Encountering Worlds: Performing In/As Philosophy in the Ecological Age
AbstractWithin the context of the ‘Anthropocene’, the current geological epoch marked by the impact of human activity on terrestrial ecosystems and geological formations, this article considers the ways in which the ecological blurring of boundaries between ‘Nature’ and ‘Culture’ might affect existing ontologies of performance. Departing from Richard Bauman’s definition of performance as both communication and enactment, we will use the postulates of Graham Harman’s Object-Oriented Ontology to speculate on what performance might mean beyond the human/nonhuman divide. Ultimately, it will be claimed, performance, understood as both enactment and unveiling, is at the core of all encounters between all bodies and irrespective of their perceived nature. As a result, the world must once again be thought as theatrum mundi, as a stage where bodies always encounter one another through the contingency of the personae they play, personae that nonetheless are unable to exhaust the full being of the bodies behind them.
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