta-languages of research production borrowed from the "social sciences", whose anticipated inadequacy to the task at hand within multi- and interdisciplinary arts fields, may well be celebrated, without a useful alternative being provided.

Nowhere within this established pattern, if I have gauged it appropriately, do we find indicators of how to proceed to produce creative performance work in higher degree worthy registers; nor of how creative process - since this is where my emphasis lies - together with its written commentary, might be submitted for an examination which cannot but be performed in terms of the institutional criteria which already apply. Yet as supervisors we are precisely those who are "supposed to know". Perhaps that knowledge is already action-based, dramatic and performed, rather than written?

In the late 1980s Gregory Ulmer asked how we might "think about a new conceptual order" 7 , from within the established order. His own response, which I want to modify slightly here, for political reasons, was that we can only [enact] a new conceptual order from within [the ritualised performances] of an existing one, by "using an external measure of comparison" (1989:29).

What might serve as external measure of comparison in the fields with which I am concerned here? Perhaps I had better ask how an external measure might operate, in terms of writing itself; what we might do with it in terms of productivity, what it might make us do. The role of digital technology as interface measure to both writing and performance-making might seem to offer specific opportunities for thinking differently about conventions in the higher degree context, even if it is one which small companies have taken up more readily than have higher degree programs in the arts, with some few exceptions. I wonder whether we might not identify a more conventional disciplinary apparatus or assemblage, close at hand, against which we can attempt to measure PhD practices in general, and those which conventionally operate through writing, in particular?

What happens when we test conventions of writing within a higher degree program, together with that programme's established modes of production and ritualised performance, against a complex assemblage whose little ordered world functions less "like a building" 8 than like ... a complex assemblage; "like a (live) energy machine", whose technical specificity is calculated in terms of and continues to prioritise individual and group action, innovation and peculiar practices within the networks provided by what others have called the macro- and micro-logics of the performance disciplines? What happens when we take this complex assemblage and its wholly human-focused energies, vectors, dynamic operations, calculated passions, as the model against which writerly and textualising practices should be measured, rather than vice versa (as has been our writerly wont)? Shouldn't this parallax view of a traditional relationship enable some of us to require of textuality, that its producers practise upon themselves something called 'reverse engineering'?

graphic of theatre

In these sorts of terms, this diagram of a professional working theatre actually fails to communicate its raison d'être as built machine: its work, and hence its architectural structure, might be better seen to operate schematically , in terms of what Deleuze (1963 , also writing on Kant 9 ) called the "spatio-temporal relations that embody or realize some purely conceptual relations". Amongst those relations and operations I should want to include those which "organise" and "exercise" judgements of taste and value (or "worth"), together with the more general operations of an ethics of practice, which in turn informs every performance-making action taken (without for all that being discursivized as such).

I have suggested that this diagram poorly represents what is "actually" an "operating theatre", a "luminosity machine" (Deleuze on Foucault, 1986 10 ) - which does not mean however that theatre is a visual art; a "human energy producer and modulator" whose operations are conjugated in the present tense and focused in the first and second persons; a complex machine which targets the production and modulation of human energies; a machine through whose operations Lyotard's figural 11 might be experienced, but cannot be calculated. In other words, I would seem to have lapsed into old-fashioned humanist affirmatory metaphor and simile, and in so doing to have distanced myself from the possibility of pertinent contrastive comment with regard to critical-analytical writing produced in the higher degree arts program more generally.

But I want to suggest that in fact my use of metaphor here is designatory, within a discourse concerned with productivity, to the extent that it serves to signal the degree to which performance production, pursued to recognisable disciplinary standards, is not commensurable with its material support - through which nonetheless that performance is made to work, made available, examined. I am supposing indeed that my use of metaphor here is symptomatic of writing's struggle more generally - if I may put it that way - when that writing has one eye on the arts and performing arts. From this second perspective, perhaps the use (or performance) of metaphor, simile or other rhetorical devices, serves to signal what, within disciplinary performance, we are likely to call performance energies and human investment - hard to calculate, hard to unitise, impossible to identify on the basis of the material constructs which enable their enactment, but essential to the practice of the discipline.

Is it possible, in the wider case of the rehearsal and staging of PhD-worth in the higher degree context, that disciplinary perceptions from the performing arts can tell us something about the use of metaphor and simile in a writing which is otherwise identified in terms of the critical-analytical registers rehearsed by writers such as Foucault, Deleuze and Lyotard? Or at the very least, at those precise moments when those writers' concern is to grasp at a "something" whose force seems to be determinant, within cultural practices, without being, for all that, either commensurable with those practices or available to be read systematically off them? I want to give you a few cursory examples of metaphor and simile at work, taken from writers whose perspective I should want to describe as "already interface", and from texts which, at different times, I have found to be revelatory, but which I am inspecting again here with a shift in emphasis.

