Performance Philosophy: audience participation and responsibility


  • Alice Breemen



spectators, Rancière, emancipation, democracy


This article critically assesses the position of the spectator in philosophy and (participatory) performances. By means of an in-depth reading of Rancière’s notion of the emancipated spectator, Kester’s theory of dialogical aesthetics and a case study of the performance Order of the Day, an account of the changing position of the audience in contemporary society and in artistic events is established.  Research into the responsibility of the spectator in both philosophy and performance can broaden our understanding of the production and perception of knowledge in an age of media omnipresence. The field of Performance Philosophy provides potential for analyzing where performance and philosophy overlap and how this contributes to asking critical questions and generating new perspectives on how we occupy certain positions in society.

Author Biography

Alice Breemen

Alice Breemen (The Netherlands) graduated in Theatre Studies, Media and Performance Studies (Utrecht University, 2009 & 2011) and Philosophy (Tilburg University, 2013). She has presented her research nationally and internationally (e.g. at the Theater, Performance, Philosophy Conference, University Paris-Sorbonne 2014 and at The Politics of Performance and Play - Feminist Matters Conference, Leiden University 2016). Her research interests are performance philosophy, theatre and democracy and the social function of art. Currently she is employed at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht Theatre Library, and working as an independent researcher.


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Kester, Grant. 2011. The One and the Many. Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

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How to Cite

Breemen, Alice. 2017. “Performance Philosophy: Audience Participation and Responsibility”. Performance Philosophy 2 (2):299-309.