Biological Plasticity and Performative Possibility in the Work of Catherine Malabou and Curious
Reading Catherine Malabou’s philosophy of synaptic plasticity with the performance company Curious’ exploration of gut feelings, Katie Schaag theorizes the promise and possibility of biological plasticity as performative and in live performance. She first argues that biological plasticity is structured through a dynamic oscillation between script (DNA) and performance (synaptic firing). Testing her theory of performative plasticity and complicating the relationship between performance art and performance in everyday life, she next suggests that Leslie Hill and Helen Paris’ Autobiology methodology makes possible a new form of durational performance: biological event as live art. Finally, through a reading of Malabou and Curious’ analysis of the lacuna between biology and biography, she proposes that we turn our attention to the performative plasticity of the second brain.