The writing produced in interface zones - where the writer locates her or himself in the fold between heterogeneous practices, which would seem then to be differentially calculated, to be produced with a different practice or practices in mind - tends to be richly strewn with metaphor, simile and other rhetorical devices. These devices, identifiable as regularities across the texts, seem to me in turn to articulate a multi-determined "something", perceived from the interface zone. That something or somethings, according to Eco in Kant and the Platypus "is of such a nature", in part at least, "that some things we say about it cannot and must not be taken as holding good" 12. Eco initially identified this something or somethings as a"hard core of Being ", but immediately corrected himself: "As usual", he wrote, "metaphors are efficacious but risky". He then proceeded to suggest that rather than try to grasp a core, we "try [instead] to identify some lines of resistance … that cause the discourse to seize up", at precisely those points at which the investment is greatest. At those points "there arise […] within the discourse", a phantasm or block. This something arising "is not the negation of hermeneutic activity". "Instead, it is the condition for it."

I have tended to suppose that this "something arising" is particularly marked wherever the writer attempts - as Hal Foster did in his Return of the Real - to grasp that which almost by definition eludes capture in writing, while remaining what that writing targets. In Foster it would seem to be that elusive "actuality", that which "marks a present as different" 13 . Curiously - or perhaps not - Foster's 1996 text drew upon a number of "notions", borrowed from other disciplinary fields, which were alike in that neither the one nor the other enabled him, nor could enable him, to grasp the differences in understanding which are produced in time .

If rhetorical devices are commonplace in critical-analytical writing in interdisciplinary contexts, what is my problem with them? I have suggested that the ways they operate are vital to articulating and point us to, the difficulties which emerge when writing attempts to deal with the power of what lies outside it. In these sorts of terms, I want to argue that there is something and nothing wrong with their use. Nothing, because it is commonplace, and useful; something, to the extent that the use of rhetorical devices such as metaphor and simile in critical-analytical and cultural-theoretical registers of writing in the higher degree context is not identified as such, that is in terms of an auto-reflective, critical writerly meta-practice.

Metaphor, simile and the strategic use of productive matrixes seem to me to have characterised much of the highly elegant account Deleuze produced in the mid-1980s, with particular regard to Michel Foucault's work on Raymond Roussel and Manet. Deleuze referred principally in the section with which I am concerned, to aspects of Foucault's early publications dating from the 1960s, and in this sense he was able to perform his enquiry with the benefit of some 20 years' retroactive interpretation. In his Foucault, Deleuze pointed to Foucault's account of knowledge as a practical assemblage, a mechanism of statements and visibilities, marked out by moving thresholds, and inseparable from those thresholds. (You might note, at this point, that I have identified what seems to me to be a productive link between the Deleuze-Foucauldian "assemblage", and the working theatre, referred to above. Where the latter differs from the former, however - and this is precisely my point - is that the mechanisms and operations of the theatre as complex assemblage cannot be summed up by the early 1960s Foucauldian "statements and visibilities".) In this approach, however, Foucault had effectively conjured a curiously metaphoric account of both those statements and visibilities from which knowledge, he claimed, is assembled. Statements 14 , then, are not commensurable with the sentences which in part carry them. Instead they function to cross different, territorially-marked " unités ", tracing across them a diagonal line described as "closer to music than to a signifying system" (58-59). Of visibilities in Foucault, which equally make up knowledge, Deleuze wrote in the same text in the mid-1980s, that "these should not be confused with visual or more generally perceptible elements such as qualities, things, objects or compounds of objects". Visibilities in the early Foucault, Deleuze argued, "are not forms of objects, nor even forms that would show up under light, but rather forms of luminosity which are created by the light itself and allow a thing or object to exist only as a flash, sparkle or shimmer" 15.

Well and good. For some of us, within mixed-mode practice, for whom conventional analysis can seem to threaten rather than to illuminate innovative practice, the musical analogy - like the notion of "forms of luminosity" in place of the visible - might seem to better account for a sense of "what is going on" in complex innovative practice, than do more conventionally explanatory texts whose rehearsal of authority over mixed-mode practices can seem patronising and off-putting. Now, it seems to me that notions of luminosity, the sparkle or shimmer, may well resonate precisely because they do not seem to have been submitted to the strictures of analytical articulation and coherence; and avoid, thereby, dependence upon analytico-referentiality. But what Deleuze fails then to point out is that a musical "trait" can only be identified as such "territorially", that is, on the basis of its schematic relationship to a stabilised knowledge-apparatus, and within one or a number of systems of intelligibility - in whose terms, then, it is relationally significant.

This brief borrowing, in other words, from music or any other disciplinary field, brings its baggage with it, and it thereby seems to me to be a slightly more delicate matter than it may initially appear. I have supposed, despite this observation, that it is also the case, however, that the use of metaphor in critical-analytical writing viewed from the interface, and with complex mixed-mode performance-making in mind, might nonetheless begin to trigger "insights", in some of us who are concerned with complex mixed-mode practices, when that use of metaphor is 'measured against' performance practices.

