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Transmission in Motion

Performance Studies Space Programme

Astronomy/Cosmology as fields for performance theory

Building on the perspectives of the previous points, we can also consider the extent to which performance may not only be an enactment or procedure, but a natural quality of the universe. That is, performance as an ontology of the Universe. Here, we draw initial impetus from Karen Barad’s work. In Meeting the Universe Halfway, Barad demonstrates that grasping the implications of these onto-epistemological complexities requires an approach that combines insights from the sciences with conceptions of performance and performativity developed in the humanities. Barad refers to what according to Niels Bohr is the core lesson of quantum physics, and this is that we are part of the nature that we seek to understand. Our ability to understand the world hinges on our taking account of the fact that our knowledge-making practices are social material enactments that contribute to and are part of the phenomena we describe. This means that there is no such thing as an outside position from where we can know how it is with the universe or anything within it. We are part of what we seek to know.