ATHE 2012 has ended
Welcome to ATHE 2012!

Eleanor Owicki

Texas A&M University
Staging a true ‘Shared Future’: Belfast Theatre and the Stratification of Ethnic Identity
It is a difficult problem of performance studies, and particularly of performance as research, that in the creation of a performance, the earlier stages of creative processes tend to become obscured once the project is complete. How does one excavate a performance process? Is each stage a layer that builds upon the next—and obscures the layers below? Do the buried layers rest waiting to be uncovered again, untouched by shovels, undisturbed by earthquakes? In PaR, the ground is decidedly less solid than we might hope. The strata that seem to support our inquiries tend to shift beneath our feet, sometimes melting away like magma. In this paper, I propose a method for excavating performance process, by way of my practice-based research project You Know How I Feel. This project engages me, when I perform, in an iterative re-animation of the creative process that created the performance itself. This self-reflexive performance proposes that we might think of creative process not as an accumulation of layers, but as a network of bifurcating mediations. Following Bruno Latour, I propose that our excavations should seek not to dig up the solid ground below us, but rather to trace precisely the networks of mediations that brought us to our creative present. As we follow these networks backwards and sideways, excavation becomes re-animation—re-performance perhaps—and the past, like the present, remains in flux. This paper proposes a practical approach to reflecting upon, learning from, and reanimating creative process.