More-Than-Human Practices: Feminist Ecological Potentials of Working With More-Than-Humans in the Performing Arts
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This thesis examines artistic practices developed through co-working with more-than-humans and maps the wider feminist ecological potentials of practicing such multispecies environments in the performing arts. The theoretical framework takes feminist discourse on water from Mielle Chandler and Astrida Neimanis's article "Water and Gestationality: What Flows beneath Ethics" as a departure point to conceptualize more-than-human collaborations in the performing arts and to generate grounds for articulating ethics that enable responsivity to the entanglements with 'natural others'. This framework is intertwined with the discourse on dramaturgy to reapproach the practice of dramaturgy through collaborations and articulate it as a shared practice and collective thinking that emerges from the relations between diverse bodies. In the thesis, I map the main aspects of 'more-than-human practices' and 'interspecies practices' in the performing arts. Characteristics and challenges posed by co-working with more-than-humans are further unfolded by drawing on the two longer artistic practices and researches, Rooted Hauntology Lab by Ingrid Vranken, potted plants, and ghosts, and Cosmologies of Attention and Spectatorship, practice-based research by Julia Willms and Andrea Božić in collaboration with the Moon. By analyzing specific modes of relating and co-working with them, and by researching the main aspects that their collaborations bring in the front, the feminist ecological potentials that lie in cultivating responsivity to more-than-human co-workers, are defined.