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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Cartographies of Becoming- Mapping a Deleuzian/Zen Framework onto Live Performance

  • Author(s): Crellin, David
  • Advisor(s): Weems, Marianne
  • et al.

In this thesis, I will demonstrate that live performance is powerfully situated to apply insights articulated by French philosophers, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, and that of Zen Buddhism, which share many similarities. I will situate the Deleuzian/Zen project in and across two contrasting productions, to illustrate its utility as a foundational strategy for the creation of new work and in order to offer an expanded way of thinking live performance potential. The first production, a post-dramatic, mediatized event, 100% City was created by Rimini Protokoll, a Berlin-based collective, and performed in over 30 cities around the world. The second production is an immersive circus-based allegory, The Show To End All Shows, imagined by Circus Contraption, a Seattle-based performance troupe, of which I was the co-founder and a principal performer. Through my analysis of these performances, I will illustrate the effectiveness of adopting a Deleuzian/Zen framework toward creating live performance that gives rise to greater inclusive, non-hegemonic freedom of expression, and offers a stronger facility for engaging with the world around us.

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