Performativity – focus on practice

This week’s reading: Karen Barad’s “Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter”

Excerpt: “The point is not merely that there are important material factors in addition to discursive ones; rather, the issue is the conjoined material-discursive nature of constraints, conditions, and practices. The fact that material and discursive constraints and exclusions are intertwined points to the limited validity of analyses that attempt to determine individual effects of material or discursive factors.”


diagram pdf

While Barad posits two intra-acting components, abbreviated  above as ‘matter’ and ‘apparatus’, I decided to display the trefoil knot I am using in the attempt to diagram her relational onto-epistem-ology as showing three loops, in reference to the tripartite representationalist system she is proposing to replace. I am imagining the now vacated bottom loop to rise up and cradle the ‘agential cut’. In future versions of the above, which are doubtlessly needed, I want to indicate more mobility. Keeping that in mind while looking at the current diagram, examples of this image and this GIF offer a direction.

Clearly, I am interested in this text because it offers an intriguing model for the making/mediating/managing braid. Where Barad brings performativity into science studies, the same focus on practice will benefit ‘art studies’, or art as research about art.

Artist, professor [Arts Administration and Policy] at SAIC.

Posted in remarks, The Braid
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