Mathematical Resonances in the Architecture of Goat Island's The Lastmaker

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Abstract

By focusing on Goat Island’s final piece, The Lastmaker (2007), this article will explore the ways in which the application of a ‘mathematical aesthetic’ to contemporary performance practice can be seen as affirmative. Through an application of Deleuzian philosophy concerning the polarity of transcendence and immanence, it will suggest that the use of 'mathematical aesthetic' in Goat Island's piece deconstructs ‘transcendent’, ‘top-down’ modes of theatrical organisation in order to open up to a perception of the ‘plane of immanence’ . The ‘plane of immanence’ will be understood here as a ‘de-stratified’ space where presence and meaning can be reconstituted anew in a ‘process of becoming’. The article will analyse different aspects and strategies used in the piece such as rhythmic patterns and repetitions, scaling and miniaturisation and mathematisation of speech in order to argue that the deconstructive and in turn transformative quality of the ‘mathematical aesthetic’ inspires a shift in perception away from representation and towards a perception of an affirmative ‘process of becoming’, one that is inherently creative. Finally the article will situate the affirmative qualities of the piece in question within the contemporary cultural context, in order to question the role of performance in a progressively mathematised society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-93
Number of pages10
JournalPerformance Research
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2014

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