Rea Dennis – Moving out of door – Temporary communities and affective scenography


Rea Dennis

Deakin University

Moving out of door – Temporary communities and affective scenography  

Customarily when we consider situating a performance out of door, we might imagine that it will adopt a form such as: Site Specific  …. In the park, … in the garden, … in the street – Public Art, Live Art, socially engaged, community based, landscape performance … 

Yet there is likely to be various forces at play when an artist moves out of door. Informed by my own practice research this paper explores the materiality of affect and connection when artists perform outside, move performance outside, and disrupt the inside with images/video of outdoors. It explores the way a form of vagrancy of occupation (Anderson 2013) occurs in this movement between spaces; and how this disrupts artist and audience experience of both the performance and of the outdoors. Drawing on the biophilic principles of thermal air?low and air?low variability; dynamic and diffuse light’ and non-rhythmic sensory stimuli, it considers how temporary communities that embrace a what might be termed a scenography of nature and enact a collective performing body, might form. 

Rea Dennis is a performance practitioner and scholar based in Melbourne, Australia whose works range from experiential and interactive performances and site-based social engagement, to intense black box physical performance. She also has a multimedia practice exploring perception, affect and materiality. She is a lecturer in Art and Performance at Deakin University and writes critical papers addressing experiences of thinking through making, embodied cognition and performance. Her work has toured to UK, New York, Taiwan, Germany, Brazil and Japan.