Field works: Wild experiments for performance research

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This article reflects on a series of wild experiments in literal field sites. It develops a practice-based methodology that aims to identify, perform and assert wild presences and unruly processes, playfully and creatively engaging with vibrant and dynamic ecologies. To explore these concerns ‘in the field’, a series of research trips were undertaken in the United Kingdom between 2017 and 2020, including repeated visits to Knepp Wildland Project in West Sussex and Bamff Estate in Perthshire. These locations were chosen due to their engagement with rewilding as an experimental mode of ecosystem management. Rewilding is explored here as a process-driven approach to conservation that offers a potential model for transdisciplinary artistic research. Adopting and adapting its methods through a combination of place writing, collaborative performance making and site-specific art, a creative practice is developed that prompts collaborative ways of working in response to the ecologies, conceptualisations and performances of these field sites. Aiming to bring something back from the field into the academy, the article argues for a (re)wilding of disciplinary knowledge exchange. It concludes with a model for a wild epistemology, proposing that research in specific field sites can be informed by an artistic practice that is entangled, unsettling and continually practiced.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStudies in Theatre and Performance
Early online date7 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Mar 2021


  • Bamff
  • Knepp
  • performance research
  • rewilding
  • transdisciplinarity
  • wild experiments

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