According to Ulmer (published in the early 1990s), insights of this sort, with regard to complex practices, might seem to "arise out of the peculiar way memory stores information in 'emotional sets'" 16. It is unproblematic to assert of the practitioner that her memory "stores information in emotional sets" but rather less so for the critical-analytical writer. But let's persist: such "emotional sets", Ulmer adds, gather "ideas" into categories which tend to be classified not so much "in terms of logical properties, but [of] common feelings" and "based in eccentric, subjective, idiosyncratic physiognomic perceptions". "[N]ot so much", in Ulmer, is delicately put. Can we adjust his wording and syntax slightly to read: "classified in terms both of common feelings and of logical properties", and let the rest follow this lead?

At this point, regardless of the delicacy of the proposition, I want to ask whether it might not also be the case that Deleuze's own reconfiguration of "Foucault", in the text of that name, is obedient both to the "terms of logical properties", and equally to those of common feelings "based in eccentric, subjective, idiosyncratic [...] perceptions".

"The trigger or catalyst able to cause 'recentring'" in practice, and serving thereby as a practice-compositional tool, may well be "a body posture or movement", suddenly perceived, and contingent upon a range of variables, some of whose specifics remain outside the control of director, writer or choreographer. Suddenly perceived, that "... posture or movement" may seem to have sufficient "components with regard to the attributes of the requirements ...", for "a pattern of redundancy between two [otherwise] unrelated sets" to be remarked, retained, and produced again in/as the developing work. I have few difficulties in observing this process of discovery at work within composition in the devising workshop; I may have more difficulty in persuading some of you here that it may equally apply to Deleuze's reconfiguration of "Foucault", yet such would be - if we had more time - my intent.

Not Protesting Enough (II)

In that same mid-1980s text, Deleuze took up and relayed, without challenging it, a further "rhetorical turn", one which writing has always enjoyed; one in which the Foucauldian writing 17 participated; one which persists today, with full authority, but which is nonetheless a nonsense within performance-making practices. That is, the negative identification, as " non -discursive", of a range of practices which are actually positivities in other fields of disciplinary practice.

The widespread and largely unproblematised use of the prefix " non-" - as in " non-textual", " non -text-based performance", together with the "non-discursive" in Foucault - does significantly more, and more conservatively, than its writers tend to acknowledge. Certainly, the use of positive and negative markers maps practices out differentially, in and through writing, apparently effortlessly and for some irresistibly- because it can ; and it can do so, because its gesture, in so doing, is obedient to ancient law, whose terms and conditions it reproduces in the present. Thus Deleuze, while acknowledging Foucault's pragmatism, also notes that "there are only practices, or positivities, which are constitutive of knowledge: these are the discursive practices of statements, and the non-discursive practice of visibilities" 18 .

The threshold upon which the positive-negative matrix turns, dividing practices territorially into the dominant discursive - as positivity - and its negatively-defined and hence dominated other, the "non-discursive" - always second - signals, as I have pointed out, not only a highly "knowledge-conservative" "knowledge-producer", but one whose powers seem to be naturalised within uses of language, to such an extent that its operations are almost invisible. As almost invisible, however, it does more than its users may know, and with implications which for some of us are considerable. It has been systematically reproduced as such, across much writing in cultural and critical theory concerned with the outside of writing, seen from within writing, throughout the last third of the 20thC. Yet it operates wholly in language's terms, and cannot operate in terms of mixed-mode practices, where the grammar of positivity and negativity and the neatly unitary nature of wording does not apply.

Its law is systematically-reproduced, even in those writers who have observed and interrogated it, and not least in the work of some writers who have openly challenged certain traditions. In some instances, this challenge is brought comfortably to an end by another highly conservative and largely unproblematised rhetorical strategy - that of the so-called "discursively-informed non-discursive" - which nonetheless has the means to irritate some of us, for whom the power of some performance work is discursively inexhaustible and inexplicable 19.

Link to Theatre du Soleil

This further ("discursively-informed") writerly power-game, emerging once again at a critical historical moment, and since then widely and contentedly practised, entails the move to seem to "recuperate" the "non-discursive", in writers such as Foucault, by identifying, as though on behalf of the negatively-defined, the notion of a discursive in-forming. Discursively-informed practices, or discourses apparently mediated by the so-called non-discursive practices, might seem to be able economically, to effect that "discursive politics" I attributed earlier to Performance Studies. What might the use of the hypothesis of discursive-in-forming of mixed-mode practice permit the writer to achieve? It is the means to bind mixed-mode practice in to writing itself, wherein it considerately becomes "readable", its putative "intertextuality" or interdiscursivity revealed. This "textual turn", for such it is, has a curious operational history, which Hal Foster's 1996 text briefly observed: "Art critics formed in my milieu", he wrote "… were initiated by practices that wished to break with … dominant models." Like others in that milieu, he added, "I have some distance on modernist art, but I have little on critical theory" 20.

