1 Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 2000, volume 18, pages 411 ^ 432 DOI: /d1804ed Dead geographiesöand how to make them live Nigel Thrift, John-David Dewsbury School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1SS, England; Received 29 May 2000 Abstract. In this introductory paperöwhich follows the course of the papers included in this special issueöwe argue that there are currently four main apprehensions of performance. The first of those apprehensions is provided by the work of Judith Butler on performativity. We then move to a second apprehensionöthe rather more general notion of performance found in nonrepresentational theory, using as an example the work of Gilles Deleuze. The third apprehension of performance is that taken from work found in the discipline of performance itself. Then, the fourth apprehension concerns the reworking of academic practices as performative. Introduction ``On the horizon, then, at the further edge of the possible, it is a matter of producing the space of the human speciesöthe collective (generic) work of the speciesöon the model of what used to be called `art'; indeed, it is still so called, but art no longer has any meaning at the level of an `object' isolated by and for the individual.'' Lefebvre (1991, page 401) The set of papers in this special issue are all concerned in one way or another with the notion of performance, a notion whose hold is becoming general across much of the social sciences and humanitiesöfrom anthropology (for example, Farnell, 1999) to architecture (Davidson, 1998) and from history (Green, 1997) to the history of science (Gouk, 1996). In the past, performance tended to be associated with the theatre and theatricality. Yet, though theatre and theatricality still play a part in the study of performance, modern performance studies are founded in two developments. Theoretically, they arise from the meeting between those working in the performing arts and in the social sciences, especially anthropology and sociology, in the 1960s and 1970s. Practically, they can be found in the diaspora of performance out of the theatre in the same period, leading to the formation of many new artistic genres (many of which, significantly, move away from the traditional authority of the text). (1) In turn, these theoretical and practical pushes have now made performance into a central motif in the social sciences and humanities. In this introductory paper, we will argue that what we can see as a result is not one single motif but rather four different apprehensions of performance, apprehensions which clearly need to be explicated separately. This is not to say that these different apprehensions do not have elements in common. They do. They share, for example, a general and generalised discontent with the per-forms that went before, an interest in embodiment, and an attempt to unlock and animate new (human and nonhuman) potentialities. Above all, we argue, they want (1) Of course, there are many precursors to performance from before the 1960s and 1970s, many of which have been drawn into the tradition. For a review, see Banes (1998), Carlson (1996), or Segel (1998).
2 412 N Thrift, J-D Dewsbury to make space livelier. They want to produce spaces which flirt and flout, gyre and gimble, twist and shout. (2) The first apprehension The first apprehension of performance is that of Judith Butler. Butler's work on performativity has been highly influential in many areas of the social sciences and in wider arenas, for three reasons. First, because she has become a kind of patron saint of the whole area of gender and sexuality. She has become, quite literally, an authority figure. Second, because she has produced a theory of `performativity' of a constantly re-cited body which not only stresses transgressivityöa staple of the performance fieldöbut also normativity. She is interested not just in liminal but also command performance (McKenzie, 1998) and especially the ``forced reiteration of norms'' (Butler, 1993, page 94) that enforce gender identity. Butler's notion of the performative, in other words, is concerned with ``The temporalised regulation of socio-symbolic norms and practices where the idea of the performative expresses both the cultural arbitrariness or `performed' nature of gender identity and also its deep inculcation in that every performance seems to reinscribe it in the body'' (McNay, 1999, page 176). Third, there is Butler's particular theoretical trajectory which remixes key figures in recent Western philosophy from Althusser to Austin, and Derrida to Foucault, in order to produce a new and alluring hybrid. Thus, in Gender Trouble, Butler(1990) draws on Austin's linguistic account of an effect produced in the announcement of its presence. Gender is produced or brought into being as it is amassed in and through practices of everyday life which ``retroactively, and over time, create a (gender) identity effect'' (Campbell and Harbord, 1999, page 229). Thus Butler is able to insist that ``all gender identification is constructed through the imitative process. Femininity and masculinity are but imitations with no original. Thus, heterosexuality is pushed from its pedestal of providing the origin of sexual roles'' (Campbell and Harbord, 1999, pages 229 ^ 230). By Bodies that Matter, Butler is drawing on Foucault and on psychoanalytic theories and motifs. Using Foucault's account of subjectivation, Butler (1993, page 6) suggests that ``sex is both produced and destabilised in the context of reiteration''. The repeated inscription of the norms of sexuality upon the body, and the continual experience of these norms, permit the emergence of a stable ego. But this repeated inscription also holds out the possibility of resistance to these norms, in that the very same process of inscription also enables the formation of a subject who is capable of standing out against these norms. The subject is formed in submission then, but cannot be reduced to that submission. In particular, the process of resistance takes place at the boundaries of the corporeal norm, most especially by those who are excluded from the heterosexual regime who, as a result, may be able to resignify dominant symbolic norms by subverting them so as to articulate new identities (as evident, for example, in many queer practices). Indeed, they may even be able to destabilise dominant heterosexual norms. Butler's reworking of psychoanalytic themes in this framework is particularly important in that she uses the Foucauldian notion of the productive possibilities of power to challenge the Lacanian symbolic: (2) There have been performative movements in human geography before the current conjuncture. For example, there have been works on various forms of ceremony and ritual (for example, Smith, 1998). There have been attempts to produce plays and film (Jensen and Reichert, 1994), various kinds of art project (Prendergast, 1997), and various forms of performative writing (Pred, 2000). The most sustained intervention to date can be found in feminist work, and especially in the last section of Aiken et al (1998) and in McDowell and Court (1994), Nelson (1999), and Rose (1999).
3 Dead geographiesöand how to make them live 413 ``In order to be intelligible, the law compels certain repetitions, the remaking of (gender) identity as an ongoing series of repetitive acts that become sedimented as the linear effects of identity. Yet, at the same time, in being dependent on repetitious acts of renewal, the law produces possibilities of iterative or even transgressive performances and practices. Butler reads the subversion of law, through say homosexual transgression, as much a product of the law as its more repressive counterpartönormative heterosexuality. Thus, the law or incest taboo is not just juridical, it is also generative. This effectively historicizes the Lacanian symbolic by subjecting it to the force of change. It adds a contingency that allows for both the sexual difference that the law repressively institutes, as well as the more generative transgressive desires it produces. Desires produced by the law also threaten its singularity and immutability'' (Campbell and Harbord, 1999, page 231). In her later work, Butler goes in two directions. In one, she has expanded her work on melancholia, considered ``as part of the orientation of regulatory power'' (Butler, 1997, page 143). For Butler, all forms of symbolic identificationsöheterosexual and homosexualöcan only be achieved at the cost of a certain foreclosure which induces a melancholia, best understood as a refused process of grieving: ``The relinquishment of the object of desire necessary to the formation of gender identity involves a loss which is never fully avowed by being melancholically incorporated into the ego. Thus, heterosexual identity is based on the abandonment of homosexual attachments which, because they cannot be grieved for, are preserved in the psyche as repudiated identifications. Conversely, rigid forms of homosexual identity can sometimes be based on a rejection of heterosexuality that is to some degree an identification with it...'' (McNay, 1999, page 186). In the other direction, Butler, alive to criticism that her work is often narrowly linguistic in scope, has increasingly entered a dialogue with Bourdieu (Butler, 1997; 1999a), a dialogue which is long overdue given the similarity of many of the themes in her work to his. But she is critical of Bourdieu for tying the speech act too closely to its institutional context, and thereby overstating the accommodation between dominant symbolic codes and corporeal hexis. Butler's concept of performativity has therefore already had a long and deservedly successful journey. In particular, she has been able, rather better than many other authors, to emphasise the indeterminacy and ambiguity of the construction of the subject without lapsing into a voluntarist model of agency. However, Butler's concept of performativity also raises significant unanswered questions even as she attempts ``to struggle free of a narrow version of textualism'' (Butler, 1999b, page 169) which has sometimes infected her work. To begin with, Butler is first and foremost a theorist of the symbolic register. She has very little to say about how symbolic norms are related to other social and political structures through which gender identities are constructed (Burkitt, 1999). ``Butler's explanation of the indeterminacy of the symbolic process of materialisation provides an abstract account of the structural conditions that give rise to agency, but it lacks a description of how the performative aspects of gender identity are lived by individuals in relation to the web of social practices in which they are embedded. In short, in so far as it appears to be primarily a capacity of social structure rather than of individuals, Butler's idea of agency lacks social and historical specificity'' (McNay, 1999, page 171). In turn, part of this emphasis on the symbolic explains Butler's curious lack of attention to the economic, within what seems a conventional leftist analysis of the economy (Bell, 1999; but see Butler et al, 2000).
