(an)aesthetic experience and performative space



The rise of information and communication technology goes hand in hand with what might be considered a democratic revolution of the teaching profession. The teacher and the school are no longer defining what can be considered valuable knowledge. Basic didactic issues in teaching (what, how, and why) change fundamentally as students express that they 'just do' and 'find' through social media, online resources and software for creation, reflection and presentation. Learning theories and proven teaching models suddenly become superfluous, so concepts such as truth and values must be considered in a new light.

Drama in education involves processing issues through evocative and emotionally engaging design. This fundamental purpose is often formulated as an intention to stimulate critical thinking. However, despite this explicitly democratic intent, drama activities are always site-specific insofar as issues of portrayal, reflection and discussion are staged within the framework of a pedagogical idea. A thought is never free, leaving us with the question of to what extent thinking through drama can be called ‘emancipated’. Additionally, drama is still ruled by contextual and physical laws so much so that bodies and voices are limited, gender specific and spatially located. Therefore, emotions are at play and pedagogical setting are carefully prepared and managed by the teacher.

The aim of this article is to make a Deleuzian investigation of into the possibilities and challenges of how best to extend aesthetic bodily communicative and performative spaces in relation to digital technology in drama education. Hence, we are trying to navigate the rhizomatic experience of believing that we know in which direction we need to go, given that whilst we educate drama students they are also educating us.

Groups of children and youngsters seem to be rhizomatic ‘by nature’, subversively searching for adventures on their own, finding leaks, exploring ‘forbidden’ areas, conquering cyber space, creating their own drama, while at the same time playing the game of the machine. Virtual life can in these circumstances be both phantasmagoric and uncontrollable.

Author Biographies

Ulrika von Schantz, Dr, Stockholm University

Ulrika von Schantz’s PhD is entitled Myth, Power, and their Confluence: A Gender Root System Viewed from the Perspective of Actor Education(2007). She works as assistant professor at Stockholm University. Her research interests are in drama education and performance studies, with focus on democracy, space, body and gender. 

Ketil Thorgersen, Dr, Stockholm University

Ketil Thorgersen’ s PhD is entitled "Music from the Backyard" - Hagström's Music Education (2009). He works as assistant professor at Stockholm University. His research interests are in music educational history, philosophy of education in the arts, informal musical learning and technology in the arts. He is also the chief editor of the European Journal of Philosophy in Arts Education (EJPAE).