hypertext dissertation - by Robyn Stuart


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QUOTE 31 from:

Rubidge S.(2002b) 'Identity in Flux: A Practice-based Interrogation of the Ontology of the Open Dance Work'. In: Preston-Dunlop,V & Sanchez-Colberg, A (Eds.) Dance and the Performative: A Choreological Perspective. London: Verve Publishing pp. 136 - 163.

The open work, I would suggest, constitutes an artistic interrogation of the traditional concept of the 'work' which runs parallel with the theoretical challenges to the work concept forwarded by philosophers such as Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Barthes, and later Deleuze. It actualises many of the conceptions of the work proposed by Barthes in "The Death of the Author" (1977) and "From Work to Text", (1977) and by Foucault in "What is an Author?" (1969). Open works are characterised by their 'textuality' (using the term in a Barthean sense), that is by their openness, their malleability, and the multiplicity of forms of expression and meanings they can generate. Any discussion of open works must be conducted in recognition that their character as a mobile network, within which images and ideas are configured and reconfigured, is central to their nature as works. That is, it must accommodate an understanding of the 'work' which emerges in the writings of Foucault, Barthes and Deleuze and Guattari, which allows that its identity, such as it is, is constituted by a fluid, underdetermined network of interlocking, overlapping, modulating strands and elements (not all of which are work specific, for example conceptual frameworks), the structure of which is constantly dissolving and reforming from presentation to presentation. From this perspective the significant individuating features of an open work are located as much in the features of its structuration, which facilitate but do not determine, the multiplicity of flows of connection which can obtain between the constituent elements, as it does in the elements themselves.


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