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‘The Video Way of Thinking’

Ben Spatz (2018) ‘The Video Way of Thinking’. South African Theatre Journal 31.1: 146-154. DOI:

Abstract: This article rethinks the concepts of zoê and bios proposed by Giorgio Agamben in relation to the history of technology. It argues that the relationship between embodiment and the audiovisual is only beginning to be understood alongside the recent and increasing omnipresence of digital audiovisual recording technologies in everyday life. Just as writing completely changed human society’s understanding of speech, the development of audiovisual media over the past century has profoundly affected and perhaps even founded our contemporary understanding of embodiment and embodied knowledge. Questions of performance documentation that have circulated in performance studies barely scratch the surface of what amounts to a new way of understanding life, embodiment, and knowledge, which I here begin to call the ‘video way of thinking’.

Keywords: video; audiovisual; embodiment; Agamben; epistemology

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