4 414 N Thrift, J-D Dewsbury Second, and related, Butler's politics of resignification is one based primarily upon recognising those who are marginalised by bringing them into visibility. But this politics of visible signifiers of identity, unwittingly perhaps, ``enables the identities of race and gender to gain a privileged position in what Lisa Walker calls a hierarchy of oppression'' (Fraser, 1999, page 124). In other words, those who do not want to be recognised and made visible by what Butler (1993, page 233) identifies as the ``politicisation of theatricality'' and the ``theatricalisation of political rage'' and prefer various dissimulationsösuch as many white working-class womenöcan find no place in her project. Indeed, in certain senses, they are clearly not a part of what is, in many ways, a quite culturally specific project (Fraser, 1999). Third, it might be argued that Butler makes less space than she might for intersubjectivity, especially the reaction of others and therefore for alternative political agencies based upon various forms of solidarity. Therefore, ``because of her unwillingness to stray beyond a primarily linguistic model of identity formation, issues relating to value conflict, how new forms of collective identity emerge and how they may or may not relate to wider institutional change are foreclosed'' (McNay, 1999, pages 189 ^ 190). Fourth, Butler makes very little room for space, period. The space within which performativity occurs is implied, not implicated. It lies offshore from the subject. Yet the make-up of space is crucial to who attends and what is. Then, finally, Butler's work has very little sense of the positive pushö excitability evenöof practices, rather than just discourse. Her sense of agency is, therefore, chiefly negative. So a good part of the world of practices passes her by (Thrift, 2000a): ``The subject's relation to the socio-symbolic is conceived, by and large, in terms of negativity or constraint which, as we have seen, results in a tendency to valorise the act of resignification per se. This primarily negative account of agency as displacement fails to draw out fully, however, the ways in which the symbolic realm is composed of conflicting values and resources which may be actively, and creatively, appropriated by actors to institute new values systems and new forms of collective identity. The construct of the socio-symbolic order as a uniform realm disregards the innovative and dynamic nature of action by confining it to the relatively narrow idea of resistance. Furthermore by locating the source of change in the permanent disjunction between the psyche and social, Butler's model runs the risk of de-historicizing the idea of performative agency. In so far as she fails to develop a more active or positive account of agency, Butler could be said to be vulnerable to her own criticism of the unconscious: resignification becomes a self-identical principle which forecloses an analysis of the variable nature of social action and change. Arising from the negative formulation of agency as displacement is a second difficulty, namely that the performative results in a primarily individualistic notion of political practice where important questions are left unaddressed, such as the nature of the relation between the private and the public and how a primarily sexualised politics can have an effect on wider collective values'' (McNay, 1999, page 187). In a sense, we might say that Butler's work is strangely austere in its outlook, lacking especially that sense of free play which would let creativity back in. For this sense of the performative we have to turn elsewhere. The second apprehension The second apprehension turns to other theoretical understandings of performance. This apprehension takes up some of the themes of the firstötime, embodiment, and mimesis in particularöbut comes to rather different conclusions. This it does because of its commitment to the values and practices of creativity and, most especially, to ``the becoming other of something that, though real, has not yet been'' (Speaks, 1995, page xiv).
5 Dead geographiesöand how to make them live 415 This is that large account of work in the social sciences and humanities which is often grouped under the heading of `nonrepresentational theory' (Thrift, 1996; 1997; 1999; 2000a). Such `theory' emphasises the flow of practice in everyday life as embodied, as caught up with and committed to the creation of affect, as contextual, and as inevitably technologised through language and objects. In other words, nonrepresentational theory sees everyday life as chiefly concerned with the on-going creation of effects through encounters and the kind of linguistic interplay that comes from this creation, rather than with consciously planned codings and symbols. Clearly, then, a nonrepresentational outlook depends upon understanding and working with the everyday as a set of skills which are highly performative. This kind of approach, born out of the work of writers like Bakhtin, Bergson, von Uexkull, and Wittgenstein, and transmitted through a diversity of later writers who have attempted to retain the best elements of this work while relieving it of its more extreme modernist overtones, (3) is now reaching into the heart of the social sciences and humanities. As one example, take the case of cognition, surely an area of scientific endeavour where a representational approach might be expected to be at its strongest. Yet even here, nonrepresentational approaches are being taken seriously. Certainly, until quite recently, the study of cognition was based upon the classical cognitive model of representation in which passive representation of the world is followed by inference. But this kind of approach has been increasingly replaced by notions of the direct perceptions of the unfolding of action-in-context. The environment is no longer passive. Instead it becomes a manifold of possibilities in timeöand perception becomes a modulating trajectory which describes how the world is and simultaneously prescribes a space of adaptive responses. The environment is, if you like, an extension of the mindöand, significantly, vice versa. In other words, ``Perception is itself tangled up with specific possibilities of actionöso tangled up, in fact, that the job of central cognition often ceases to exist. The internal representations the mind uses to guide actions may thus be best understood as action andölateröspecific control structures rather than as passive representations of external reality. The detailed, action-neutral inner models that were to provide the domain for disembodied, centralised cognition stand revealed as slow, expensive, hard-to-maintain luxuriesötop end purchases that cost conscious nature will generally strive to avoid'' (Clark, 1997, page 51). That environments are so crucial to thought is best illustrated by the case of people with syndromes like Alzheimer's disease. This disease should leave them incapacitated on all the standard tests of mental function, but many sufferers are able to go on living quite well outside special-care institutions by creating highly specialised worlds. ``The key to such surprising success, it seems, lies in the extent to which the individuals rely on highly structured environments which they create and then inhabit. These environments may incorporate multiple reminder notices around the house and strict adherence to specific routines. One patient virtually lives on a couch in the centre of her apartment, since this provides a vantage point from which she can visually access the location of whatever she needsöthis really is a case of using the world as an external memory'' (Clark, 1997, page 66). (3) In particular, modernism was often highly attracted to a kind of physicality which involved the rejection of the spoken word. Physical action was valued for its own sake as a galvanisation of `direct' experience. Very often, this rejection was associated with a male camaraderie which specifically excluded women (see Segel, 1998). It is no surprise, then, that feminist writers have been at the forefront of this recasting. It is also no surprise that, at the same time, a number of philosophers have recently agreed that body practice should become a specific element of how philosophy is done (see Shusterman, 1999).
