Introduction III: Mad Lab - or why we can’t do practice as research

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This introduction/intervention responds to the title and underlying assumptions of the present volume rather than to its content. Intended as a speculative polemic, it probes the boundaries of what is possible and what is desirable in PaR, highlighting some of the tendencies and assumptions that the concept of performance brings to research. As I see it, performance is both indispensable and limiting: an essential genealogy for the work discussed in this volume, but one that increasingly requires critical alternatives in order to continue pursuing its promise. In this piece I compare performance with practice as a basis for PaR, gesturing towards what may be an impossibly radical notion of experimentation in practice. I ask, without knowing the answer, where the epistemological and political boundaries of the PaR movement truly lie. While I do not attempt to analyse the specific contributions to this volume in these terms, I hope to pose a question that may be applied to these and other case studies – namely, whether research is unfolding through performance or through practice – and to show why that question matters.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerformance as Research
Subtitle of host publicationKnowledge, Methods, Impact
EditorsAnnette Arlander, Bruce Barton, Melanie Dreyer-Lude, Ben Spatz
Place of PublicationLondon and New York
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781315157672
ISBN (Print)9781138068711, 9781138068704
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Introduction III: Mad Lab - or why we can’t do practice as research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this