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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Performance and the Contemporary City

An Interdisciplinary Reader

ISBN 9780230527201
Publication Date June 2010
Formats Paperback Hardcover 
Publisher Palgrave

Cities, with their rising populations and complex configurations, have become key symbols of a fast-changing modernity. This timely collection gathers together various urban writings from a range of relevant disciplines, including architecture, geography, sociology, visual art, ethnography and psychoanalysis. Its focus, however, is performance. Underscoring the importance of the field, it shows how performance functions as a dynamic, interdisciplinary mechanism which is central not only to understanding the multiplicity of urban living but also to the way the identities of cities are shaped.

Gathering together key writings on the city and performance by authors ranging from Walter Benjamin to Tim Etchells to Carl Lavery, the reader can be navigated in any number of ways. Supported by extensive introductory material, it will be essential and evocative reading for anyone interested in making connections between performance and urban life.

NICOLAS WHYBROW is Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Warwick, UK. He is the author of Street Scenes, linking Brechtian and Benjaminian ideas to an experience of contemporary Berlin, and Art and the City (I.B.Tauris, 2009).

List of Illustrations.- Acknowledgements .- Note.- Preamble.- Introduction.- PART I: WALKING/THEATRES.- Introduction.- How Scratched Car Revealed the Price of a Peasant's Life; J.Watts.- Naples; W.Benjamin and A.Lacis.- Eight Fragments on Theatre and the City; T.Etchells.- Sleepwalking in the Modern City: Walter Benjamin and Sigmund Freud in the World of Dreams; S.Pile .- Moving in the Cityscape: Performance and the Embodied Experience of the Flâneur; P.Küppers.- A Manifesto for a New Walking Culture: 'Dealing with the City'; Wrights and Sites.- PART II: DRIFTING/THINGS.- Introduction.- Situationism; C.Lavery.- 'The Map is not the Territory': The Unfinished Journey of the Situationist International; A.Hussey.- 'The Accident of Where I Live' Journeys on the Caledonian Road; R.Wentworth.- 'How Long I 'Been On?': Marc Dion's Performative Archaeology of the City; A.Coles.- What a Carry On; L.Gardner.- Nosing Around: A Singapore Scent Trail; P.Rae with L.K.Hong.- PART III: SOUNDING/RHYTHMS.- Introduction.- The Pepys of London E11: Graeme Miller and the Politics of Linked; C.Lavery.- Wandering and Wondering: Following Janet Cardiff's Missing Voice; S. Gorman.- Attempt at Rhythmanalysis of Mediterranean Cities; H.Lefebvre and C.Régulier.- Rumours: A Conversation Between Francis Alÿs and James Lingwood (extract).- PART IV: PLAYING/PLACE.- Introduction.- Graffiti; S.J.Smith.- Skating on Thin Eyes: the First Walk (extract); I.Sinclair.- The Policing of the Artist; M.Bunting.- Horror Vacui; U.Hofbauer and F.Derschmidt.- Radioballet; LIGNA.- Circle Line Party; Space Hijackers.- Paris Plage; B.Delanoë.- An Explosion of Delight; G.Dyer.- Non-places; M.Augé.- All the World's a Car Park; J.Winter.- By Way of a Conclusion: One Place After Another (extract); M.Kwon.- Performing the City: Kyrysztof Wodiczko; N.Kaye.- PART V: VISIONING/FLOWS.-  Introduction.-The Right to Participate in the Work of the Imagination; A.Appadurai.- Zero Tolerance, Maximum Surveillance?: Deviance, Difference and Crime Control in the Late Modern City; N.Fyfe.- A Nigger in Cyberspace; K.Piper.- Cyborg City; J.Harkin.- 25 Instructions for Performance in Cities; C.Lavery.- Bibliography.- Index.


This is essential reading for those approaching the city through the lens of live performance' - LAURA LEVIN, Assistant Professor of Theatre Studies, York University, California'The material in this book is intellectually and poetically rich, suggestive, informative and engaging. The book ranges impressively and enticingly across different critical and creative practices, as well as from the early twentieth century to the present and to different parts of the globe.' - JEN HARVIE, Reader in Theatre and Performance, Queen Mary University of London, UK
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