Published by the Arts Research Center at University of California, Berkeley, and The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Philadelphia

Coeditors: Shannon Jackson and Paula Marincola
Managing editor: Peter Nesbett
Consulting editor: Nell McClister
Copyeditor: Karen Jacobson
Visual resource coordinator: Emily Elliott
Image and research assistants: Megan Hoetger, Max Margulies
Website design: LeClair Lucas
Principal photographers: Paula Court, Ian Douglas

Cover image: Jérôme Bel, Le dernier spectacle (The last performance), 1998. Photo: Herman Sorgeloos.


Copyright © 2016 ARC and PCAH

All texts © the author. All artworks © the artist. All images © the photographer. Downloading and/or reproducing the images in this publication is prohibited by copyright laws without the express written permission of the artist and/or the photographer.


Shannon Jackson

It has been an absolute privilege to work with Paula Marincola and the staff of The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage on this lexicology of keywords in contemporary art and performance. I have learned enormously from Paula’s leadership of one of the most important arts granting organizations in the United States, and I am inspired by the rigor and passion with which she guides a new generation of artists, curators, and critics. For my part, this project is also indebted to my students, colleagues, and staff at UC-Berkeley, where I have had the chance to explore a variety of artistic literacies and to experiment in all kinds of cross-arts dialogue and “keyword” reflection—as a teacher, as a scholar, and as director of the Arts Research Center. From the perspective of ARC, In Terms of Performance is part of collaborative research platform that we call “Time Zones,” exploring the histories and practices of durational art across the disciplines of the visual arts, dance, theater, music, and cinema. Time Zones has engaged artists, curators, and critics from around the world, spawning a number of ARC symposia (Curating People, Making Time, Spiraling Time, Living Time, Temporal Shifts) and a special issue of the journal Representations. With IToP and our collaboration with PCAH, ARC is expanding this conversation further, creating an online portal that we hope will grow and change as intellectual and artistic experiment continues. In addition to our contributors and my students—notably Megan Hoetger, who served as my primary assistant through this project—I want to extend heartfelt thanks to Lauren Pearson, Michele Rabkin, Shane Boyle, Kate Mattingly, and the many other colleagues and collaborators who make Berkeley such a bracing intellectual and artistic environment.

Paula Marincola

Shannon Jackson is a brilliant thinker and a driving force in the fields of art, social practice, and performance and media studies. She is, moreover, an artist’s scholar, approaching her research and work at the Arts Research Center with a palpable love and appreciation of practice itself. It has been my true privilege—and great pleasure—to work with her as coeditor of In Terms of Performance; the project is immeasurably better for her insight, expertise, patience, and inspired contributions. I am so gratified that we have had this opportunity to collaborate.

At The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Peter Nesbett and, later, Nell McClister shepherded the project to completion with skill and determination. Formative ideas for IToP were vetted with and benefited from conversations with my colleague Bill Bissell, the Center’s director of performance. Our image and research assistants, Max Margulies and Emily Elliott, worked diligently and with dedication on a complex, multipartite task. Karen Jacobson was our perceptive copyeditor, and Andrew LeClair of LeClair Lucas once again proved his acute intelligence and creativity in designing a website that is an interactive hybrid. Gianna Delluomo, my former executive assistant, smoothed my path and juggled tasks so that I could attend to this project with the focus it deserved. I am indebted to all of these capable colleagues and offer them my profound thanks.

Most especially, my deepest gratitude to each of the artists, critics, and curators who responded so thoughtfully to our brief, to the artists and photographers who generously shared their images, and to IToP’s six interviewees for their time and invaluable insights. All of these contributors are responsible for the richness and depth of this publication.

In addition to our grantmaking, the Center functions as a hub for discourse critical to cultural practice. In accordance with that work, we commission scholarship that responds to timely issues in the field, and make those efforts available through our website as well as both print and online publications. This innovative venture with Shannon and ARC has expanded the potential and impact of our knowledge-sharing endeavors in new directions. As always, my gratitude to our funder, The Pew Charitable Trusts, who make all the Center’s work possible, is boundless.

IN TERMS OF PERFORMANCE is a keywords anthology designed to provoke discovery across artistic disciplines.

Get introduced, read a conversation between editors Shannon Jackson and Paula Marincola, then jump in: browse by keyword or contributor, or read a feature interview. Check back often for new content.

Produced by

The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Philadelphia
Arts Research Center, University of California, Berkeley