When, "[i]n the middle to late 1970s", he adds, "theoretical production" became "as important as artistic production " 21, what he performs, grammatically, is a separation and a differentiation between "theory" and "art" - a separation which might seem to take his writing in a direction which limits, and I should want to argue, dates his own engagement. (If we were to re-word Foster, what we might find is an alternative version, along these sorts of lines: "theoretical practice in writing became as important as theoretical practice in art".) With his "slight distance" from "theoretical production", and with visual art of the late 20thC in mind, Foster would "attempt to treat critical theory not only as a conceptual tool, but as a symbolic, even symptomatic form". Would attempt this, through the terms of what he identified as "semiotics", despite his further admission that he had "little distance on the semiotic turn that refashioned much art and criticism on the model of the text in the middle to late 1970s". In other words, Foster would seek to effect, in writing, an analysis of certain registers of writing, using the linguistic notion of "the sign" as tool, and in order to produce further writing, apparently "about" an art which I should prefer to see as a critical meta-practice - that is, as a theoretical practice within the parameters of an art-disciplinary field or fields.

What Foster's avowed aim in 1996 produced, it seems to me, was a double-bind of considerable proportion, which is revealed in part to turn upon that curiosity of English language translation, which turned Saussure's sémiologie into "semiotics". Prefixes and suffixes, as I have pointed out, are not arbitrary at all; belong to a closed system, within which their significance is determined by lexical and grammatical rules, but also by dominant ways of seeing and linked discursivity. A French -ologie, that is to say, does not an -etics or -otics make. They are birds of different feathers.

What did Foster mean then by this "semiotic turn"? His reference, through visual art, is to Saussure's linguistics, rather than to Peirce's pragmatics or Peirce's notion of endless semiosis. In the "knowledge-political" terms with which I am concerned here, the semiological project can be seen to have been a masterly and masterful late 19thC, early 20thC territorial strategy, according to which language was master code, upon which other codes were modelled and in whose terms they could be analysed. It was also attributed this unique status, that of the only code which could interrogate and comment upon other codes. What Foster's text could not avoid rehearsing, then, in and through an interface writing which on many occasions seems to me to lack the requisite auto-reflexivity, was precisely that "contradictory marking", precisely those semiotic "vicissitudes" 22 which he was unable to separate out from the "conceptual and perceptual tools" with which he also attempted, in his fin de siècle text, to identify "actuality".

Fine word, "semiotic" - even if many of us are less than certain in many instances whose term it once was, and what disciplinary field or fields it came from. Better still, admirable in its neatness and apparent clarity, is the term "the sign", to which Foster's 1996 text returned and again, "analytically" and politically, despite his acknowledged lack of distance from the semiological apparatus within which he found it. But what exactly is my problem with his ongoing use of the term "the sign", a noun and definite article whose brevity was already accomplished in the Latin signum , and which was used again, besides, in the writing of Charles Peirce, the late 19thC American astronomer-mathematician, said quaintly by some to be the"father of semiotics"?

I want to call the term "the sign" both " ancient" , and " late 19thC", signalling as I do so that it belongs to the systems of classification, and articulates the aspiration to name and classify. What its use conceals, however, are what might be better seen as signifying practices , processes of production, tied, as practices and processes are, to the pragmatics of situation and context. Of Peirce's pragmatics, by the way, Deleuze and Guattari noted in the 1970s that that "it is not a complement to logic, syntax, or semantics; on the contrary, it is the fundamental element upon which all the rest depend" 23 .

In the name of performances of all kinds, then, let me attempt to legislate: there is no such "thing" as "the sign"; there are practices, which semiotise - a verb, and not a noun. Practices, unlike the implication of "the sign", are not unitary. There is no such "thing", what's more, as an icon, an index or a symbol. The synoptic "hold" that use of the brief, nominalised term attempts, gives way in the real to the dynamic and the interractive. In the performance disciplines, what may appear to be "a signifier" is always also ostended, pointed at, gestured to, where that ostension, gesture or pointing to is either literally performed by a human body, or by the options available within the technical apparatuses upon which all performing arts draw to some degree, and which I have used the diagram of the working theatre, above, to signal.

From this point of view, what is taken to be unitary is already agglutinative, and it is catalysed at source, by which I mean that what ostends it also transforms it; secondly, as mixed-mode practice - gesture, for example, combined with lighting - it is also bound by the macro- and micro-logics of performance to the event overall. Its operation, and hence its identity in and as performance material, cannot be grasped as separate, unless it is the case that the illusion of separation is produced within some such network of interrelations.

