An Introduction to the Phenomenology of Performance Art (Book)


An introduction to the study and application of performance art through phenomenology for radical artists, educators and practitioner-researchers. Features exercises to activate your practice, clear introductory definitions to key phenomenological terms, and a multimodal design that lets the reader choose how to read the book. 36 illus.


This original and unique new book takes an integrated approach to interrogating the experience and location of the self/s within the context of performance art practice. In its framing and execution of practical exercises and focused snapshots of internationally recognized performance practice, Bacon situates their argument within the boundaries of specialism in the critical curation of performance art praxis as well as contemporary phenomenological scholarship.

Introducing the study and application of performance art through phenomenology for radical artists, educators and practitioner-researchers; this exciting new book invites readers to take part, explore contemporary performance art and activate their own practices.

Applying a queer phenomenology to unpack the importance of a multiplicity of Self/s, the book guides readers to be academically rigorous when capturing embodied experiences, featuring exercises to activate their practices and clear introductory definitions to key phenomenological terms. Includes interviews and insights from some of the best examples of transgressive performance art practice of this century help to help unpack the application of phenomenology as Bacon calls for a queer reimagining of Heidegger’s ‘The Origin of the Work of Art.’

This is an important contribution to the field, and will be welcomed by performance artists and academics interested in performance. It may also appeal to those teaching concepts of phenomenology.

It will be relevant to students of performance as well as to artists, audiences and museum goers. The approachable layout and clear authorial voice will add to the appeal for students, early career researchers and mean that it has strong potential for inclusion in undergraduate and postgraduate syllabi within the field. 

Dr T. J. Bacon is an artist-philosopher whose practice, under the name TJB since 2020, extends across performance art and phenomenology. They are the founder and artistic director of Tempting Failure, a biennial of international performance art staged in the UK since 2012. As a non-binary individual, xe advocates for the radical reimagining of traditional phenomenology and the application of a queer phenomenology in their study and making of performance. Their practice began in 2001 and has focused on the perception of the body and Being through a multiplicity of Self/s in performance art since 2009.

Foreword: Enduring Reorientations: Self, Time, and Space in Performance
Author’s Note
- Phenomenology
- Eidetic Reduction 
- Self
- Dasein

Section One: Embodied Experience
- Exercise 1
- Flesh
- Gestalt
- Exercise 2
Identity, Sexuality, and Gender
- Exercise 3
Lori Baldwin
Anne Bean
- Intersubjectivity
- Intercorporeality
Rosana Cade and Will Dickie 
- Korper and Leib
- World and Being
Esther Marveta Neff
- Reciprocity
Niko Wearden
- Mineness
- Exercise 4
Cultural Contexts
- Fundierung
- Exercise 5
Jamal Harewood
- Exercise 6
Regina José Galindo
Health and Dis/Ability
- Exercise 7
Katherine Araniello
Kamil Guenatri
- Givenness

Section Two: The Rapture and Rupture of the Lived Body
- Cartesianism 
- Exercise 8
- Exercise 9
Rocio Boliver
Louis Fleischauer
Weeks and Whitford
- Befindlichkeit
- Alētheia
Hellen Burrough
Arianna Ferrari
- Exercise 10
Ernst Fischer
- Exercise 11

Section Three: The Intersubjectivity and Intercorporeality of Noise and Sonic Arts
- Exercise 12
Sound through the Body
Sarah Glass
Joke Lanz
- Punctum
- Mother Disorder
Sound through Collaboration
FK Alexander
Clive Henry and Yol
- Exercise 13

Section Four: The Perception of Self/s
- Exercise 14
- Exercise 15
Helena Goldwater
Natalie Ramus
Helen Spackman
- Exercise 16 
Chelsea Coon 
Selina Bonelli
Heather Sincavage
- Augenblick
- Exercise 17 (Part 1 of 2)
- Exercise 17 (Part 2 of 2)
- Exercise 18
Hancock and Kelly
Niko Raes
- Exercise 19

Postface: The Argument for Queering ‘The Origin of the Work of Art’
- Manifesto for Performance Artist as Artwork 


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