Skip navigation

If one looks closely at an edge: four dances remembered

If one looks closely at an edge: four dances remembered

Bowes, Neil Simon ORCID: 0000-0002-9189-0322 (2023) If one looks closely at an edge: four dances remembered. In: Bayley, Annouchka and Chan, JJ, (eds.) Diffracting New Materialisms: Emerging Methods for Artistic Research. Springer International Publishing AG - Palgrave Macmillan, London; Cham, pp. 161-183. ISBN 978-3031186066 (doi:

[img] PDF (Author's accepted chapter)
36195_BOWES_ If_one_looks_closely_at_an_edge.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 6 August 2025.

Download (309kB) | Request a copy


'If one looks closely at an edge: four dances remember'd' situates memory as a mode of performance, situated between the actual and the virtual. The innovation of the chapter is to situate memory in processes of becoming-material and becoming immaterial. Written at the height of the pandemic, when performance venues were closed, and when all performance was electronic, digital, the chapter aims to recover memory itself as another, anterior virtuality. which is the precondition of performance as a material becoming. One contribution of this chapter is to place Karen Barad's (2002, 2007) treatments of performativity, agential realism and diffraction within the wider context of a philosophy of immanence. Reading Barad closely against Grosz (2017) the chapter argues that underneath the novel terminology proposed by Barad, there is a longstanding context for her 'new' materialism. Moving between close reading, autoethnographic detail, auto-fiction, and poetry, the text works to construct a 'memory theatre' in which to remember four dances (by artists not yet represented within academic scholarship and research). In attempting to remember these dances, the chapter argues that a realist philosophy will never be adequate to a conception of theatre. Staging the becoming-poet of the academic, the chapter renders the author as a body of memory, no longer a subject, or academic signatory. The implication of the chapter for a conception of artistic research is that a poetics of memory opens to a new conception of method, where rigour is redefined as care over concepts, affects.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Karen Barad; Henri Bergson; philosophy; performance; memory; memory theatre; poetry; artistic research
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS)
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2024 13:39

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics