One Part Water, Two Parts Starch: Performing oobleck as political resistance


  • Josh Widera California Institute of the Arts


non-human studies, performativity, activism, anarchism, reisistance, oobleck, literature, inopertativity, vulnerability, occupy, plant philosophy, gilets jaunes, plasticity


Oobleck is two things: a non-Newtonian fluid, a mixture of cornstarch and water showing properties of both a liquid and a solid; and an invention by Dr. Seuss, an odd green weather occurrence who’s fluid, adhesive, and elastic attributes manage to threaten the entire state apparatus of the “Kingdom of Didd.” Re-viewing the children’s book Bartholomew and the Oobleck, and in light of its starch-and-water namesake, I argue that we can learn an insurrective strategy of political resistance from its performativity.

Author Biography

Josh Widera, California Institute of the Arts

Josh Widera is one of six members of The Doing Group, an international collaborative performance group concerned with the process of ‘doing’. Projects of the Glaswegian experimentalists have taken multiple forms and seek to explore the limits and depths of artistic research. Josh graduated from the University of Glasgow with an MA with Honours of the First Class in Politics and Theatre Studies and from the California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles with an MA in Aesthetics & Politics. He is a Fulbright Scholar and supported by the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes and the Lillian Disney Scholarship.


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How to Cite

“One Part Water, Two Parts Starch: Performing Oobleck As Political Resistance”. 2019. Performance Philosophy 5 (1): 158-71.

How to Cite

“One Part Water, Two Parts Starch: Performing Oobleck As Political Resistance”. 2019. Performance Philosophy 5 (1): 158-71.