Speaker :

agencies of space / places of performance in the Anthropocene

Activity: Talk/lecture or presentationTalk/lecture

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This talk thinks through questions of human and nonhuman agency provoked by the Anthropocene. Focusing on the agencies of space (which Doreen Massey [2005] defines as a “sphere of relations”) and on the spatial paradigms that have arisen in the Anthropocene – landscape, environment, and network – the aim is to highlight how these paradigms have shaped ways of seeing and organizing human-place relationships; the claim is that attending to how spaces act on us and possess their own purposes might lead to more life-supporting ways of relating to them. I will show how these spatial paradigms have acted as models for theatre- and performance-making and share three case studies of contemporary artists/collectives that critically and imaginatively engage with them. Shifting from human agency to the agencies of space means to confront the anthropocentrism of theatre, of ecological debates, and of western thought, more generally. Perhaps the most anthropocentric of arts, theatre also has the capacity to confront the anthropocentrism that underlies the Anthropocene, in part by activating the places of performance.

Research Unit / Event Journal/Book Series

External organisation (Academic)

NameSchool of Architecture, HKU