Call for Proposals: Performance Research Vol. 23, No. 8 (December 2018)

On Drifting

Proposal Deadline: 10 February 2018 (see below for details)

Issue Editors:
Carl Lavery (University of Glasgow, Scotland)
Marielle Pelissero (Paris Nanterre University, France; New York University Tisch School of the Arts, United States)
David Pinder (Roskilde University, Denmark)

On Drifting

Of all the concepts introduced by the Situationist International (SI), the idea of la dérive or drifting is the one, perhaps, that has proved most amenable to performance practitioners. One thinks, here, for instance, of performance artists and activist groups, such as Stalker, Wrights & Sites, and Laura Oldfield Ford who have used walking as a practice to explore the psychogeography of various types of urban landscapes; of Marina Abramovich’s epic journey along the Great Wall of China; of Graeme Miller’s haunted London in the audio walk Linked; of Rimini Protokoll’s voyages throughout Europe; of Janet Cardiff’s urban disruptions where the foot become an ear; of Francis Alys’ pharmaceutical-inspired strolls through Copenhagen; of Lone Twin’s actions, endurance work and bike performances; of Dee Heddon and Misha Myers’ ‘Walking Library’; of Mike Pearson’s and Mike Brooke’s static and assisted drifts in Cardiff with the disabled performer Lyn Levett;  of Simon Whitehead’s stalking of urban foxes and group howlings; and, of course, of the recent explosion in feminist, post-colonialist and queer walking practices performed by (amongst others) Les Sapeurs, Nando Messias, Rosana Cade, Clare Qualmann and Amy Sharrocks, and Cathy Turner. In all of these performances and interventions, the drift, in accordance with the SI’s own concept, is employed as a spatial practice, a method for subverting normative notions of dwelling and territory. While we, too, are interested in how drifting and journeying may provide new and alternative insights into how neo-liberal space is gendered, racialised, sexualised and colonized, we are also concerned with how drifting may allow us to reconsider the political and aesthetic function of different art forms and everyday practices. What may it mean, for instance, to make architecture, language, photography, dance and painting drift? And how may this expanded practice of drifting disclose new possibilities for thinking about theatricality and performance in ways that are intimately connected to the medium of theatre but not necessarily limited to it? By interrogating the drift as a theatrical or performative concept, our intention in this issue of Performance Research is to engage creatively with the ideas of the SI, as opposed to looking for some authentic or pure actualization of them. To borrow something from Gilles Deleuze, we are interested in making ‘alliances’ with the SI, not in establishing an ‘affiliation’ grounded on some problematic notion of fidelity. In that respect, our aim is to show how the drift, like theatre itself, is a practice that is always contemporary, that is to say, untimely, never in step with its historical moment, and always in the process of being invented differently. Indeed, by theatricalizing the drift, we seek a critical and creative historiography that would not imprison the SI in the past, but rather would open their ideas to the future—to make ‘their drift drift’, so to speak.

Topics for discussion may include:

Drifting and Cruising
Drifting and Gender
Drifting and ‘Race’
Drifting and Surveillance
Drifting and the Digital
Drifting and Disciplinarity
Drifting and Control
Drifting and Thinking
Drifting and Temporality
Drifting and Connection
Drifting and Laziness
Drifting and the Rhizome
Drifting and Writing
Drifting and Ecology
Drifting with Animals
Drifting in Theatre
Drifting and Dance
Drifting as Catalyst and Process
Drifting as History
Drifting and Economics
Drifting and Performance
Drifting as Spectating
Drifting and Affect
Drifting and Painting
Drifting and Activism
Drifting as Cosmopolitanism
Drifting and Drugs
Drifting and Music
Drifting and Disorientation
Drifting and Disability
Drifting and Breathing
Drifting and Geology
Drifting and Becoming
Drifting and Exhaustion
Drifting and Stuttering
Drifting and Sensation
Drifting and the Human
Drifting and the ‘More than Human’
Drifting and the Elemental
Drifting and Fugitivity
Drifting and Virtuality
Drifting and Technique


• Proposals: 10 February 2018
• First drafts: June 2018
• Publication date: December 2018

Issue contacts

All proposals, submissions and general enquiries should be sent direct to the journal at:

Issue-related enquiries should be directed to the issue editors: [Carl Lavery], [Marielle Pelissero], [David Pinder]

General guidelines for submitting a proposal:
• Before submitting a proposal please visit our website ( ) and familiarize yourself with the journal.
• Proposals will be accepted by email (MS Word or Rich Text Format (RTF)). Proposals should not exceed one A4 side.
• Please include your surname in the file name of the document you send.
• Please include the issue title and issue number in the subject line of your email.
• If you intend to send images electronically, please contact the journal first to arrange prior agreement.
• Submission of a proposal will be taken to imply that it presents original, unpublished work not under consideration for publication elsewhere.
• If your proposal is accepted, you will be invited to submit an article in first draft by the deadline indicated above. On the final acceptance of a completed article you will be asked to sign an author agreement in order for your work to be published in Performance Research.