I have just suggested that this process is not usefully broken down, but I need now to claim the exact opposite. What is, from the spectator's point of view, already an effect of interrelationality is, from the perspective of performance-making, always necessarily broken down into and built up from disparate actions within the larger assemblage, wherein it is dependent upon the work of a team of performance-makers whose interconnectivities can be accounted for symptomatically by the complexity of the spaces revealed by the diagram of a working theatre, and their own interconnectivities within the little theatre telos.

What I have called the ostending function within signifying processes is determined, in all professional instances at least, by the work of a team, within which and indissociable from which what Foster would seem to want to identify as "the sign" is constituted. In such circumstances, the notion of "the sign" is wholly inappropriate yet commonplace. Why is the utter implausibility of the term "the sign" - in these sorts of contexts at least - so difficult to grasp? Perhaps it is because so many of us have been trained within the arts of critical-spectating, rather than within those of art-making. Within the arts, then, of a systematic ignorance of the ways in which what is made available to perception is put together cooperatively, theatrically. Perhaps efficacy in the arts of critical spectating has always turned upon the ability to seem to identify pertinent units in mixed-mode practices, "akin" then, at least in appearance, to the modes of articulation of language.

In challenging the pertinency of certain discourses of critical spectating to performance-making, I should want to go so far as to suggest that within critical-spectating the individual spectator's perception of "a sign", even "a signifier", reveals nothing so much as where her or his look has been directed or fallen. What Foster calls "the sign" seems to me to be, in such cases, a site momentarily crystalized, within which a spectator discovers, in wholly pragmatic terms, the possibility to"make something meaningful", at least in her or his own terms. In other words the term "the sign" - if we must persist with the term - is a site, seen from the space of spectating, wherein "something happens". That "something" may well be banal and conventional, rather more than it signals the operation of the sublime in Lyotard's account of it. As such, I should want to argue, it marks the site of an act of exchange and of consumption by one or another spectator. Perhaps I can even go so far as to identify its little "event" as a unit of currency.

You may have inferred that I'd prefer to erase the term, "the sign" from the lexicon; but it keeps coming back, suggesting a popular and even expert need which I acknowledge. Nonetheless, it is a term conjugated within the terms and conditions of a late 19thC meta-language, where it was fixed and legitimised by the aspiration to an ocular science, calculated upon the operations of the look. In this sense, its use can be tied back to, and reappraised in terms of, recourse to one of Foster's own tools. That is, use of the term can be viewed as symptomatic of the circumstances - the aspirations but also the troubles - of that context or those contexts of use. Perhaps we can also conclude that its use in Foster's own text provides us with an instance of deferred action, signalling an ongoing trouble, born of his own interface position, which, as long as it is not diagnosed, will reverberate, camouflaged by condensation or displacement, within the present.

That the late 19thC Saussurean semiological apparatus was resuscitated in France in the decade following the liberation of Paris from her occupiers - Foucault wrote about "the linguistic structure of the sign" (but also the "symptom") in 1963 24 - can surely be similarly traced back, in part at least, to widely shared and possibly contradictory anxieties, in that particular context, about the destructive and devastating power of certain sorts of practices, in certain sets of hands, certain instances of writing, certain voices practised in specific places of public "performance". Its uptake in the late 1960s and 1970s - if I remember correctly - marked a further phase in its use, driven by different passions from those which animated writers in the late 1950s and early 1960s, reacting, indeed, to their political failures.

The language of constellation, configuration, figure , system of intelligibility, pattern, mapping, overlayering, points of force, web, network, the accretional, schemata, stresses the interrelational, in short something like Deleuze's "spatio-temporal relations that embody or realize some purely conceptual relations" (which he first identified in 1963). The spatio-temporal-relational model suggests that more generally, innovative art practices similarly "embody or realize some purely conceptual relations"; that in so doing, they can be identified, in disciplinary as well as innovative terms, as theoretical practices . I want to show you an example of dance as a theoretical practice 25, whose register is nonetheless highly accessible. The work is disciplinary-theoretical - it is once again critical meta-practice - inasmuch as it realises and ostends acts of acute, critical observation into practices (of the everyday, of naturalism and of contemporary dance), which have no need of discursivisation to operate as such. Once again the work is not exhausted by the various attempts to discursivise its effect which have followed its invention. Perhaps I should add that its discursivisation fails once again to provide us with any insights whatsoever into how it was produced, suggesting not only that that discursivisation is a spectator art, but that the work of the choreographer and dancers may be viewed as esoteric because unwritten.

DV8 clip with hyperlink DV8 clip with hyperlink

Plainly the dynamic-interrelational already had nothing new about it, for DV8 at least, in the early 1990s. What I want to suggest is that by attempting now, in changing times, to break open dynamic relational models, with performance-making and its meta-languages of production in mind, we might begin to establish some of the terms and conditions of a 21stC meta-semiotic, whose workings both enquire into and recognisably derive from the Peircian apparatus - and in particular from his work in schematics - but historicise and problematise, in so doing, the terms he himself had available.

