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On possibilities for interspecies communication in performance

Galbraith, Amber Caitlin (2019) On possibilities for interspecies communication in performance. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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This thesis draws on the work of post-structuralist theorists – especially Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari – in addition to the work of posthumanist theorists, such as Donna Haraway, Rosi Braidotti, and Jane Bennett – among others – to argue for possibilities for interspecies communication in performance.

It comprises a creative script titled SIGNUM & tacita and an exegesis. Especially through the creative component of the thesis, which omits textual dialogue, it focuses on opening up possibilities for bodily, reflexive forms of interspecies communication. By decentralizing the textual and linguistic, the affective and instinctual communicative capacities of bodies are heightened in performance.

This thesis contends that, simply by being embodied, all earthlings are affectively communicative. It argues that, although life is richly heterogeneous, there is also a sense of commonality between beings in the mutual experience of being alive, and that recognising this may allow us to understand Others pre-linguistically. It concludes that, by shifting the focus from textual dialogue in performance towards bodily expression, performance can engender a meaningful and wordless exchange between beings. Through the gestural and sensory, all bodies can speak without words.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Creative Media, Arts and Design
Supervisor(s): Grehan, Helena
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