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Contexts of/as Resistance

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sally Jane Norman


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Resistance as a state or activity entwines discrete entities or forces in a given context (contexere, to weave together). Something or someone resists something or someone, making this with-standing (re-sistere) essentially relational or agential. Live performance gives this play of agency a dramatic frame and focus, involving resources ranging from raw' re-appropriated materials to sophisticated information technology type artefacts. These resources support interactions of human and non-human agency, and mix physical and virtual materials which generate different kinds of resistance and behavioural response. This paper looks at different contextual framings of resistance that arise in live performance, using generic instrumental and gestural taxonomies from cognitive science and ergonomics to set notions of resistant materials' in a broader transdisciplinary perspective. Emphasis is on the kinds of context sensitivity at work when materials are creatively (re-) appropriated, the role of art being to resist and scramble classificatory systems governing conventional notions of agency.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Norman SJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Contemporary Music Review

Year: 2013

Volume: 32

Issue: 2-3

Pages: 275-288

Print publication date: 01/03/2013

Online publication date: 15/05/2013

ISSN (print): 0749-4467

ISSN (electronic): 1477-2256

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/07494467.2013.775805


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