Performance Research Issue 22.1 ‘On Libraries’ Out Now!

Issue Editors: Deidre Heddon and Misha Myers

What is happening to art school and arts education? The twentieth century saw a series of radical shifts in approaches to arts education and research that responded to a growing sense of crisis both in the purpose of art and design, performing arts education and, more broadly, the role of the arts in society. In the twenty-first century what has changed in approaches to radical, innovative arts education and research and what might such education and research look like for the future? Focusing on experimental forerunners as well as recent radical approaches to arts education today, the issue opens perspectives on future possibilities and directions for arts education.The issue includes contributions from Europe, the Americas and Asia on radical histories, politics and theories, new schools and initiatives, pedagogies and poetics of arts education.In an economic and cultural context in which public libraries are under threat widely, On Libraries offers tangible evidence of the diverse interrelations between and interventions of artists and libraries which reveal the library as dynamic, shifting and contested spaces of creativity, subversion, refuge, labour, testimony, imagination, choreography, repetition, invitation, inhabitation, solitude and conviviality. Including contributions from Europe, America, Australia and Iran, the issue foregrounds the practices of ‘library performances’, including work which displays and disrupts in equal measure library forms, rituals and technologies; work which acknowledges and takes sustenance from the library as icon of safe space for reflection and intellectual pursuit; work which responds to the materiality of libraries, most particularly books and their para-texts, including marginalia, secret deposits and traces of singular readerly engagement. Performances in libraries offer one lens through which to approach the question of ‘What are libraries for in the 21st century?’; and, further, ‘What might libraries become?

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