[-empyre-] language/discourse on terror, reporting the virtually true

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Thu Nov 6 05:35:52 EST 2014

thank you Jon, for already joining in and for your comments!   allow me thus to welcome Jon McKenzie to the table, he is amongst the guests we had invited for this month. 


Jon McKenzie is Director of DesignLab, a digital composition center, and Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, where he teaches courses in performance theory and new media. He is the author of "Perform or Else: From Discipline to Performance" (Routledge 2001) and such articles as “Global Feeling: (Almost) All You Need is Love,” “Performance and Globalization,” and “Towards a Sociopoetics of Interface Design.” He is also co-editor of "Contesting Performance: Global Sites of Research" (Palgrave 2011). Jon has also produced a number of experimental video essays, including "The Revelations of Dr. Kx4l3ndj3r" (2012) and "This Vile Display" (2006), and gives workshops on performative scholarship and smart media. His work has been translated into a half-dozen languages.

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As was pointed out so eloquently in the book by Rustom Bharucha I cited yesterday, researching the theme of terror and performance made Rustom realize that the discourse on terror had hugely proliferated
(especially after the Iraq wars and the 9/11/2001 attack on the World Trade Center in NY), but the discourse on performance had also spread greatly.... "As the category of 'performance' expands into new areas of investigation like Performance Management and Techno Performance, whose interdependent genealogies have been brilliantly mapped by Jon McKenzie, the older associations of 'performance' in performance studies drawn from the practices of theatre and ritual anthropology have come under considerable stress" (p. xv). Thanks Rustom for introducing Jon in this way.

And thank Alan for moving forward questions to our participants and stimulating the dialogue.  Once again, we invite everyone to the table. 

warm regards
Johannes Birringer
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[Alan schreibt]

(Erik..  A question in regard to the plays - What is the effect on the actors
themselves, what do they take away? Is activism an issue? Can there even
be activism 'around' terror? What would that be?
But with the plays and actors, what happens internally? I remember at
times students reduced to immobility at times...

And Olga, I have two questions:

Is there any way you can relate your work to ISIS and annihilation; does
it relate? I'm thinking that the form of ISIS and many other groups is
close to formless; on one hand, a caliphate, and on the other, a kind of
formless and violent vandalism. The second question: Did the soldiers ever
question, speak of resistance? During the Vietnam War, US military
personnel became increasingly demoralized, and there was such. (Apologies
for my naivete here.)

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