6 416 N Thrift, J-D Dewsbury In turn, such a conception of how the world is worlded leads to an ethological approach, in which the world shows up as a series of overlapping umwelts in which behaviour and environment cannot be separated. The power of imagination means that human umwelts, perhaps increasingly, allow the world to act up/turn up in many different ways. ``If the brain were unable to fill in the gaps and bet on meagre evidence, activity as a whole would come to a halt in the absence of sensory inputs. In fact we may slow down and act with caution in the dark, or in unfamiliar surroundings, but life goes on and we are not powerless to act. Of course, we are more likely to make mistakes... but this is a small price to pay for gaining freedom from immediate stimuli determining behaviour, as in simple animals which are helpless in unfamiliar surroundings. A frog will starve to death surrounded by dead flies, for behaviour ceases when imagination cannot replace absent stimuli'' (Gregory, cited in Carter, 1998, page 120). Of course, it is impossible to amplify all that is going on in nonrepresentational theory, or the debates around it. So in what follows, we will concentrate on just one such author, Gilles Deleuze, who is the subject of a number of papers in this issue. For Deleuze, it is crucial to differentiate between two approaches to making the new. One, which his work moves against, is what he calls the ``realisation of the possible'': ``The realisation of the possible operates by the principles of imitation and resemblance. Since, there are many possibles, any realisation of any one of them necessarily limits these potential possibles to only one. But more importantly, since the possible comes to completion only by crossing over to realisation, by being figured and represented as realisation, and thus filling the hollow or gap that difference resides in, nothing new is created. In the current of the realisation of the possible there exists a kind of pre-formation in which everything is already given in the possible so that nothing new is created in its realisation. There is thus no difference between the possible and its realisation, and without difference, without the interval between, the new cannot take form'' (Speaks, 1995, page xiii). In short, conceptual blueprint becomes form, what exists is represented, and all claims to genuine creativity are flushed away. The other approach, Deleuze's, is the actualisation of the virtual. It does not operate through resemblance or representation but by generating difference, divergence, and creation. As Deleuze (1991, page 97) puts it: ``In order to be actualized, the virtual cannot proceed by elimination or limitation, but must create its own lines of actualization in positive acts. The reason for this is simple: While the real is in the image and likeness of the possible that it realizes, the actual on the other hand, does not resemble the vitality it embodies. It is difference that is primary in the process of actualizationöthe difference between the virtual from which we begin and the actuals at which we arrive.'' This is the difference, then, between representation and practice. In the one, we know the outcome. In the other, we can only, to insert a Wittgensteinian moment, guess. And this imagination extends to conceptual practice, as well as the realms of percepts, affects, and sensations. ``For Deleuze there is a certain foreignness in the force of a conceptual creation, as though what is new is always expressed in a language as yet unspoken and never fully understood'' (Boyman, 1995, page viii). Deleuze's stance, for the purposes of this introduction, has three consequences. The first is a rewriting of doing abstraction. For Deleuze wants to move away from a Platonism of form withdrawn from matter in either of its formsötranscendental categories or dialectical totalitiesöand from the idea that abstraction involves moving up a tree of categories to higher and higher levels of generality. Instead, for him
7 Dead geographiesöand how to make them live 417 abstraction is not an ``elimination of figure or story but rather... an invention of other spaces with original sorts of mixture or assemblageöa prodigious `and'...'' (Rajchman, 1998, page 60). So ``Deleuze draws a picture of an abstract logical space anterior to the divisions and up/down, high/low moments within the great Platonic treeöa space that inhabits a force or potential that constantly submits its branches to unpredictable, even monstrous variations'' (Rajchman, 1998, page 63). And so we come back to the actualisation of the virtual since once one moves from thinking of possibilities and their variations to the assumption of: ``A world that is disunified, incongruous, composed of multiple divergent paths, one can think in terms of abstract virtualisations that, in contrast to such abstract possibilities, are quite real even when they are not achieved. One starts to see the force of potential of things for which there exists no abstract concept since their effectuation would go off in too many directions or `senses' at once. Deleuze calls such potentia virtual in a sense that contrasts with the `possible' developed by Bergson in his critique of abstractions. Thus the virtual may be said to be `abstract' in a different sense from the possible: unlike abstract mechanisms, abstract machines are said to be `real although not concrete, actual though not effectuated', comprising a sort of `real virtuality' in things. They have the abstraction of inherent forces rather than transcendental formöthe abstract virtuality within things of other different things, of other `possible worlds' in our world, other histories in our history. That is why they are `rhizomatic' rather than `arborescent'öserial, differential, complicating rather than categorical, generalised and purifying'' (Rajchman, 1998, page 65, emphasis in the original). In other words, Deleuze tries to undercut a logic of contrast, which ``opposes clear distinct elements to total expressive forms. [Instead] in his own logic he allows for things to be inescapably connected while remaining singular and nontotalized and so remains undisturbed by `paradoxical' objects that fall in between the supposed bounds of specific mediums, mixing them up anew'' (Rajchman, 1998, page 66 ^ 67). (4) The second consequence is that Deleuze is chiefly concerned with movement. He wants to shift from a problematic of representation to a problematic of space and movement. He wants to show or create the kind of space of movement that is prior to the representation of static objects. Take the case of the image, long a staple of representational thinking. In Deleuze's (1986; 1989) work on the cinema, for example, or in Cache's (1995) work on architecture, ``In the unstable dynamic world in which they figure, images are... no longer defined by fixed divisions between inside and outside. Rather this division itself causes internal variations or as internal variations create new connections with the outside. In this way we see that images belong to a dynamic rather than a static geography'' (Boyman, 1995, page viii). Such creative thoughts on creativity produce quite new takes on a whole series of issues in social and cultural theory. For instance, in Deleuze's writing on the body or the event, what we see is much more attention paid to verbs like intersect, connect, assemble rather than adjectives like rooted, individual, organic. The third consequence is that he is interested above all in becoming (or beings-information), not being (Grosz, 2000). So Deleuze's world is not one of bounded unities. We can see that this is so in a number of ways. For example, Deleuze is interested above all in modes of propagation, such as symbiosis and contagion, which conflate the human and nonhuman, the organic and nonorganic. (4) Here we see obvious links to Latour's notion of quasi-objects.
