Break up variations: an annotated score

Generative Constraints, Nik Wakefield

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Break Up Variations is an annotated score by means of which we consider the document as a break-up from — and with — the thinking of performance. We explore the formal categories of page-based and stage-based scores and documentations of performance, asserting the simultaneity of the document and its performance in their mutual departures, theorising the break-up as a form of relation, not as its absence. As a committee of interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners, we consider annotation in terms of affective and theoretical responses to each other’s subject positions.

Break Up Variations relates to the problems particular to working in groups: the challenges of collaboration, the disagreements and community-led conflict resolutions, the difficulties with acting professionally, and the desires to keep working together, despite it all. We ask the following questions of each other and ourselves: What are the strategies that art, science, politics and theory might offer each other for navigating — possibly circumventing — the demise of relationships? If the working relationship breaks down, could the end of the group be considered a constitutive aspect of that group? We consider these questions to be about institutions as much as they are about interdependence on personal and planetary scales. Riffing on ideas about romantic break-ups, political dissolutions and ecological collapse, Break Up Variations considers the possibility that an end to a dream of symbiotic life is exactly what makes that dream possible and important.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-600
JournalPerformance Philosophy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


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