The iconic image: a conversation with Philip Auslander

Recently, our team met with Philip Auslander, an influential performance scholar who has argued that performance documentation is not merely a passive afterimage of a live act, but rather can be seen to partially – in some cases, even wholly – determine a performance’s reception and thus actively shapes what we understand the performance to be. Such documentation, Auslander argues, is itself “performative.”

The conservability of performance: Two events and their afterlives

In recent weeks, our research project hosted its first two public events: the two-day colloquium “Performance: The Ethics and the Politics of Care —  # 1. Mapping the Field,” and “Living Materials: Ethics and Principles for Embodied Stewardship,” an in-depth conversation between Cori Olinghouse and Megan Metcalf. Julia reflects on what we learned from these events, and how that knowledge will endure and change in the future.

Michaela Schäuble, with and without a camera

We anticipated a scintillating and productive discussion with anthropologist and filmmaker Michaela Schäuble when we met with her in April. That assumption proved entirely correct – but other assumptions we held about the contemporary practice of anthropology, and Schäuble’s own approach to documentation, were turned inside-out. (Photograph by Anja Dreschke.)