8 418 N Thrift, J-D Dewsbury ``Going beyond the twin theoretical arguments that organisms are either only more perfect machines, or that machines are never more than extensions of the organism, we arrive at the threshold of the sciences of dynamic living assemblages in which traditional ways of distinguishing human and non-human, organic and non-organic, break down; as does the related way of privileging components over the modes, and intensities, of relations in which they are found'' (Dillon, 2000, page 12). Becoming necessarily entails deformation, reformation, performation, and transformation, which involve gaps and gasps, stutters and cuts, misfires and stoppages, unintended outcomes, unprecedented transferences, and jagged changes. These breaks are not simply ungoverned transversal communications within and between assemblages that bring novel forces into play and so also new formations. They are also a function of the very way events occur, which is not rule governed, or where the rule does not apply. So, Deleuze stresses connectivity of systems in opposition to what he regards as an illusory autonomy promoted by some writers. Then, as another example, Deleuze's view of the body (or rather, embodiment) follows on from this in that for him ``the interior (of the body) is only a selected exterior and the exterior, a projected interior'' (Deleuze, 1988, page 125). Hence the notoriously difficult but, in fact, perfectly clear and consistent idea of a body without organs. And this brings us to one more exampleödeleuze's affinity to the science of ethology. For Deleuze, ethology chimes with the being-in-formation of bodies in-formation in that it studies the composition of relations or capacities productive of and distinguishing between different things. And the individualising of the body-in-formation that is being-in-relation is constituted by the different speeds and slownesses of metabolism, perceptions, and actions. For Deleuze (1988, page 125), ethology studies the relations of speed and slowness for being affecting and being affected ``that characterise the being in relation of bodies-in-formation, because each of these things has an aptitude, thresholds (maximum and minimum) and variations or transformations that are reactions to them''. And this Deleuzian world is uninhibitedly performative because his project is essentially one of thinking through what we are, above all by muddying the boundary between human and nonhuman. Thus he argues that it is the mark of being human that we can transcend being human (Ansell Pearson, 1999), that we can make ourselves open to untold nonhuman possibilities. The fundamental question he asks, one derived from Bergson, is how we humans can think beyond our humanityöprecisely in order to affirm that humanity. And what that question takes to answer is a vast artistic project in which we become `visionaries of nature' (Ansell Pearson, 1999) through working out themes and variations, difference and repetition. ``The project of thinking through non-human possibilities is a matter of learning what we and our bodies are capable of becoming. But this is not something we can achieve just through a scientific investigation of nature. It requires new concepts. We need to think radically new ways about what we are, and, thereby to create new possibilities for ourselves. The project is an artistic one, as much a matter of invention as discovery. It is the devising of something in principle unforeseeable, the crafting of something from an open future. There is a sense in which ethics concerns how to cultivate time. Indeed it concerns how to exist in time. Not that we have any choice about whether to exist in time. But we must still learn what is to do so, and, in a sense, how to do so. We must learn `to become what we are''' (Moore, 1996, page 30). In turn, the kind of stance adopted by writers like Deleuze, points, like a compass, in four cardinal directions. To begin with, it leads toward the affective foundation of life. From Heidegger's attachment to the importance of mood in thinking, to Deleuze's
9 Dead geographiesöand how to make them live 419 emphasis on the affective push of language and thought to modern psychological work on emotions (see Katz, 1999), affect does not so much light the way as constitute it. Then, second, there is a much greater lean towards the object world. This is not just a phenomenological call to return to the thing itself. Nor is it a modified Heideggerian call in which the world comes equipped to hand or is present to hand (though it is worth remembering that Heidegger's account of unfolding in part relied on von Uexkull's ethology, a staple of many later philosophies, including that of Deleuze). Rather, it is that humanity is technical from the start, amplified and speeded up by the demands of an `environment' which does not keep to its environs. Third, it is to set out towards a new sense of time, one based on evolution, symbiosis, and mixing (Assad, 1999; Rodowick, 1997). Time is the dance of multiplicity. And, fourth, it is to make a point out of invention, imagination, innovation, intuition. This is the push towards ``the disorder of all the senses'', the ``unregulated evidence of all the faculties'' (Deleuze, 1988, page xi) which stutters into life. We might put this another way. There is a sense in all of this work of an emphasis on the sense of movement, the kinaesthetic sense, as the way in which we can understand the world and of kinaesthetic space, a fluid space in which no fixed standards of representation exist and ``which can make sense of difference by accounting for the reality of temporal and spatial change on a pragmatic level while providing appropriate theoretical constructs in whose terms change can be achieved'' (Olkowski, 1999, page 2). Fluids necessarily resist adequate symbolisation and in their movement serve as a constant reminder of the limits of the logic of solids to understand change. Such a conception leads us inevitably to the performing arts, for it is amongst their practices that we find fluid spaces worked up, worked on, and worked out. (5) The Third Apprehension So to the third apprehension, the `discipline' of performance itself. Carlson's (1996) now classic account of the rise of performance art argues, surely correctly, that performance can never be a stable concept. Writing of performance art he is clear that ``It is not surprising that such performance has become a highly visibleöone might almost say emblematicöart form in the contemporary world, a world that is highly self-conscious, reflexive, obsessed with simulations and theatricalizations in every aspect of its social awareness. With performance as a kind of cultural wedge, the metaphor of theatricality has moved out of the arts into almost every aspect of our modern attempts to understand our conditions and activities, into almost every branch of the human sciences.... And as performativity and theatricality have been developed in these fields, both as metaphors and as analytic tools, theorists and practitioners of performance art have in turn become aware of these developments and found in them new sources of stimulation, inspiration, and insight for their own creative work and theoretical understanding of it'' (Carlson, 1996, page 6 ^ 7). On the other hand, a concept which allows such latitude of interpretation is not always easy to work with: it can simply become a kind of dump, a site which simply signals what is or what is not of interest. So how might we understand `performance'? Whilst there are many competing definitions, it can be argued that they can all be distilled down to four strategies. One strategy is to attempt to domesticate it by producing an overlay of categories which cover most of its possibilities. For example, Schechner (1998) argues that performance can be divided up into eight categories. Though a useful first approximation, this strategy seems to us to have the potential to turn performance into a melancholy angel, forever trying to produce an illusion of (5) An interesting link can be made here to the work of Irigaray (see Lorraine, 1999; Olkowski, 1999).
10 420 N Thrift, J-D Dewsbury control by layering on more categories. The second strategy, and the reverse of the first, is to produce performance as the trickster, as an interdiscipline or even an antidiscipline which perpetually resists categorisation or that always leaks out of whatever categories are imposed upon it. This strategy of taking the ludic element of performance and giving it total power seems equally problematic. The third strategy is to focus on the event as the knowing of now (Phelan, 1993; 1998). Performance becomes a kind of inauthentic authenticity, fleetingly alive and present. On the one hand, this strategy, which shows performance theory's history of engagement with phenomenology, produces a kind of radical empiricism which is perhaps too attractive. On the other hand, it plays on the analytic potential of theatricalityö``that which remains in theatre after the words have been taken away'' (Pardo, 1998, page 19)ö giving space to a surplus of meaning. A fourth strategy is to consider performance as a means of carrying out a cultural practiceösuch as memoryöthoroughly. This is as much the activities of plotting, placing and rehearsal before the event as it is the event itself, activities which have become more important since nearly all performances have become mediatised to a greater or lesser extent. For example, theatre has become more like television. That `live' performances currently have high cultural capital may well turn out to be a temporary historical phenomenon, especially as new means of distribution like the Internet become commonplace. (6) Alternatively, this current cultural capital might be enhanced precisely because of the emergence of these new technologies of media(tis)tion. Further, and as we will see later, new technologies may well reinvigorate the political potentiality of live/body performance art as a critical space, which counters the disembodied and distanced mediation of relationships (to each other, to crisis events, and so on). If these are the strategies, what can be said about performance? Many things, no doubt. Let us fasten on just four of the more important ones. First, that it expands our knowledge of how we know what we know about the world, most especially by stressing the arts of what people do (or can do) in real time through the expressive qualities of the body (including language, gesture, and so on), through the appropriate spacings of things, and through the way in which things themselves become part of expression. (7) It is both a means of appreciating and a vocabulary for describing the skilled nature of everyday life (Tulloch, 1999). Second, it provides a way of talking and writing in much greater depth about how cultural attributes are passed on by creating cultural artefacts that process this process. A term like `discourse' cannot fully capture this procession which involves all manner of kinaesthetic vocabularies and imaginations (Roach, 1996) which cannot be reduced to a textual model. Indeed, this otherness of performance is a good description of the performative: that which is played out unhappily against representation in that it has no analogue in text (Phelan, 1999; Schieffelin, 1998). (8) Third, it provides all manner of means of understanding space as lived, as ``an order of concrete spatial and temporal... relations that is not only imbued with cultural meanings but also serves to direct creative world cultural activities'' (Weiss, 1996, page 3). Take Joseph Roach's wonderful Cities of the Dead (1996, pages 27 ^ 28), one of the seminal post-colonial texts: (6) At the same time, such an approach emphasises the central role of audiences in modern performance. See the remarks below concerning `closeness'. (7) One of the most interesting projects currently is to try and make actor-network theory perform in such a way as to value the importance of things made in performance and to make performance more central to actor-network theory. (8) Performance, a thing done, an act with duration; the performative, the iteration of the act that precedes the one actualised in the present tense. Again, then: performance and performativity; representation and nonrepresentationöthe liminal space between life and death.
