My research interests include continental philosophy, performance theory,
contemporary theatre and performance, live art, and the practice of the biological arts in the UK, US, Europe and Australia. I am particularly interested in what we might call ‘biological life’ in performance and the potential ethical and political resonances of encountering humans, animals, children, cells, tissue, and other forms of life within the context of artistic
practice. I am currently researching the appearance of children in contemporary performance in the UK and examining how their presence might prompt a reconsideration of established assumptions about performance’s ontological status. My work has been published in
Theatre Journal, Contemporary Theatre Review, and the specialist technology and art journal Technoetic Arts.
My previous research has predominantly been focused on the biological arts, an area of art and performance practice that uses biotechnology and biological material as the media and subject of artistic enquiry. In 2010 I completed an AHRC-funded PhD in this field which examined the work of a prominent group of artists called the Tissue Culture and Art Project (TC&A). As part of this doctoral research I undertook a two month research residency in the collaborative art and science research laboratory at the University of Western Australia (UWA) where TC&A are based. The thesis explored the marginal position that bioart occupied in theatre and performance scholarship in the early 2000s and set out to examine the potential of performance theory and continental philosophy (namely the work of Jacques
Derrida, Emmanuel Lévinas and Giorgio Agamben) to develop a critical understanding of bioart’s aesthetic, ethical and political consequences. My post-doctoral research builds on a wider intellectual commitment to exploring the potential of Derridean deconstruction for thinking performance, live art and bioart practices. In more recent work, this has included a critical interrogation of notions of archiving, messianism, and an ethics of responsibility in relation to both live and documentary traces of various bioart practices. I have recently returned to my roots in contemporary theatre to consider how the dominant discourse of death and mortality in performance studies is challenged by the increasing visibility of children in contemporary practice over the past decade.