Grey Room: Gestural Study


Grey Room no. 74 (Winter 2019) is out, and it contains my article “Gestural Study,” which discusses both the crisis of gesturality under industrial capitalism and the renewed importance of gestures in today’s culture of networked performance; it does so through a number of artistic practices and artworks. It was a pleasure to work with Grey Room again, where I always feel in good company (even if it happens to be an exclusively male company in this issue). Naturally I spotted a blooper when it was too late and the issue had gone to print, though I still got to correct this glitch (you can find out what it is yourself; it’s on the first page) for the version of the text that will be in the Bloomsbury Companion to Performance Art. 

Both the recent two-part e-flux journal essay on nuclear aesthetics and this article are the culmination of long research trajectories; my punishing Protestant superego tells me that these pieces are among my better efforts, and that I may feel slightly satisfied for a change.  The nuclear aesthetics essay will be the basis for a chapter in Objections, my next book, while “Gestural Study” will become part of its companion volume, Personafications. Together, they form the two-parter Forms of Abstractions. I hope I’ll get around to working on Personafications later this year, though no doubt the editorial process of Objections will eat up a lot of my time.

Image: Rudolf von Laban pupils, early twentieth century