11 Dead geographiesöand how to make them live 421 ``Technological invention (architectural innovation particularly) and social organization create what Nora calls `places' or sites of memoryöwhat I call vortices of behaviour. Their function is to canalise specified needs, desires, and habits in order to reproduce them. They frequently provide the crux in the semiotext of the circum- Atlantic-cityscapeöthe grand boulevard, the market place, the theatre district, the square, the burial ground where the gravitational pull of social necessity brings audiences together and produces performers... from their midst... the behavioural vortex of the cityscape, `the ludic space' in Roland Barthes's propitious term, constitutes the collective, social version of the psychological paradox that masquerade as the most powerful form of self-expression. The vortex is a kind of spatially-induced carnival, a centre of cultural self-invention through the restoration of behaviour. Into such maelstroms, the magnetic forces of commerce and pleasure suck the willing and unwilling alike. Although such a zone or district seems to offer a place for transgression, for things that couldn't happen otherwise or elsewhere, in fact what it provides is far more official: a place in which everyday practices and attractions may be legitimised, `brought out into the open', reinforced, celebrated or intensified. When this happens, what I will be calling condensational events result. The physical characteristic of such events is that they gain a powerful enough hold on collective memory that they will survive the transformation or relocation of the spaces in which they first flourished.'' Thus, all around us we can see everyday practices that have been touched or even driven by the performative impulse. Think of the everyday spaces of leisure and entertainment, the performance artists and buskers in the street, karaoke in the pubs and bars, rave in the clubs, and so on. Or think of a practice like violence and the importance of performance within it: in street fights, in gang warfare, even (or even especially) in war (Kapferer, 1998). Fourth, performance can create access to different kinds of times, and especially times of enchantment which resist the process of historicisation. The postcolonial literature again signals what is at stake. ``the `disenchantment of the world' is not the only principle by which we world the earth. There are other modes of being in the worldöand they are not necessarily private....the superstructure can inhabit the world in these other modes and not always as a problem or result of conscious, belief or ideas. Here I am reminded of an Irish story concerning the poet W B Yeats, whose interest in fairies and other non-human beings and Irish folk tales is well known. I tell the story as it has been told to me by my friend, David Lloyd: One day in the period of his extensive research on Irish Folklore in rural Connemara, William Butler Yeats discovered a treasure. The treasure was a certain Mrs Connolly who had the most magnificent repertoire of fairy stories that WB had ever come across. He sat with her in her little cottage from dawn to dusk, listening and learning her stories, her parables and her lore. As twilight drew up he had to leave and he stood up, still dazed by all that he had heard. Mrs Connolly stood at the door as he left, and just as he reached the gate he turned back to her and said quietly ``One more question Mrs Connolly, if I may. Do you believe in the fairies?'' Mrs Connolly threw her head back and laughed. ``Oh not at all Mr Yeats, not at all''. WB paused, turned away and slouched off down the lane. Then he heard Mrs Connolly's voice coming after him down the lane: ``But they're there, Mr Yeats, they're there.' As old Mrs Connolly found, and as we social scientists often forget, gods and spirits are not dependent on human beliefs for their own existence, what brings them to presence are our practices. They are parts of the different ways of being
12 422 N Thrift, J-D Dewsbury through which we make the present manifold: it is precisely the disjunctures in the present that allow us to be with them. These other ways of being are not without questions of power or justice, but the questions are raised öto the extent that modern public institutions allow them space, for they do cut across one anotheröon terms other than those of the political modern'' (Chakrabarty, 1998, page 27). This is why postcolonial studies now so often turns to performance; to ask the questions that the political-modern of Historyland cannot. It is no surprise, then, that the literature from and about performance has made its way through the social sciences and humanities. In other words, performance is not just a bandwagon but calls to our times, in part because it has helped to make them (Abercrombie and Longhurst, 1998). What then does the literature from performance offer us? First, and most obviously, it offers a vast cross-disciplinary archive of practice, pregnant with the possibility of expanding horizons of the social. This it does by offering up a series of technologies for making new interrelationships, which includes practices as diverse as avant-garde theatre, body art, conceptual art, dance, ecological performance, feminist theatre, juggling and tumbling, multimedia performance, performance art, performance poetry, puppetry, stand-up comedy, total theatre, new vaudeville, and goodness knows what else (see Carlson, 1996). Second, performance calls to many other current theoretical concerns than those so far considered, most especially those to do with the imaginative creation of worlds. In particular, we might note, it helps both to steer and to problematise the move from a purely discursive conception of social life to one in which nonrepresentational aspects become more important. In the style of a range of modern performers, from Bakhtin to Deleuze, from Resnais to Antonioni, from Beckett to Pinter, from Cage and Glass onwards, what is evoked is the spacing between the life and death of an event, between the performative (as the iteration of the act preceding the one actualised in the present moment) and the performance (a thing done, an act with duration). Performativity is then this in-betweeness: ``a space we might call the tension of the present tense'' (Phelan, 1999, page 224). Third, performance has become connected with providing a boost to the expressive dimension through engaging the body, technology, and the emotions in new ways. Though it is possible to give numerous examples of this augmentation of the passions, two will suffice. One example comes from the kinaesthetic dimension again. The creation and apprehension of movement have taken on a pivotal role in modern societies, the result of new means of ascribing the body, new technologies (from the automobile, to film, to various new digital media), and the opening out of various emotions often based on models of dramatic tensionöfrom forms of therapy through to crisis situation role play and so forth. Performance has provided both an archive of kinaesthetic effects and a base with which to construct new kinaesthetic effects, as many recent developments show. For example, much computer animation, often considered to be a distanciated medium, is actually based upon the scrupulous observation of the moving bodyöof gesture, stance, and facial expression (Wells, 1998). (9) Similarly, roller coaster technologies, which are central to so many theme parks, depend upon the knowledge of the body in motion and how potent kinaesthetic effects can be produced using a limited palette of movements and speeds. Then there is the rise of various forms of extreme sport and tourism (see Cloke and Perkins, 1998; Desmond, 1999) which depend upon different kinaesthetic (9) One of the bizarre aspects of the literature on embodiment has been how little attention is given to performative aspects of the body like the face (see Ekman, 1992; Ekman and Rosenberg, 1997; McNeil, 1998).