Should we attempt to proceed in this task from the basis of generalities, pre-existing laws and rules, which tend to be found in a number of published Performance Studies texts? Or might we work from the particularity of the highly singular single example, in which we cannot identify what we are looking at or for, unless or until we recognise its operations? I referred earlier to the questions of judgement and "worth" as these apply to the higher degree field more generally and will be brought to the new awards. In his Kant and the Platypus , Eco sandwiches Peirce as late 19thC semiotician, between these two figures.

Certain specific aspects of Peirce's work, neglected by a number of "borrowers" some thirty years prior to the publication of Eco's own fin de siècle text, provide the "scene", within the complex and unwieldy assemblage thereby formed, for a reappraisal of both Kant's late work on schemata and judgement, and of questions relating to perception, identification and judgement. These questions seem to have been posed not so much "by the platypus" as by naturalists' historically recorded attempts to name and classify it on the basis of initial fragmentary perception. (The only fully identifiable platypus - otherwise nocturnal, river-bank dwelling, and swift on its feet - turned out to be both dead and stuffed, hence to have lost its ability to perform.) Naming was initially of parts , and seemed to proceed via a "filling in", carried out on the bases of available schemata. The part sighted by the naturalist, in other words,operated indexically, as symptom, enabling each of a number of naturalists to seem to recuperate the part within an available, classified schema.

A key aspect of the question of judgement raised when Peirce's semiotics was reviewed by Eco in terms of the late critical judgements of Kant relates precisely then to schematics : perception and identification are revealed to be mediated not by the "thing itself", but rather by available schemata. In Peirce's reading of Kant, Eco points out, because these schemata are brought, rather than "given by nature", their use from the outset necessarily involves judgement. Involving judgement, these observations also always entail the possibility of critique. In this sense, the playtpus is already a practice, a production, an event drawing together a number of participants, hence points of view. The verb I obtain, "to platypus", signals a meta-practice, pointing us as much to the dramas of identification and evaluation and their operations, as to the sorry creature in question.

When I return then to my initial concerns with regard to judgement of PhD worth in the context of disciplinary practice submitted for examination - and in particular to the operations of a determinant judgement, based on pre-existing laws and rules - let me suggest that to the extent that performance-making already always operates in terms of a disciplinary macro- and micro-logic; and to the extent that we are concerned here with a higher degree-specific meta-practice (which in disciplinary terms entails further sets of rules and regulations), then the operation of examination and evaluation will be determinant. However, to the extent that determinant judgement permits us only in part to deal with the innovative (e.g. as supplement), it seems to me that we equally need what Eco, after Kant, identifies as reflective judgement.

On the operations of reflective judgement, Eco notes that "[r]ather than observe (and thence produce schemata), the reflective judgement produces schemata to be able to observe, and to experiment". My suggestion here is that devising practices, in the mainstream (e.g. in the recent work of Lepage, together with Complicite and DV8) operate through the (experimental) schemata of reflective judgment - that is, they "produce schemata [in the devising workshop] to be able to observe ... "; but they also retain, as finally determinant, the operations of macro- and micro-logics of performance production. "With this schematism", Eco adds, "the intellect does not construct the simple determination of a possible object, but makes the object, constructs it, and in the course of this activity (problematic in itself) it proceeds by [a crucial] trial and error" 26. This "crucial trial and error" readily describes certain workshop practices. But I have also suggested, above, that it may well apply, to some extent at least, to the Deleuzian reconfiguration, in writing, of "Foucault".

Eco adds, in terms which should be familiar to those of us who observe new work emerging: "[I]f a complete synthesis of empirical schemata can never be given, because new notes of the concept [will] always be discovered through experience", then "the schemata themselves can only be revisable, fallible, - destined to evolve in time". The term "experience", many will acknowledge, has recently been overused, but it seems to me that it remains highly pertinent here.

"Kant", Eco adds, "did not 'say' this ... [but in] any case this was the understanding of Peirce, who put the entire cognitive process down to hypothetical inference ... ". That the "entire cognitive process" is hypothetical in such circumstances is challenging; but it surely does not exclude from its grasp the possibility that "new work" consistently re-problematizes disciplinary convention, even as it it takes its determinant powers into account.

"In the light of the infinite segmentability of the continuum [which Peirce's 'apparatus' supposes]", Eco adds - in terms which might begin to account for some of the sense of risk-taking in disciplinary practitioners - "both perceptual schemata and propositions ... carve out objects or relations that - albeit to different degrees - always remain hypothetical or subject to the possibility of fallibilism" 27.


I want to conclude with a short account of an experiment with a telescope, proceeding then to consider what might be called the contingent register of performance-making practices.

