Performance Philosophy is an international network open to all researchers concerned with the relationship between performance & philosophy.

  • Anyone can be a member of Performance Philosophy and it is free to join. Just click on the link that says 'Sign Up' in the box above. 
  • All members are free to propose new groups within Performance Philosophy. These can be either geographic or thematic groups. Please see the 'About' page for more information. Or go to 'Groups' to propose a new group.
  • If you have any problems using this website, please contact: 
  • For general enquiries about Performance Philosophy, please contact Laura Cull:

Discussion Forum

critical resources and bibliography

Started by Drew Milne. Last reply by Mario Kikaš Dec 20, 2013. 6 Replies

Interested in assembling a reading list of materials directly addressing Marxism and Performance. Does anyone have a working bibliography?Continue

Blog Posts

"Further Evidence on the Meaning of Musical Performance" Working Paper

Posted by Phillip Cartwright on January 15, 2020 at 21:28 0 Comments

Karolina Nevoina and I are pleased to announce availability of our working paper, "Further Evidence on the Meaning of Musical Performance". Special thanks to Professor Aaron Williamon and the Royal College of Music, Centre for Performance Science.…



Posted by Anirban Kumar on October 20, 2019 at 22:01 0 Comments

Smolded through ages as lifeless form

Utterly colorful and yet chaotic

A life born out of debt as symbiotic

Caged in green lush, more or less as a unique…


Division of Labor - Denis Beaubois

Posted by Gabrielle Senza on February 23, 2018 at 0:36 0 Comments

I just came across Denis Beaubois, an Australian multidisciplinary artist whose work, Currency - Division of Labor might be of interest to researchers here.

It is a series of video/performance works that use the division of labor model in capitalism as a structural tool for performance.

From his website:

The Division of labour work explores…




  • Add Videos
  • View All





Despite efforts to declare the Grand Narrative of Marxism dead, at this time of crisis the need for performance based on a clearly defined progressive agenda underpinned by a clear philosophy is paramount. Anyone interested in exploring Marxist focused reponses in and to eprformance is invited to join this group. 

Members: 52
Latest Activity: Nov 8, 2018

Discussion Forum

critical resources and bibliography

Started by Drew Milne. Last reply by Mario Kikaš Dec 20, 2013. 6 Replies

Interested in assembling a reading list of materials directly addressing Marxism and Performance. Does anyone have a working bibliography?Continue

Comment Wall

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of MARXISM AND PERFORMANCE to add comments!

Comment by Jason Fitzgerald on September 10, 2012 at 6:17

I don't know how naive a question this is, especially since I've read neither McKenzie nor Martin, but, I'd be interested in to hear about scholars who have brought together "performance" with "production" as Marx(ism) theorizes. The relation between performance and work and/or labor is maybe ultimately the more fruitful route, but, "production" as a (potentially?) collective practice that exists in relation to (but is not the same as) the commodity might help us to translate the long-standing debate over ephemerality and performance into Marxist terms.

Comment by Michael Shane Boyle on September 10, 2012 at 5:22

I agree with Tavia. As much as I appreciate McKenzie's work, I would hesitate to call him a Marxist. His account seems much more closely aligned with a post-structuralist project, loosely informed as it may be by Marcuse. The performance principle is more a psychoanalytic category than an actual Marxist category (in that for Marcuse it historicized social life according to the reality principle). That's not to say that post-structuralism (or psychoanalysis for that matter) is necessarily mutually exclusive to historical materialism, but in Performance Studies this does often seem the case. Among senior scholars in the field, Randy Martin's work seems the closest to offering a materialist analysis of performance and social life. I think the place to start integrating performance with Marxism (beyond the Frankfurt School) is Raymond Williams.

Comment by Tavia Nyong’o on September 10, 2012 at 4:05

McKenzie leans heavily on Lyotard's account of the performance principle in The Postmodern Condition. I would also suggest Randy Martin's work -- he is definitely working along the Marxist grain, and has interesting things to say about performance in relation to both art and political economy.

Comment by Drew Milne on September 9, 2012 at 23:01

I'll check that out, sounds interesting. Thanks.

Comment by Philipp Piechura on September 8, 2012 at 10:37

Hey Drew,

I am not sure if that is what you are looking for, but do you know: "Perform or else: : from discipline to performance / McKenzie, Jon , 2001" . It's no book with a specific marxist approach but I think it's a good book to get an idea on how the concept "performance" is used in the area of management and it tries to combine the artistic and the economic concepts of performance...

Comment by Drew Milne on September 5, 2012 at 9:36

I'm not sure if it is of interest, but I published an essay on Adorno and performance which includes some thoughts on Marxism and performance in:

Drew Milne, 'Processual Performance: Critical Notes on Adorno's Autonomous Artwork', in As Radical as Reality Itself: Essays on Marxism and Art for the 21st Century, eds. Matthew Beaumont, Andrew Hemingway, Esther Leslie and John Roberts (Bern: Peter Lang, 2007), pp. 347-366. I'd be grateful for any suggestions of relevant reading.

Comment by Drew Milne on September 3, 2012 at 12:19

One critical question for any contemporary Marxist approach to performance, or so it seems to me, is the distinction between a) performance as an orientation in and through artistic praxis, versus b) performance as a criteria within economic calculi, labour management and audit praxis. What would it mean to audit performance without implicitly engaging in capitalist rationality?


Members (52)


© 2020   Created by Laura Cull.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service