Emergency INDEX is part of Ugly Duckling Presse’s Emergency series of performance-related publications, which also includes Emergency Playscripts, eclectic performance notations which highlight tensions between text and performance, as well as the forthcoming Emergency Analysis series, annual monographs on performance from theorists outside the field. Browse all titles in the Playscripts series here. Browse all the volumes of INDEX here.
“You might be staring at a blank page. You might be tasked with an empty space. Or maybe it’s a bustling street corner that confounds you — a gallery, a schoolyard, a Great Lake. If you have in your hands Ugly Duckling Presse’s Emergency INDEX, an annual anthology of performance documentation, you won’t be stumped for long. Editors Sophia Cleary and Yelena Gluzman have conceived this pleasingly chunky tome as a democratic “snapshot” of the wildly proliferating field of performance and its documentation. The three volumes published so far feature about 250 entries each. Open to any page and discover artists from around the world, creating performances of every caliber on every imaginable topic and in every conceivable space (like, yes, a lake). Each performance is represented by a photograph and a description by the artist/s of the project and its intentions. Thankfully, there is an index at the end of INDEX, allowing you to “sort” by subject (from abjection to Zucotti), contributor, or location (Argentina to Vietnam). The result is a rousing cacophony that feels like a global conversation minus the pretensions of conferences or festivals.” — SYLVAN OSWALD, from “An Index to Index” OSMOS Magazine
“This is a bible of performance art activity. And if you are, like I am, a believer in performance art and the value of this ephemeral art activity to change the hearts and minds and consciousness of people, then you need to have this bible in your life. The end.” — MARTHA WILSON
“We’ve been seeing performance art materialize around us, but without feeling that there was a context for such ideas. Artists have been doing such pieces for a long time without much recognition that in fact their ideas are related. Now, with Emergency INDEX, we get the sense of a magical secret shared among many artists. Emergency INDEX is a profoundly important publication. It guides us to a new place.” — ROBERT ASHLEY