On document becomings and the documentary theatre

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Abstract : The technological and cultural changes to the constitution and usage of documents often preempt, outperform even, the capacity of institutions to validate and integrate new document formations within their orders of signification. In such instances, the document can be said to operate outside the validating frame of the institution in territories of cultural practice where it functions as a hybrid, discursive object, capable of bringing established orders of knowledge to crisis. In this paper, I analyse three specific examples of document formations across different times, cultures and practices: the passage from oral to written law in classical Greece; the emergence of photography and the serial archive; digital document formations in the context of the 2011 documentary play The Riots.

Key Words : document, documentary theatre, contemporary British theatre, performance studies

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