Break Up Variations: An Annotated Score


  • Generative Constraints



practice as research, interdisciplinarity, political theory


Break Up Variations is an annotated score by means of which we consider the document as a break-up from — and with — the thinking of performance. We explore the formal categories of page-based and stage-based scores and documentations of performance, asserting the simultaneity of the document and its performance in their mutual departures, theorising the break-up as a form of relation, not as its absence. As a committee of interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners, we consider annotation in terms of affective and theoretical responses to each other’s subject positions.

Break Up Variations relates to the problems particular to working in groups: the challenges of collaboration, the disagreements and community-led conflict resolutions, the difficulties with acting professionally, and the desires to keep working together, despite it all. We ask the following questions of each other and ourselves: What are the strategies that art, science, politics and theory might offer each other for navigating — possibly circumventing — the demise of relationships? If the working relationship breaks down, could the end of the group be considered a constitutive aspect of that group? We consider these questions to be about institutions as much as they are about interdependence on personal and planetary scales. Riffing on ideas about romantic break-ups, political dissolutions and ecological collapse, Break Up Variations considers the possibility that an end to a dream of symbiotic life is exactly what makes that dream possible and important.

Author Biography

Generative Constraints

Generative Constraints is a committee that practises open-ended collaborative research into art, politics, and theory. We experiment with processes and structures of criticism, performance, poetics, and writing. Our activities include organising conferences and public dialogues, teaching, making original creative works, as well as digital publishing and exhibition curation.

Committee Members: Diana Damian Martin, Kate Potts, Nisha Ramayya, Nik Wakefield, Eley Williams  


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How to Cite

Generative Constraints. 2019. “Break Up Variations: An Annotated Score”. Performance Philosophy 4 (2):591-600.