Sea-change: Performing a fluid continent: 2nd Oceanic Performance Biennial: Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 8–11 July 2015

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Abstract

This visual essay documents the 2015 Oceanic Performance Biennale and Performance Studies international Fluid States meeting, ‘Sea-Change: Performing a fluid continent’ (Rarotonga, the Cook Islands, 8–11 July)—an event that reflected on the social, cultural and political ecologies of Oceania from a performance perspective. Comprised of curatorial statement, academic response and artist's manifesto, it considers how we may think, and rethink, the work of performance art and performance epistemology in an anthropocene age, through anthroposcenic actions. It also meditates on how indigenous Pacific ways of thinking about the relation between land and sea, people and elements, deep history and our increasingly perilous future contribute to this work. While the effect of climate change on our oceans is already incontrovertible and alarming, ‘Sea-change’ proposed that addressing it requires us to think Oceanically: attuned to the relational, networked and fluid realities of our condition, assuming (like a marine navigator) a position of ‘unknowing’, one not of epistemic mastery over the environment but of vulnerable, urgent attention. Bringing together performance practitioners, local and tribal authorities, activists and scholars from three continents, ‘Sea-change’ explored climate change (so often figured as a distant, global abstraction) as an intimate, embodied, highly local and profoundly historical experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-95
Number of pages6
JournalPerformance Research
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 3 2016

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