13 Dead geographiesöand how to make them live 423 effects in order to produce commodifiable experiences. All these developments have depended upon performance knowledgesöin order to build tension around and enhance particular movements, in their selection of particular frames, and so on. In turn they have become a part of a search for a more general vocabulary of movement; (10) there may, for example, be rather more of a homology between the basic movement structure of roller coasters and dance than has heretofore been charted. Then there is the intuitive dimension. Until recently, this has often been considered to be a fleeting quality unable to be systematically reproduced. But, of late, in a number of spheres of human activity, intuition has become something that it is believed can be worked on. In business, for example, the kind of knowledge that the philosopher A N Whitehead described as appreciative of direct intuition and therefore able to grasp ``the complex flux of the variety of human societies'' (1933, page 33), is being explored through the reworking of spaces of interaction so that they become performative. For example, new office buildings are based upon the exact staging of particular `teamspaces' and other spaces of circulation and interaction so as to produce maximum potential for creativity to unfold (Chia, 1997; Duffy, 1997; Thrift, 2000b). As one other example, performance is a part of a whole series of projects which are aiming at converting performative insights into particular outcomes. As a start, think about the new technologies of entertainment which have become one of the key sources of profit in the modern world: from cartoon and stage versions of The Lion King through to corporate presentations, from new `hands-on' museums through to theme parks, from the Millennium Dome through to new forms of retailing, we are entering the age of the `experience economy' (Pine and Gilmore, 1999) in which experiences are increasingly able to be commodified through the use of performative insights. And this is to ignore the other ways in which performances currently impinge on business, most especially through attempts to build up a repertoire of `soft skills', like leadership, and `emotional intelligence' (Thrift, 2000b). Performance, in other words, is one of the keys to understanding both the products and the production of modern business, beloved especially by the high-tech primitives of Silicon Valley, management consultants desperate for another fix of theory, and human resource managers intent on motivating their workforce. The performative dimension is also becoming a part of the practices of governance. In Britain, for example, much of government policy is increasingly presented as a series of staged performances on the North American model. And the apparatus of government has itself become linked to performance as new managerial skills are suffused; British civil servants now find themselves being told to be more creative, more emotional, warmer people. For example, at one recent British civil service event participants were given a raisin which they had to nurture and take responsibility for, and were lectured by Dave Stewart (of the band The Eurythmics) on how to be creative. It is no coincidence that the new British Civil Service Management College will teach emotional intelligence. Fourth, performance is providing a renewed political push. Indeed one might argue that performance has become the cutting edge of modern politicsöand not only for the powerful. Performance can also make trouble. Thus alternative politics has also become heavily performative. This performative alternative politics can be thought of as consisting of two strands. One is resistant performances of various kinds which either seek to make political points or seek to open up a space in which political thoughts can multiply between performers and audience. (11) The work of guerrilla theatre (10) See, for example, the numerous digital dance websites. (11) Although some suspicion must be directed towards Bergsonian notions of intuition, from which much of this literature has gained its initial force, in that Bergson was clearly trying to validate a quasi-spiritual sphere of life set off from the intellect of the positive sciences, the subject of Bachelard's (2000) critique.
14 424 N Thrift, J-D Dewsbury groups interested in various forms of stage and street performance is a case in point. These groups usually draw on a large repertoire of skills and knowledges, often including elements such as multimedia, clown acts, puppet shows, and so on (Boal, 1998; Kershaw, 1999). Then many modern alternative political events are explicitly performative, most especially, although not exclusively struggles around environmental politics and health practices (particularly the fight against AIDS) which have staged various events which have entered the cultural vocabulary (Carlson, 1996). These kinds of events, which are often physically assertive, provide a counterweight to some postmodern forms of staged political performance which, in talking up ambivalence and irony as key weapons to critique dominant orders, are often, ``forced to walk on a tightrope between complicity and critique'' (Auslander, 1993, page 31). (12) What does seem certain is that each and every one of these four developments is concerned with producing certain effects. One is a greater `openness' to the world through new ways of conceptualising cultural practices. Not that this openness is unproblematic: for example, in the case of business, a generally greater openness, to both appreciation and development of performative motifs is oftenö ironically or tragicallyöclosed down by turning newly created inventive combinations into commodities whose main task is to produce structured and repetitive responses from which a predictable stream of profit can be earned. But even here, we would argue, much will break through, given that the operation of somatic intelligence, on which so many of the new `experience economy' commodities are premised, is profligate, has the potential to produce all kinds of experiential leakage. Another effect is through a much greater `closeness' to the audience. Modern societies are not only much more concerned to relate to their various constituencies (as in the widespread use of focus groups, market research techniques, and so on) but are premised upon a general `audience consciousness' (Abercrombie and Longhurst, 1998), which has developed new forms of `floating attention' that can sometimes (however briefly) place into suspension the cultural frameworks that create normalised ways of seeing and understanding (Quick, 1998). The fourth apprehension There is one more apprehension of performance that is important and that is from our own position as practising academics. Performance can change our practices in two vital ways. The first is by changing what we regard as method. What is remarkable in geography is the generally limited nature of the methods in use. Although qualitative methods are often noised abroad as both comprehensive and sensitive to circumstance, the fact is that the methods predominantly used often boil down to semistructured interviews, focus groups, and generally short-term ethnographies. But performance offers a means of overcoming this state of affairs by offering a whole range of techniques for making the world come alive, techniques that both extend the range of current work and provide means of sensing new forms of knowledge (Smith, forthcoming). That this is the case can be shown by reference to the use of performative methods in teaching, research, and spoken and written presentation. In teaching, performative techniques allow the extension of what can be counted and communicated as knowledge. For example, now that the body has become a popular topic to teach it is surely appropriate to teach the body through appropriate embodied techniques ötechniques drawn from theatre, music, dance, and performance art can (12) Surrealism and situationism are clearly a part of this performative tradition and also provide a link to concepts of the modern urban experience. In particular, the Scandinavian situationist wing engaged strongly with both performative traditions and urbanism.
15 Dead geographiesöand how to make them live 425 all be used to allow students to explore a range of somatic knowledges. In research, performative techniques provide a number of bonuses. To begin with, they allow a series of research areas which are now routinely written aboutö embodiment, emotions, and so onöto be given flesh. Further to this, they provide a means of allowing respondents to quite literally coproduce situations, thus reinforcing the general move towards relational responsibility and knowing (for example, Gergen and McNamee, 1999; Riikonen and Smith, 1997). Then there is presentation. It is often remarked upon that spoken presentations of research tend to stick closely to a lecture model. Nowadays these presentations may be enlivened by slides, overheads, and Powerpoint but the model is still essentially the same. However, performative techniques can broaden out the means and context of presentation through an affective economy of intensity and performance that plays out the importance of those meanings that lie beyond the communicative abilities of a spoken text. For example, the well-known sociologist Howard Becker has presented his research results as a theatrical event, acted out by him and two others. And in performance studies, less surprisingly, it is a common strategy to produce a piece of performance which is then very often commented upon by protagonists. There is also, of course, the art of written communication. Here writers on performance have often been amongst those in the lead on work which aims to stretch the communicative ability of the text through `performative writing'. There are, of course, many models for this projectöa veritable `palimtext' of techniquesöwhich use the page as a kind of theatre of linguistic deviance (Davidson, 1997; Rasula and McCaffrey, 1998). (13) The second way in which performance can change practices is by stressing that performance is itself a form of knowledge, an intelligence in-action. Two examples illustrate this. One is the case of the actor. ``To approach the ways in which the performerötaking as her starting point an intended production in a given theatre space, sets of codes covering many fields of human action, a number of vitally important but volatile relations with others, a piece of writing, and acts of voicingöinitiates actions which might seem to come from nowhere (spoken or visible), we absolutely need a theory of human somatic action which is itself a somatic intelligence, rather than parallel to, the consequences of, or sequel to an intelligence predetermined by research and cultural strategies. This somatic intervention which is itself an intelligence, `takes as its form not a discourse (to which we might attribute a causal or generative logic) but the decision itself, the act and the means by which an occasion is seized' (de Certeau,1984, page 21). It is this intelligence as the act itself that the dramatic performer (like the designer, the painter, the sculptor, the photographer, the musician, the writer and also the scientist) already experiences, not just in the rehearsal process but in performance conditions. The spectator similarly achieves acts of somatic intelligence during performance which are not commensurable with secondary appropriations made, after the event of theatre, into the acquired and valorised discursive formulae of dramatic critical performance. But what are the discursive connections through which intelligence-as-act is approached? The skilled performer, apparently `on impulse', does not verbally suggest an action, but instead sketches out, with the voice or a turn of the body or a twist of the mouth, a complex somatic option, within an equally complex (13) There are, of course, interesting hybrids now like performance poetry which lie somewhere between writing and performance.
