Race and the Forms of Knowledge
Technique, Identity, and Place in Artistic Research
Imprint: Northwestern University Press
Enacts a radically interdisciplinary intersectionality to position performance-based research in solidarity with decoloniality
This boldly innovative work interrogates the form and meaning of artistic research (also called practice research, performance as research, and research-creation), examining its development within the context of predominately white institutions that have enabled and depoliticized it while highlighting its radical potential when reframed as a lineage of critical whiteness practice.
Ben Spatz crafts a fluid yet critical new framework, explored via a series of case studies that includes Spatz’s own practice-as-research, to productively confront hegemonic modes of white writing and white institutionality. Ultimately taking jewishness as a paradigmatically “molecular” identity—variously configured as racial, ethnic, religious, or national—they offer a series of concrete methodological and formal proposals for working at the intersections of embodied identities, artistic techniques, and alternative forms of knowledge.
Race and the Forms of Knowledge: Technique, Identity, and Place in Artistic Research takes inspiration from recent critical studies of blackness and indigeneity to show how artistic research is always involved in the production and transformation of identity. Spatz offers a toolkit of practical methods and concepts—from molecular identities to audiovisual ethnotechnics and earthing the laboratory—for reimagining the university and other contemporary institutions.
Introduction: Materialities in Artistic Research
Chapter 1: Molecular Identities
Chapter 2: Whiteness and the Racialization of Knowledge
Chapter 3: Audiovisual Ethnotechnics
“A must-read text for anyone in performance studies, dance, or whiteness studies, this book explores alternative spaces to the written word as the ultimate register of culture, wondering at audiovisual creation as a potential mode of thinking together toward the worlds we want to inhabit.” —Thomas F. DeFrantz, Northwestern University, director of SLIPPAGE: Performance, Culture, Technology
“The implications of this book go far beyond artistic research practice. Ben Spatz’s innovative interrogations and deconstructions of identity are important for everyone engaged in radical artistic practices that challenge the hegemonic and neoliberal discourses around race and identity that persist in and out of the university.” —Jennie Klein, Ohio University