Books

Gesture

Gesture—the Tome series from HemiPress—publishes short, evocative digital works that combine multimedia and writing to make an original critical intervention in the fields of performance and politics. Gesture performs across various expressive arenas, from Medieval Latin gestūra, gesture is a mode of action. It refers to a movement by the body intended to express a thought or feeling, an emotion, an idea, an opinion, a political posture. The embodied, communicative, affective, and political dimensions of the word open up an expressive field of possibility, which ranges from the impulse to communicate to the accomplished act. Gestures can be both fleeting expressions and iterable, quotable enactments that cite previous acts and positions. The digital gesture signals a command. Gestures often accompany speech, but they are not reducible to verbal language. Gestures capture the many forms of expression that make up a communicative act. Gesture invites scholars, activists, and artists to submit work that enacts a position, a movement, or a critical reflection.

Out of the Archive and Into the Streets: El Cusco de Martín Chambi
Silvia Spitta

This book is the result of a long collaboration with one of the Andean world’s most cherished photography archives. The digitization and preservation efforts of the works of Martín Chambi, the renowned indigenous photographer, culminated in the first city-wide exhibit of the photographs he had taken in his adopted city before the devastating earthquake of 1950. Creatively engaging the history of Andean photography, archival theory, and performance studies, this latest volume (2020) combines theory and practice to bring one of the Americas’ most important photographic archives to life.

Deborah Castillo: Radical Disobedience
Alejandro Castro and Irina Troconis, Eds.

This edited volume (2019) compiles for the first time six critical perspectives on the work of Venezuelan performance artist Deborah Castillo. Drawing from the fields of history, philosophy, cultural studies, political theory, and performance theory, the contributors explore the different forms of radical disobedience that materialize as Castillo engages with questions of power, authority, the body, and the State, against the background of Venezuela’s current crisis and the failures of the Bolivarian Revolution.

Return Atacama
Roewan Crowe and Helene Vosters, Eds.

Drawing from interdisciplinary practices that include sculpture, performance, theatre, ritual, installation, sound, and video, CONSTELACIONES—Roewan Crowe, Doris Difarnecio, Christina Hajjar, Monica Martínez, and Helene Vosters—come together in this book (2019) through possibility, friendship, focused collective labour, and a commitment to artistic process.

Elia Arce
Anabelle Contreras Castro

This publication features original scholarly essays, performance texts, and photo and video documentation to chronicle the career and performance practice of Costa Rican artist Elia Arce. Focusing on performances made in the United States during her “voluntary exile,” Elia Arce (2018) examines the artist’s use of her own body to explore themes of race, national identity, displacement, and belonging.

Transborder Immigrant Tool
Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0 / b.a.n.g. Lab

The [({ })] Transborder Immigrant Tool (2017) foregrounds the mediatic, aural, and poetic dimensions of Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab’s Transborder Immigrant Tool project. Incorporating photography, video, audio, poetry, and prose, this Gesture works across four languages of the Americas—English, Spanish, Nahuatl, and Ayuujk/Mixe—to produce a uniquely rich digital experience of this important work at a critical moment of political transformation.

Villa Grimaldi
Diana Taylor

Villa Grimaldi (2015) traces three visits to the infamous Chilean torture site. A tour with a survivor, an audio tour, and a guided visit invite us to reflect on the ways in which witnessing takes place. What does being in place communicate about past practice?

Six Gestures
peter kulchyski

six gestures (2014) enacts the saying: don’t listen to what people say, watch what they do. The Inuit communities of the Pangnirtung fjord in the Arctic Circle communicate through a series of gestures. Here are six. ISBN: 978-1-7348245-3-7

Duke University Press/HemiPress

To extend the reach of scholarly conversations beyond the limiting factors of language and distribution in the Americas, HemiPress and Duke University Press jointly publish digital books of mutual interest for their diverse readerships. Available on both websites, these publications go through the Duke UP editorial process.

Resistant Strategies
Marcos Steuernagel and Diana Taylor, Eds.

Resistant Strategies (forthcoming) focuses on historical and contemporary Mayan strategies of resistance and their impact on the work of artists and activists in Mexico and beyond. The contributions to this edited volume build upon various resistant acts that have deep historical and artistic roots in southern Mexico, and traces how these acts and traditions expand outwards, operating across the Mayan diaspora.

Dancing with the Zapatistas
Diana Taylor and Lorie Novak, Eds.

Dancing with the Zapatistas (2016) brings together scholars, artists, journalists, and activists to respond to the continuing work of the Zapatistas, twenty years after their insurrection in 1994. Published by Duke University Press and available through Scalar, this multimedia digital book includes both written and photo essays, interviews, and spoken word and theatrical performances that offer insight into the programs, strategies, artistic practices, and celebrations of the Zapatistas.

What is Performance Studies?
Diana Taylor and Marcos Steuernagel, Eds.

This multimedia digital book—published by Duke University Press (2015) and available through Scalar—asks 30 leading scholars from seven different countries throughout the Americas the same question: What is performance studies? Their answers are available here, recorded in video accompanied by short essays. The contents are transcribed, translated, and subtitled in three languages—offering a truly diverse perspective on performance studies that engages it from a variety of national, linguistic, and disciplinary locations.