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Metaphorically Speaking: Possibilities of Theatre Performance in the Digital Age

Keywords: the digital , identity , medium , metaphor , performance

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Abstract:

This essay reflects on the quality of the theatre performance as medium in the digital age through a discussion of the theatre of Peter Handke. The aim is to make manifest and engage with habits of thought and perception shaped by the digital, as well as investigate the ways in which they intersect with habits of thought and perception materialized in and mobilized by theatre performance in the specific case of Handke’s theatre (a theatre created, arguably, at the beginnings of the digital age). Engaging with Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophy, the essay looks at theatre performance as a site for the negotiation of the relation between techne and poiesis in the digital age. It focuses on the notion of metaphor in order to examine ways in which both the theatre under investigation and the digital unsettle and re-imagine the concept of identity traditionally understood in terms of unity and sameness.

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