Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
‘On Drifting’ looks to return to and rethink the aesthetic and political implications of la dérive for theatre and performance studies and beyond. Originally posited as a technique by the Situationist International (SI) for overcoming the alienation imposed by the ‘society of the spectacle’, drifting today has a very different significance and application(s). In this issue, drifting is no longer simply equated with contemporary walking practices, although these are in no way ignored, especially in terms of gender, sexuality, immigration and able-bodiedness. Rather, it has been expanded to exist as an aesthetico-political category in its own right -- something, then, that is found in theatre, writing, reading, drawing, cinema and indeed language itself. Equally, drifting is no longer simply associated with humans -- now, it is configured as something non-human, an activity that animals, rocks and the earth itself are all engaged with permanently. In this expansion of the field, the ultimate aim behind the issue is to stimulate a new dialogue between theatre and performance studies and the SI, to see what happens when the drift is contextualized within the ‘control societies’ of the Anthropocene.