ABSTRACT

Since 1996 Bodies in Flight, co-directed by choreographer Sara Giddens and myself, has made a series of practice-as-research works exploring what performance can contribute to our understanding of the contemporary experience of identity and knowledge-production (see Jones 2009; 2009a). Inspired by Martin Heidegger’s and Emmanuel Levinas’ thoughts, I want to describe how performer-auditor-spectator participation in two of our performance-events has led me to move from the former’s notion of ‘preserving’ an art-work within the co-presence of that work and its participants, to the latter’s insistence that co-presence must be realized quintessentially as a face-to-face between persons. The one requires the active deconstruction of our making of ourselves – what in Bodies in Flight we have come to call de-second-naturing (see Giddens and Jones 2009; Jones 2007); the other permits its ethical reconstruction, experienced fundamentally as a togetheraloneness. This leads me to question the limits of ‘interactivity’ as the current mode through which presence in performance is increasingly articulated.