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Framing the Drift and Drifting the Frame: Walking with Wrights & Sites

  • Kris Darby

The proliferation of pedestrian performances since the beginning of the twenty-first century has led to an active rethinking of the defining parameters of site-based practice. Does the action of walking deterritorialize or strengthen the boundaries of site, or is the terming of ‘site’ itself redundant for these types of performance? In this article Kris Darby examines one of the most influential types of walking practice on this mode of performance, that of the dérive (‘drift’), and its subsequent adoption and renovation by arts collective Wrights & Sites. Beginning with a contextualization of ‘drifting’ within the Situationist International, this study then focuses on key terms derived from the collective's use of this type of walking in their performance work. The three types of drifting defined by Wrights & Sites – reconnaissance, group, and simultaneous – are then analyzed, illustrating how, through ‘framing’, the defining parameters of site begin to shift further. The article concludes by suggesting that Wrights & Sites’ drifting can be termed situation-specific rather than site-specific, due to its movement across multiple places. Kris Darby is a PhD student in the Drama Department of the University of Exeter, whose research concerns an expansion of the defining properties of pedestrian performance.

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New Theatre Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0266-464X
  • EISSN: 1474-0613
  • URL: /core/journals/new-theatre-quarterly
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