Life, Movement, and Thought: Directions for Performance Philosophy and Practice as Research

Brian Schultis


This essay addresses the common goals of but also the practical differences between the emerging fields of Performance Philosophy (PP) and Practice as Research (PaR).  It does so by describing them both as interposing effective and affective action into the process of thinking and knowing, thereby resisting what Gilles Deleuze calls the Dogmatic Image of Thought.  The dogmatic image is described as a directional movement based on Plato’s allegory of the cave, where those who would learn turn away from phenomenal becoming and move upward and outward towards eternal Truth.  This movement travels from a static unknowing to a static knowledge.  Both PP and PaR resist such movement by employing techniques which forestall arriving at either stasis.  Through their developments, PP and PaR have come to concentrate on resisting one of these points of stasis or the other – with PP concentrating on avoiding static knowing, and PaR concentrating on finding the proper expression to avoid static unknowing, even while presenting its findings in forms that may appear ephemeral. 


Performance Philosophy; practice-as-research; performance-as-researhc; continental philosophy; Gilles Deleuze

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