Mike Harrison wrote a nice response to my piece last week about Julie Tolentino in which he floats the idea that my writing somehow remakes the performance itself. I’m pretty fascinated with this because it chimes with how I’ve been thinking about one strand of my writing on/around performance. I’m interested in the way that in writing one can set things down – the what happened, the structure, the time-frame, the relations made and developed in a performance – unfolding an annotated schematic of these things on the page in such a way that the working/dramaturgy of the event becomes not just clear but (via a kind of unpacking) somehow manifest again.
The above may be connected, somehow, to the fact that I’ve often made a kind of equivalence between the dramaturgy/unfolding of a live event in respect of the audience and the way in which writing works on a reader over time (word by word, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, page by page). I’m tempted to see each as a kind of process of unfolding, and I’ve always thought (at least since Certain Fragments) of any writing that uses the word ‘I’ as a kind ‘staging oneself for the page’. In each case its the control and flow of information, the strategic deploying of signs and space that makes the work what it is; a machinery that makes a certain kind of encounter possible, and which structures it in a particular way.