Performance on the Edge takes the reader on a journey across geographical borders and conceptual boundaries in order to map out the new territory of contemporary theatre, dance, media arts and activism. Working across social, cultural and political fault lines, the book explores performance as both process and contact, as the commitment to political activism and the reconstruction of community, as site-specific intervention into the social and technological structures of abandonment, and as the highly charged embodiment of erotic fantasies. Performance on the Edge addresses the politics of community-oriented and reconstructive artmaking in an era marked by the AIDS crisis, cultural and racial polarization, warfare, separatism and xenophobia. Provocatively illustrated with work from North and Central America and Eastern and Western Europe, the book challenges our assumptions about the relations between media and activism, technological imperitives and social processes and bodily identities and virtual communities.
Johannes Birringer is artist director of AlienNation Co., a multimedia collaborative ensemble with has performed around the world. He is the author of Theatre, Theory, Postmodernism and Media & Performance. He teaches at Ohio State University.