16 426 N Thrift, J-D Dewsbury context combining theatre place, stage space, functional site, directional frame and written dramatic complex. This performer brings a somatic symbolic action, whose determinants remain shrouded in their complexity, and not a somatic re-action to discursive input. But although discourse is not the master here, the pleasurable thrall of discursive action is such that the actor is commonly said to `feel' `intuitively' that `response', rather than bodily to know its possible place within a complex webbing of interactive energies, many of which work through and to the gaze. Established discursive convention makes that actor re-active, and not active, responsive and not inhibiting, `intuitive' rather than intelligent, and the final condemnatory `compliment'öfeminine in his-her wiles and bodily skills, regardless of gender. The supposedly felt (rather than bodily-reasoned) option, if approved (and the means of approval are diverse and often not verbal), is thereafter repeated and tooled and formalised within the larger interactive pattern being established. It does not, however, necessarily solidify to the extent implied in the term `concentration' often attributed to acts performed by language, and in this it happily fails to be lexicalised as an infinitely reiterable `gestural option': it does not assume the status of a `word' in recent occidental tradition, as it would need to do if we were to speak of body language (as so readily do logocentrisists). And it cannot be said to be either hard-edged or a meaningful unit `in itself ', nor within a system of so-circumscribed options. What is practical here is not a single lexical choice within an established and easily read symbolic order: first, because there is no such thing as a `single gesture on stage', since each apparent option interacts in time and space with all others present and with what proceeds and follows; second, because a known and easily read culturally coded option is inadequate to what others might call theatre's `poetics', to its `rhetoric' which, in accidental fluidity requires difference as much as it requires conformity'' (Melrose, 1993, pages 81 ^ 82). The second example is the case of the musician, who like the actor, is often involved in improvisation. (14) Improvisation has become a major element of modern musical study, in part because of musical forms which demand this skill and, in part, because it points to aspects of music which are clearly important but which have been neglected. Jazz is perhaps the best example of this improvisatory aspect (see Berliner, 1994; Monson, 1996). Still the best book on jazz improvisation (and perhaps one of the best books on playing music) is Sudnow's Ways of the Hand. (15) For Sudnow (1978, page xiii) jazz is clearly a spatial skill, which involves acquiring `jazz hands' wherein: ``my hands have come to develop an intimate knowledge of the piano keyboard, ways of exploratory engagement with routings its spaces, modalities of reaching and articulating, and now I choose places to go in the course of moving from place to place as a handful choosing.'' (14) The example of music also points to another important aspect of performanceöthat it takes place across the sensory registers, and therefore is able to enquire into and gain knowledge of these projects in ways not open to written forms of communication. Recent work on `soundscapes' is often derived from performance traditions (for example, Carter, 1992; Carver, 1999; Matthews, 1992). (15) Sudnow's work also points to a massive gap in our appreciation of sites like the city. Why do we so often think of the city in terms of sign and screen. Why are there no geographies of, for example, the city as a forest of hands and keyboards (McNeill, 1992; Wilson, 1998)?
17 Dead geographiesöand how to make them live 427 The papers Figure 1. Cage's score for Fontana Mix (1958). The grid laid over the dots and serpentine lines guides the performer. The papers that follow all engage with performance by taking up some of the topics signposted above. In particular, they alight on three elements of performance that are best diagrammatically apprehended through John Cage's score for Fontana Mix (1958). The first, hardly surprising in this journal, is space. Performance allows us to treat space as an active operator, rather than a passive sign standing for something else. These are the dots in Cage's mixöthose concentrations, those moments of intensity, events if you likeöthat allow dead geographies to come alive as they are performed. Then, second, there is the issue of representationöthe grid of signification overlaying the spacing of those events. Geography has beenöfrom map-making to GIS, from photographs to remote sensingöa subject founded on the practices and politics of representation. Now it also has to attempt to grapple with the nonrepresentational, a task involving a move from an emphasis on a science of discursive meaning toö through the use of the full range of sensesöan art of evocation. Using all the techniques of performance to fashion new energetic spaces of experiment this art will be exercised in order to create effects. It will not just be a rehashed modernism, keen to experience `pure movement' and `pure moment'. Nor will it be an exploration of the self, keen to apply middle-class models of governmentality more widely. Rather it will be a challenge to the processes of representation, which will, ironically, be carried out by means of representation (Auslander, 1999) öby the ``feel of the words in the mouth'' (Melrose, 1993). Third, this `feeling in the mouth' speaks of the importance of the force or push of physicality and materialityöthose rhizomatic diagrams (the flowing curves in Cage's composition) that present the unfolding constitution of practices. The first two papers are chiefly concerned with the performative as found in the work of Judith Butler on performativity. Nicky Gregson and Gillian Rose's ``Taking Butler elsewhere: performativities, spatialities and subjectivities'' signals, through their
18 428 N Thrift, J-D Dewsbury own different empirical studies, the potential for performance and performativity as conceptual tools within a geographical research agenda. They show how space is actualised in performance by arguing for an appreciation of the social aspects of performativity, in particular those aspects that emerge in questioning notions of identity, difference, and power. They note how this theoretical stance affects their own (and our) research practices by factoring the performative quality of disruption into their own writingöan act that attempts to give due space for thinking the marginal, ephemeral, and insignificant. Through her examination of the material spatialities of pregnant bodies, Robyn Longhurst's paper ```Corporeographies' of pregnancy: `bikini babes''' continues the emphasis on specific performances that bring space into being. She shows how this materiality is in itself a performance by utilising the work of Butler to argue that pregnancy is socially constructed as a normative act. Through the particular spaces of her empirical research and that of a bikini contest for pregnant women, Longhurst goes on to underline both how, if understood performatively, the constructed performance of pregnancy is destabilised, and how gendered materiality can thus figure alternative bodily spatialities. The next three papers use theoretical understandings of performativity to create new spaces for thinking explicitly about the nonrepresentational. First, John-David Dewsbury's paper ``Performativity and the event: enacting a philosophy of difference'' proposes thinking through performances (theatrical and otherwise) as events by signalling the performative importance of timing, bodily physicality and object-oriented situatedness as an alternative cartography for understanding. Drawing explicitly on the work of Deleuze he aims at bringing into line the significance of the irretrievable, indeterminate, and excessive qualities of everyday life with an immanent, creative and pragmatic project for future social explication. Playing off Raymond Williams's challenging concept of `structures of feeling', Paul Harrison's paper, ``Making sense: embodiment and the sensibilities of the everyday'' points towards a social analysis that valorises the importance of the contingent and sensate aspects of lived experience. He employs nondialectical theoretical sources, in particular those found in the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Gilles Deleuze, and Giorgio Agamben, in order to evoke the performative, collective, and material potential for thinking `otherwise'. In opening up this space, and in being attentive to the `elusory' nature of embodiment, he urges us to consider how, in our habits and inhabitations, sense gets made. Finally, Steve Hinchliffe's paper ``Performance and experimental knowledge: outdoor management training and the end of epistemology'' follows in the steps of Holzman and Newman's The End of Knowing (1997) by evoking a space of `experimental learning'. Siting this space within the training practices of large organisations he shows how it engages nonrepresentational theory with the very performance of knowledge (institutional or elsewhere), and how consequently this alternative critique requires different geographical methodologies that refuse to objectify conduct, that work relationally and that engage the world rather than study it. With a salience for all of these papers, he ends with Shusterman's (1997, page 167) injunction that, in attempting to present the stance, style, and capacity of the everyday performative endeavour of `learning how to learn', the aim is ``to establish and improve the quality of immediate experience as a practical and useful tool''. In the next two papers both George Revill and Susan Smith turn to the spacing of sound, demonstrating in particular how sound is accessed and becomes music through historical, ideological and personal sonic performances. Revill in ``Music and the politics of sound: nationalism, citizenship, and auditory space'' vibrates the historical materialist approach to music by focusing upon the aestheticisation of body involvement in the space of sound. He intimates how the material quality of music cuts across
