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date: 21 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

One person alone can create and fashion a thing, but it will need many people to realize something by way of praxis. Because actions consist in volatile movements, they become political only through reactions to their being performed. Performing arts and political action thus both explore the possibilities of making a difference through doing that which—while intervening into complex symbolic and imaginary systems—strips down to the concrete, bodily effect of affecting others. Performing, therefore, has an essentially collective reality. Offering an alternative to the rhetoric of bond and rupture that grounds many theories of collectivity, this chapter accesses collectivity from the organizational potential of a relative distance between performers, both in space and in time. Certain forms of collectivity emerge for the very reason that performing bodies are energetically independent and only loosely coupled in their ways of communicating.

Keywords: relative distance, collectivity, performing arts, political action, praxis

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