Nik Wakefield

January 2014 § Leave a comment

Time-Specificity of Performance Future
29th January @ 6.00pm

WAKEFIELD_Nik

This presentation delves into the possibilities of performance. It holds as an axiom that all that can be known about the future is that difference will continue. Specifically it considers how performance can instigate movement beyond its own aesthetic spatial and temporal boundaries. It thus considers how an artwork might be seen to have no ending. After the experience of a given performance ends it may continue to multiply and divide into potent virtualities that manifest as affirmative gestures in the social sphere (with which politics and ethics become imbricated). One method to consider how an artwork might be permitted to endure beyond its own material limits is to question how evolving, when considered in terms of adapting to conditions, might be a way to understand artistic development. If a performance, for example, is to make some impact on social life, that performance must succeed at the claims it makes, particularly if those claims involve failure, as contemporary practices often do. Not surprisingly the adaptations or evolutionary movements necessary for the conditions of a performance to be considered of some use are not dissimilar to the very movements that create sustainable social behaviour, such as empathy, care and trust. Thus, performance becomes real because the experience of it is only differentiated by the doubling of awareness brought about by the knowledge of direct human manipulation, which I argue probably differs now in degree, not in kind, from the rest of contemporary human life, given such developments in geology such as the theory of the anthropocene. The artwork of Janez Janša, Creative Evolution by Henri Bergson and my own future performance entitled Three: evolving fun time will each respond to and reflect various aspects of the issues of time-specificity of performance future.

Brief Bio
Nik Wakefield works in the realm of performance philosophy. His practice-based PhD is titled Time-specificity of Performance: present, past and future. Recent solo works include 2: untitled, performed in London, Helsinki, California and New York. He participates in international conferences through presenting and organising, and recently founded a gallery of practice as research. Nik has worked professionally with Heritage Arts Company, Every House Has a Door, Robert Wilson and punchdrunk.

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