19 Dead geographiesöand how to make them live 429 the cultural turn's emphasis on textual understandings and plays out poststructural theoretical trajectories on a plane other than the linguistic. In this endeavour he negotiates a path between having, on the one hand, meaning originating `presymbolically' in the drives and instincts of the body, and, on the other, having the belief that access to such meaning, and therefore its very constitution, is something that can only occur through social and culturally specific forms, and hence performances. Susan Smith's paper ``Performing the (sound)world'' intensifies the focus upon the importance of physicality within sonic experience by shifting attention towards experiencing worlds in the making through performance itself. She argues that performance is important in the doing as well as in the listening or witnessing; and that the doing offers something qualitatively different: ``performance is highly personal as well as political; it is an intensely emotional practice as well as a fully social one''. By framing this experiential quality within wider historical (Renaissance Italy) and social (the concert hall) discourses Smith is able to argue that the performative is another way of knowing, inhabiting, of making a variety of political, economic, and emotional spaces. Finally, Geraldine Pratt's paper ``Research performances'' concludes where we started, echoing Gregson and Rose in a call for a performative understanding and reinvigoration of our own research practices. She urges us to be more aware of our habits of thinking as geographers; to question critically whether our current modes of practice amount to more than those of `colonising humanists'; and to engage seriously in the task of making visible the conventions of our research practices. In particular she calls attention to the rupture that ``goes largely un(re)marked''ö``the now of the research'' öby speaking out for a retooling of our expectations, as geographers, of how and what we `listen' to in the empirical field. In place of a conclusion In the four apprehensions we have made, and in the apprehensions of performance that the papers make, it may sometimes seem that we are in danger of losing our grip on what it is we are trying to hold still (Nash, 2000). But perhaps this should come as no surprise. Recent work in performance emphasises this slipperiness and attempts to become alert to and work with it. For example, take the term ecology which is increasingly being used to resituate theatre as a fluid, interventionist medium taking place at multiple sites. (16) ``I understand `ecology' as a set of interdependencies between conceptual, social and environmental factors; and I understand `performance' (as a time-based art) as an unstable element or catalyst operating within an inclusive ecology which enables people to re-think or revision or remediate their relationships to each other and to the interdependent worlds that are constituted by those relations. The term `inclusive ecology' is based on how the relationships between the elements that constitute an environment are `in play' as opposed to a `selective ecology' based on ideas of equilibrium/balance/sustainability'' (Allsopp, 2000, page 4). Be that as it may, we are convinced that the notion of performance is vital in articulating the questions now facing the practice of geography, most especially because it increases our awareness that the ``sensations, percepts and affects'' we are in the process of apprehending (holding still) are ``beings whose validity lies in themselves and exceeds any lived'' (Deleuze and Guattari, 1994, page 164). Performance is, if you like, a feral operator which can give us some more conceptual and empirical breathing space. (16) A similar take can also be found in performance art where the emphasis is on the multiplicitous expansion of the site. The site becomes a process, a relay, a nomadic practice (Kwon, 2000). Elements of this approach can now be found in attempts to bind mappings to art (see Carver, 1999; Curnow, 1999).
20 430 N Thrift, J-D Dewsbury In particular, as Smith argues in her paper, looking to the theory and practice of performance will not provide us with neat conclusions but it might bring our theoretical talk into closer alliance with our research practice and thereby create exciting new hybrids. (17) References Abercrombie N, Longhurst B, 1998 Audiences: A Sociological Theory of Performance and Imagination (Sage, London) Aiken S H, Brigham A, Marston S A, Waterstone P, 1998 (Eds) Making Worlds: Gender, Metaphor, Materiality (University of Arizona Press, Tuscon, AZ) Allsopp R, 2000, ``The location and dislocation of theatre'' Performance Research 5 1 ^ 8 Ansell Pearson K, 1999 Germinal Life (Routledge, London) Assad M, 1999 Reading with Michel Serres: An Encounter with Time (State University of New York Press, New York) Auslander P, 1993 From Acting to Performance: Essays in Modernism and Postmodernism (Routledge, London) Auslander P, 1999 Liveness (Routledge, London) Bachelard G, 2000 The Dialectic of Duration (Clinamen Press, Manchester) Banes S, 1998 Subversive ExpectationsöPerformance Art and Paratheatre in New York, (University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, MI) Bell V, 1999 Feminist Imaginations (Sage, London) Berliner P F, 1994 Thinking in Jazz: The Infinite Art of Improvisation (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL) Boal A, 1998 Legislative Theatre (Routledge, London) Boyman A, 1995, ``Translators note'', in Earth Moves: The Furnishing of Territories (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA) Burkitt I, 1999 Bodies and Thought (Sage, London) Butler J, 1990 Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (Routledge, London) Butler J, 1993 Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of Sex (Routledge, London) Butler J, 1997 Excitable Speech (Routledge, London) Butler J, 1999a, ``Performativity's social magic'', in Bourdieu: A Critical Reader Ed. R Shusterman (Blackwell, Oxford) 113 ^ 128 Butler J, 1999b ``Vikki Bell: on speech, race and melancholia: an interview with Judith Butler'' Theory, Culture and Society ^ 174 Butler J, Laclau T, Zizek S, 2000 Contingency, Hegemony, Universality: Contemporary Dialogues on the Left (Verso, London) Cache B (Ed.), 1995 Earth Moves: The Furnishing of Territories (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA) Campbell J, Harbord J, 1999, ``Playing it again: citation, reiteration or circularity'' Theory, Culture and Society ^ 240 Carlson M, 1996 Performance: A Critical Introduction (Routledge, London) Carter P, 1992 The Sound In-between:Voice, Space, Performance (New SouthWales University Press, Kensington, NSW) Carter R, 1998 Mapping the Mind (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London) Carver J, 1999 ``The agency of mapping: speculation, critique and invention'', in Mappings Ed. D Cosgrove (Reaktion, London) pp 213 ^ 252 Chakrabarty D, 1998, ``Minority histories, subaltern pasts'' Postcolonial Studies 1 15 ^ 29 Chia R, 1997,``Essai: thirty years on: from organisational structures, to the organisation of thought'' Organisation Studies ^ 797 Clark A, 1997 Being There: Putting Brain, Body and World Together Again (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA) Cloke P, Perkins H C, 1998, ``Cracking the canyon with the awesome foursome: representations of adventure tourism in New Zealand'' Environment and Planning D: Society and Space ^ 218 Curnow W, 1999, ``Mapping and the expanded field of contemporary art'', in Mappings Ed. D Cosgrove, Reaktion, London, pp 253 ^ 268 Davidson C (Ed.), 1998 Anyhow (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA) (17) The links to recent work on gender and race are, we hope, clear here (compare Gilroy, 2000), and most especially, the emphasis on the creation of new moral visions through the play of experimental performances.