1. Telescope

Imagine if you will bear with me for a moment, a particular scene: it is an attic room in the US, some time in the last decade of the 19thC, with a table and a window opened on the night sky. On the table stands an astronomer's telescope, late 19thC professional model, which Charles S. Peirce has focused on the Milky Way - that Milky Way of which Charles Peirce's pioneering work as astronomer determined the form. Lying next to the telescope is a copy of the only book Peirce ever published, his Photometric Researches (Leipzig, 1878) 28.

Newton's Telescope

Nowhere in that room, by the way, nor on his library shelves in the rooms below, nor in the local or state or national library - at least not on the shelves Peirce visited - is any text concerned with linguistics. Next to the book, instead, in a neat pile, are sheets of graph paper, a small pot of black ink and a quill pen; and on those pages, drawn in his hand, are the schematic accounts and mathematical equations produced by Peirce in that pioneering work. What did Peirce see, when he looked, and looked again? I would argue that he saw patterns, combining - however briefly - synoptic and dynamic aspects; and he no doubt saw, in addition, that their perception itself was tied to place and time of observation, as well as to the competence and ways of seeing of the observer.

milky way animation

Now, Peirce's telescope is connected by hyperlink with another, older telescope, in Europe, this time, rather than in the US, in a time, as some say, before America was discovered by Europeans. It is Galileo's telescope, once again propped in an attic, pointed at the night sky through a window open in the roof.

Galileo's Telescope

The next hyperlink takes me back to Gregory Ulmer's Teletheory (1989) 29 , within which he cited Feyerabend's 1975 Against Method. In that text, Feyerabend drew his reader's attention to "the side of the production or invention of Galilean science as practice , rather than as established principle" (the former being, according to Ulmer, "the side [traditionally] occulted by the analytico-referential discourse.)" "In practice", Ulmer noted, "Galileo brought together twenty-four of the world's leading professors, to have them look through the instrument and verify his observations. Unfortunately, the [professorial] group could not agree on what it saw."(29).

Unfortunately for whom? What is meant, besides, by the term "observations", whose reach spreads between the ocular activity of observing, through the telescope, and accounting for and auditing what was observed, through the intervention of speech. Wasn't "the problem" here one quite specifically of wording, of a refusal to participate in another's wording - not least because wording, for those who care to look, brings with it not only its baggage, but that claim to authority which the 24 "leading professors" would seem to have been reluctant to give up.

2. The Contingent Register

There is a curious knowledge question, in the context of devised performance-making practices in the profession. It is hard to plan for, takes us by surprise when it comes, causes despair when it does not. What is most at stake in the performance-making processes within the higher degree research context may well be what I have briefly referred to as the contingent register of performance-making, which the expert performance-maker grabs at, when it appears, but cannot call into being; progressively weaves it in to her or his expertly-mastered performance macro- and micro-logics, such that the two together are self-transforming. I have seen it happen but cannot capture its event in writing. I prefer to conclude by showing you one example.

The operations of the contingent register, within the strictly observed macro- and micro-logics of performance-making, can best be identified, it seems to me, in a clip from that rarest of documents, which is one recording the practices of innovation in professional performance-making and within what I am equally happy to define as a passional scene. The example is from Au Soleil Même La Nuit 30 , a rare video document recording aspects of performance-making processes which lead to Ariane Mnouchkine's staging of Moliere's Tartuffe at the Cartoucherie in Paris in the late 1990s.

Ariane Mnouchkine Ariane Mnouchkine

Mnouchkine, in these scenes of her professional devising, within which she has brought dramatic writing into play, seems to me to be looking for the recognisable-not-yet-seen , which she is attempting, at this stage, to enable her performers to begin to assemble from a (disciplinary) bag of pieces and parts. I suggested earlier that in mixed-mode disciplinary practice, unlike language, there are only positivities. In this particular instance of disciplinary practice, there are only positivities, enacted by the performers, until Mnouchkine seeks to impose her signature mark (as mise en scene) upon them. In those precise moments, she distinguishes between Mnouchkine-disciplinary-practices and those, equally provided by her professional performance-makers, which fail, in her judgement, to meet that complex aesthetic criterion which I have no means to grasp and communicate except in terms of a multi-planed and multi-faceted schematics.


Deleuze G. La Philosophie critique de Kant, Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1963

------------ Foucault, Les Editions de Minuit, Paris 1986

------------ Foucault , trans. S. Hand, The Athlone Press, London, 1988

Deleuze G. & Guattrai F. A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. B. Massumi, Univ. of Minnesota Press, Mineapolis, 1987

Derrida J. The Archeology of the Frivolous: Reading Condillac , trans. J. Leavey Jr. Univ. of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London, (1973) 1980

Eco, U. Kant and the Platypus: Essays on Language and Cognition , trans. A. McEwen, Secker and Warburg, London, (1997) 1999

Foster, H. The Return of the Real: The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century, MIT Press, Camrbidge Massachusetts, 1996

Foucault M. Naissance de la Clinique, Quadrige/Presses Universitaires de France, Paris 1963

Franck M. /R. Temkine/S. Moscosco, Le Théâtre du Soleil: Shakespeare, Double Page, nos 31-32, Editions SNEP, Paris, 1984

Le Petit Larousse Illustré, Dictionnaire Encycloéedique, Larousse, Paris,1996.

