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Edward Gordon Craig’s Continuity of Life, Mind, and Spirit: a Cognitive View

  • Maiya Murphy


In this article Maiya Murphy uses the enactive paradigm of cognition to take a fresh look at Edward Gordon Craig’s experiments in the theatre. By focusing on his obsession with movement, Maiya Murphy argues that an autopoietic conception of life can recategorize his problems with, ideas about, and experiments in the theatre as a coherent but multifaceted effort to create a very particular kind of cognitive engagement. She explores how enaction’s concept of the continuity of life and mind can map out a meaningful logic embedded in Craig’s intuitions about the connections between cognition, aesthetic experience, epistemology, and ontology. She also considers how the many media in which he worked and his interest in Asian arts – along with his major concepts such as the übermarionette and the kinetic stage – can be seen as attempts to think through theatre as an embodied and emergent event that is at once concrete, aesthetic, cognitive, and metaphysical. Finally, she traces the philosophical heritages that gave Craig his frameworks for understanding movement, arguing that his limitations and frustrations were fundamentally philosophical. Maiya Murphy is an Assistant Professor in the Theatre Programme at the National University of Singapore and makes theatre with her movementbased collective, Autopoetics. She is author of Enacting Lecoq: Movement in Theatre, Cognition, and Life (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), and of essays in Theatre Survey and The Routledge Companion to Jacques Lecoq, among others.



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Edward Gordon Craig’s Continuity of Life, Mind, and Spirit: a Cognitive View

  • Maiya Murphy


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