Agency, Time and Space = the Performance Matrix: a Conceptual Topography

Agency, Time and Space = the Performance Matrix: a Conceptual Topography

Stephen Ibbotson

Agency, Time and Space = the Performance Matrix: A conceptual topography

1.1. Abstract

In this paper a short overview of the Performance Matrix (PM) concept will be presented in respect to the performative dimensions (temporal and spatial) of social phenomena. For this purpose the determining features of music-theatrical experience will be used analogically to explicate these dimensions. The theatrical analogy is well established in the social sciences. The musical metaphor, as a supplement to the theatrical metaphor, provides the possibility to examine both simultaneous and consecutive events. These events can then be viewed along both the horizontal and vertical axes within different time/space horizons. The essential elements of this model are agency, time and space.

1.2. Introduction

The concepts presented in this paper were developed as a response to a need perceived by the author to understand the musical-theatrical phenomenon more closely. What Music-Theatre is may seem self-evident. As with many areas of our everyday lives, Music-Theatre is built upon multifarious attitudes, assumptions and ways of behaving that are taken for granted by most participants. This prosaic access to the Music-Theatre has a pragmatic foundation. If one thought too deeply about the `what´ and the `why´ of one’s role in the musical-theatrical event it would disturb the flow of the experience, both actively (per-formatively) and passively (receptively). Roland Kurt (2004, p. 31) classifies this as ›!- type of access, implying in this exclamation ! the self-evidential nature of the way things occur in `real life´. With a ›?- or scientific access one consciously places everything in question. For our purposes this means, to understand the phenomenon one requires a process of uncovering. Having achieved a level of understanding, one can then decide how to use this information, and, therefore, return to the everyday mode. This movement from ›!- to ›?-...

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