Performance and New Materialism: Towards an expanded notion of a non-human agency

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Alyssa Choat


This research paper expands on new materialist notions of material agency within the context of practice-based creative research. New materialist thinking provides a recognition of the agency of non-human actors, and enables a focus on the dynamics of human and non-human relationships. A key concept of new materialist theory is a critical perspective on the binary of human and non-human, arguing that all matter resides within a form of incessant flow, in states of constant transformation. These renewed approaches to understanding matter has drawn from developments in science and physics exploring the nature of forces and networks that constitutes matter. In a world that is continuing to become more technologically reliant and scientifically developed, this research paper explores a non-human agency emerging within human and non-human interactions,  where human and non-human agents (spaces, materials, forces, etc) have efficacy in the co-construction of practices, events and figurations, drawn from looking at the nature of these relationships that unfolded in the performance works. In this paper I will be discussing two performances that were undertaken Material Interactions[i] and BodyBody Experiments [ii]. Considering these works within a theoretical framework of analysis which draws from New Materialist thinking on non-human agency


[i] Choat, Alyssa. Material Interactions, 2017.

[ii] Choat, Alyssa. Bodybody Experiments, 2017.

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How to Cite
Choat, Alyssa. 2020. “Performance and New Materialism: Towards an Expanded Notion of a Non-Human Agency”. idea journal 17 (02):350-61.
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