Lyotard J-F. Discours, figure, Klincksieck, Paris, 1970

McKenzie J. Perform or Else: From Discipline to Performance, Routledge, London & New York, 2001

Rodowick D. Reading the Figural Or, Philosophy after the New Media, Duke Univ. Press, Durham & London, 2001

Ulmer G. Teletheory: Grammatology in the Age of Video , Routledge, London & New York, 1989

--------- Heuretics: The Logic of Invention, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, Baltimore and London, 1994


Mnouchkine, A., Au soleil même la nuit, Scènes d'accouchements, Darmon, É. et Vilpoux, C., Théâtre du Soleil/Agat Films/La Sept Arte, 1997

Kantor, T., Wielopole, Wielopole, Interpress-Film, 1980

Vertov, O., Enthusiasm, 1930 (BFI, London, 1985)

DV8 physical theatre, Enter Achilles, BBC and RM Arts, 1996


Le Petit Larousse Illustré, Dictionnaire Encycloédique, Larousse, Paris,1996, p.1005, architects V. Fabre and J. Perrotet

Other graphics from the Internet


1 J. McKenzie, Perform or Else , Routledge, London & New York, 2001, p.39

2 Kantor, T., Wielopole, Wielopole, Interpress-Film, 1980

3 Vertov, O., Enthusiasm, 1930 (BFI, London, 1985)

4 Berger, J. Ways of Seeing, Penguin: London, 1972

5 U. Eco, Kant and the Platypus: Essays on Language and Cognition , trans. A. McEwen, Secker and Warburg, London, (1997) 1999, and H. Foster, The Return of the Real: The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century, MIT Press, Camrbidge Massachusetts, 1996

6 U. Eco, "Strategies of Lying", in M. Blonsky (ed) On Signs, Blackwell, 1985: pp.3-11

7 G. Ulmer, Teletheory: Grammatology in the Age of Video, Routledge, London and New York, 1989, p.29

8 Le Petit Larousse Illustré, Dictionnaire Encycloéedique, Larousse, Paris,1996, p.1005

9 G. Deleuze, La Philosophie critique de Kant, Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1963

10 G. Deleuze, Foucault, Les Editions de Minuit, Paris 1986

11 J-F Lyotard, Discours, figure, Klincksieck, Paris, 1970

12 U. Eco, Kant and the Platypus: Essays on Language and Cognition , trans. A. McEwen, Secker and Warburg, London, (1997) 1999, p.50

13 H. Foster, The Return of the Real: The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century, MIT Press, Camrbidge Massachusetts, 1996, p.xiii

14 The term is a compromise translation of énoncé, given in the English-language translation of Deleuze as "articulation" and in Rodowick (2001) as the even less felicitous "expression". Less felicitous, in that "express" suggests an interiority exteriorized; "articulation" has the advantage of suggesting mechanism, structure, linking devices - even pattern, configuration

15 G. Deleuze, Foucault, trans. S Hand, Athlone Press, London, 1988, p.52

16 G. Ulmer Heuretics: The Logic of Invention, Johns Hopkins UP, Baltimore and London, 142-143; Ulmer writes here on judgement, in terms of recentring and redundancy, of a "strong feeling of certainty" which I should wanrt to argue informs to some degree our estimations of PhD "worth"

17 See for example Foucault's Naissance de la Clinique, Quadrige/Presses Universitaires de France, Paris 1963

18 G. Deleuze, Foucault , trans. S. Hand, The Athlone Press, London, 1988: p.51

19 M. Franck/R. Temkine/S. Moscosco, Le Théâtre du Soleil: Shakespeare, Double Page, nos 31-32, Editions SNEP, Paris, 1984

20 H. Foster, ibid, pp.19-20

21 op cit; my emphasis

22 Foster, op cit, pp.71-96

23 G. Deleuze and F. Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, trans. B. Massumi, Univ. of Minnesota Press, Mineapolis, 1987, p.85

24 M. Foucault, Naissance de la Clinique, Quadrige/Presses Universitaires de France, Paris 1963

25 DV8 physical theatre, Enter Achilles, BBC and RM Arts, 1996

26 U. Eco, Kant and the Platypus, p.96-97

27 op cit, p.97

28 C. Peirce, The Essential Writings , ed. E. Moore, Prometheus Books, New York, 1972

29 G. Ulmer, Teletheory: Grammatology in the Age of Video, Routledge, London and New York, 1989, p.29

30 Mnouchkine, A., Au soleil même la nuit, Scènes d'accouchements, Darmon, É. et Vilpoux, C., Théâtre du Soleil/Agat Films/La Sept Arte, 1997

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