Posted by: Johan Normark | October 7, 2012

Object-oriented Maya theatre

Earlier this week I was contacted by the Zagreb-based experimental theatre group BADco (Morton also seems to have been contacted at around the same time). They have been invited to run a program in an artist run studio and theatre space in Gothenburg called SKOGEN (in April 2013). They have invited me to give a public talk or have a public discussion with them regarding OOO , environment and archaeological objects. I suggested to them that I talk to them about a rejuvenated version of the now old model of “theatre state” for the Late Formative and Classic period Maya, i.e. the idea that ancient monuments and regalia where like stages and costume for a heavily ritualized activities that reenacted creation myths, political events, etc. The theatre state model was originally developed for Bali by Clifford Geertz. From my AOO (archaeological object-oriented) perspective, monuments, caves and regalia are constituting objects in even greater objects, i.e. the rituals (an idea originally proposed by Marcus Nilsson). The Maya court and its rituals were spectacles with sound and color, as seen in their iconography, the ancient medium of non-verbal communication. Hence, the Maya court was just another ecology where territories were marked and striated to use a Deleuzean twist.

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