Networked Bodies: the culture and ecosystem of contemporary performance

Asia Discovers Asia Meeting for Contemporary Performance 2017-2021

Edited by River Lin

︎ English e-book 
︎ English paperback 
︎ 中文電子書
︎ 中文紙本書

by River Lin

This book is based on the exchanges, research and practices undertaken by artists from across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond who have worked with performance as a medium, form and method during the 2017-2021 editions of ADAM (Asia Discovers Asia Meeting for Contemporary Performance). It proposes or questions work-in-progress modes of knowledge production in the glocal context of contemporary performance. This publication documents the trajectory of ADAM, and further expands the discursive process for the problematique related to issues such as geopolitics, community and social engagement, cross-cultural studies, and interdisciplinary art. As the curator of ADAM, my work is to continuously explore and stir these speculations with artists, and stage how they choreograph, sculpt, concoct and circulate their thoughts and findings performatively. 

Through a point-line-plane approach, Networked Bodies: The Culture and Ecosystem of Contemporary Performance looks at the performance process in three aspects: the individual practices of artists, collaborations between artists, and the art ecosystem. This composition presents how contemporary art, society and culture have intertwined into an intricate network (alas, this publication explores only a part of it).

The first chapter, “The Artist’s Bodies and Research,” examines the creative research and development behind live works and actions of performance, dance, theatre, new media and visual artists. The specific histories, social progresses and contemporary cosmoses connected to the inner recesses of their bodies enlighten us on how the body can be used as a language and instrument of fieldwork, as well as how artistic research is replete with process-oriented performativity. “Working Collaboratively in Transcultural Practices,” meanwhile, is a collection of artists’ firsthand experiences of collaborations and back-and-forth dialogues. The various exchanges and reflections between them catalyze experimental discourses of cross-cultural practices beyond theoretical frameworks. The third chapter, “Mapping the Art Ecosystem”, depicts the intersections of the artist community, contemporary society and the institutional realm in the 21st century context. It charts where we are presently and stimulates our understanding of how different hues of cultural and art practitioners have together colored the ecosystem, including all the contributors to this book:  artists, curators, academics, art critics, producers, members of cultural institutions and the like.

There is, however, no single understanding or consensus of ‘Asia as method’ in these networked bodies. The way a piece is situated and associated with other pieces in the same or another chapter of this publication suggests how discourses could be questioned, rather than being installed. It invites readers and arts practitioners to reflexively rethink about ‘who’ is perceiving and rehearsing the notions of ‘Asia,’ ‘inter-Asianness’ and ‘contemporaneity’ – for ‘what,’ from ‘where’ and ‘how’ – as well as what cultural imaginations have arguably been articulated or withdrawn amidst it all. 

ADAM was initiated in a bid to build a cultural infrastructure that is open-minded and heterogeneous, as well as to seek a decentralized and non-binary discourse on contemporary performance culture through the research and practices of artists. As a publication that transforms on-site happenings, making-of processes and echoes into knowledge production, this book also responds to the social and arts ecosystem impacted by COVID-19. With the opening of Taipei Performing Arts Center in 2022, ADAM continues to investigate the networks and bodies of Asian and global contemporary art and performance through this book. 

by 林人中








Publisher: Taipei Performing Arts Center

Chairwoman: Ruo-Yu LIU
Executive Director: Austin WANG
Head, Programme & Production: Charlene LIN
Producer, Programme & Production: Mei-Yin CHEN

Editor-in-Chief: River LIN
Managing Editor: Claire SUN

Authors: I-Wen CHANG, Cheng-Ting CHEN, Betty Yi-Chun CHEN, Enoch CHENG, Xin CHENG, Cheng-Hua CHIANG, Chih-Yung Aaron CHIU, Ling-Chih CHOW, Freda FIALA, Nicole HAITZINGER, Xuemei HAN, Rosemary HINDE, Ding-Yun HUANG, Danielle KHLEANG, Tsung-Hsin LEE, Helly MINARTI, Nanako NAKAJIMA, Jessica OLIVIERI, Hsuan TANG, Cristina SANCHEZ-KOZYREVA, Anador WALSH, Po-Wei WANG

Translators: (Mandarin Chinese to English) Elliott Y.N. ChEUNG, Johnny KO, Elizabeth LEE, River LIN, Stephen MA, Cheryl ROBBINS; (English to Mandarin Chinese) Tai-Jung YU, Yen-Ing CHEN

English Editors: Johnny KO, Betty Yi-Chun CHEN, Wah Guan LIM

Proofreading: River LIN, Charlene LIN, Mei-Yin CHEN, Claire SUN, Johnny KO

Assistant Editors: Ping-Jung CHEN, Maya LEE

Circulation: Lawa LU
Interview Interpreter: Mu-Ju TSAN

Graphic Design: Ming-Wei LIU

Cover Image: Disappearing Island, Formosa Circus Art, 2019 Taipei Arts Festival. Image courtesy of Taipei Performing Arts Center. Photo by Hsuan-Lang LIN


作者:Freda Fiala、Nicole Haitzinger、Rosemary Hinde、Danielle Khleang、Helly Minarti、Nanako Nakajima、Jessica Olivieri、Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva、Anador Walsh、王柏偉、江政樺、李宗興、周伶芝、邱誌勇、唐瑄、陳成婷、陳佾均、張懿文、黃鼎云、程昕、鄭得恩、韓雪梅(依姓氏字母與筆劃順序排列)