Welcome to volume four of Extensions: The Online Journal of Embodiment and Technology.
For this issue, “TempoRealities of Performance,” the editors were interested in exploring how performance negotiates its relationship to time—particularly in the wake of debates in performance studies concerning the materiality, presence, and temporality of performance. Our contributors approach this topic from diverse perspectives.
Rachel Carrico writes on the fetishization of time in both art and philosophy, focusing on fingers, which both count out time and bring other bodies close to one’s own. Time erotically plays out on Michelango, Shakespeare, and Roland Barthes’ fingertips. Simon Ellis’s net.art piece imposes time limits on one’s ability to explore the dance and written text around which “The Timed Body” is built. Users race against the clock, but find that each time they return, they have a little bit longer to view the work. Approaching time through reiteration, Hana van der Kolk describes her adaptation of choreographer Deborah Hay’s The Ridge, which she performed throughout New York. Here, she has re-adapted the work for written form, a script in which each dance dissolves into a single performance that comes to a close but never seems to end. Michelle Lindenblatt stands on a street corner, counting the minutes as she watches a PETA protest, awkwardly watching from the outside what she is used to participating in as an activist. Her text toggles back and forth between what she observes ‘in the moment’ and her reflections sparked by images and overheard conversations. Erika DeFreitas marks time through the life events memorialized in newspapers, namely deaths. Taking the newspapers but cutting away the obituaries, she leaves us with a series of haunted empty shells hanging from the wall, indicating the absence of the individuals the papers no longer represent. Interested in how celebrity continues to circulate even after a star’s death, Nicole Eschen writes on impersonations of Joan Crawford and Elvis. Part of pop culture history, such figures are resuscitated and recycled in contemporary performance. What Crawford or Elvis signifies may change over time, but performers adapt their personas to make them continuously relevant for our own historical moment.
Thanks to our contributors and to my editorial team in putting this issue of Extensions together. Thanks also go to the tireless Professor Sue-Ellen Case for her enthusiastic advising.
Harmony Bench, Editor-in-Chief