Theatre and Consciousness: The Nature of Bio-Evolutionary Complexity in the Arts (Artists and Issues in the Theatre Series)

Theatre and Consciousness: The Nature of Bio-Evolutionary Complexity in the Arts (Artists and Issues in the Theatre Series)

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Peter Lang Publishing Inc.

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Theatre and Consciousness: The Nature of Bio-Evolutionary Complexity in the Arts (Artists and Issues in the Theatre Series)

Human beings have speech, we have consciousness, but 130,000 years ago we had nothing: why? Theatre and Consciousness argues that the functioning of human consciousness in interpreting and staging a theatrical performance is among the most highly selective and adaptive operations known to science. The emergence of the human mind out of discontinuous, pulsing, neuronal brain patterns is a study in complexity theory, possibly as complicated as the organization of the universe. According to this book, the theatre as a substrate of consciousness is one element that defines modern man as a reflective species, having evolved over 190,000,000 years. The emergence of Homo Sapiens is unique and fundamentally unpredictable; our developed speech is closer to birdsong than to any other species’ communication on earth, we have survived five galactic «beam-splitters» from space, and our evolutionary, discontinuous cortex has found a pattern to existence that may include up to twenty-six folded dimensions of «string-theory» space. This book asserts that the story of theatre is the story of the evolution of our second generation star.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780820457734
Publisher: Peter Lang Publishing Inc.
Publication date: 01/28/2003
Series: Artists and Issues in the Theatre Series , #14
Pages: 177
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.02(d)

About the Author

The Author: Gordon Scott Armstrong is former Secretary of the American Society for Theatre Research and Review Editor of Theatre Research International. He has taught at the University of California, Los Angeles, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and the University of Rhode Island, and has designed and directed theatre productions in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. In addition to numerous articles in professional journals, his full length works include the revised Golden Ages of the Theatre and Samuel Beckett, W.B. Yeats and Jack Yeats: Images and Words. He currently lives in Newport, Rhode Island, and Marin County, California.

Table of Contents

Part 1Evolution of Theatrical Consciousness
Chapter 1The Discontinuous Process3
Language and Birdsong4
Practical Limits12
Audience Transformations16
History Markers18
Chapter 2Complex Solutions21
Pioneers of Complexity and Mind21
Theatre as an Adaptive System23
Discontinuous Choice with a Stacked Deck29
Neural Cortex in Contemporary Theatre30
Paradigm Shifts32
Chapter 3Interstices35
Talk about Interstices!35
MacLean Unleashed37
Neural Typologies37
Discontinuous Processes in the Visual Arts38
Chapter 4Chaotics41
Chaos and Complexity41
Limits of Dissipative Chaotic Structures43
The Smell Brain47
Complexity Abyss49
Chapter 5Consciousness and Craft55
Artaud and Creation56
Interstices in the Chasm: The Medical Evidence59
Boundaries of the Triune Brain60
Part 2Ancient Wonders
Chapter 6Complexity and Discontinuity of Species65
A Thalamic-ridden Species65
Language and Evolution68
Cambrian Attributes of Consciousness70
Secondary Associations in Theatre74
Parameters, Typologies, and Perturbations76
Chapter 7Nature's Return79
Theatre and Nature79
A Theatrical Species80
Computational Strategies for Theatrical Consciousness84
Quadrune Theatrical Brain of Homo Sapiens88
Limbic Games89
Indexical Dynamics92
Chapter 8The Discontinuous Cortex97
Evolution into Complexity97
Actions, Displacements, and Transformation: the Movement Factor99
The Unintentional Artist101
"Dances of Darkness" from Ono Kasua and Hijikata Tatsumi106
Theatrical Thresholds of Neural Darwinism108
Cenozoic Sonatas109
On the Brink of Instability111
Looms' Limits113
Part 3The Theatrical Genome
Chapter 9Ancient and Modern Theatre Consciousness117
Samuel Beckett's Neural Cosmos117
Dance Theatre Forms from the Indus Valley130
The Chinese Pear Garden133
Chapter 10Twenty-six Strings of Consciousness139
Beckett's Genomics139
Pandora's Proteomics141
In the Presence of Negative Space144

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