Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


‘[P]lay is the laboratory of the possible. To play fully and imaginatively is to step sideways into another reality, between the cracks of ordinary life. Although that ordinary world, so full of cumbersome routines and responsibilities, is still visible to us, its images, strangely, are robbed of their powers.’ (Henricks 2006: 1) Play evades and escapes our attempts to define and delimit. It has variously been positioned as benign, crucial, intractable, frivolous, developmental, wasteful and subversive. While it may occur ‘between the cracks of ordinary life’ (Henricks 2006: 1) and be denoted by a ‘feeling of Otherwise’ (Shields 2015: 300), it is the very everydayness of playful engagement that captures our attention in this issue of Axon. As the papers and works brought together here attest, it is hard to imagine creativity without play. Play infiltrates and enlivens creative practice research. It allows us to think and to be otherwise in the academy. Play, at its heart, escapes orthodoxy. It enables the generation of alternate ways of being and doing in and of the world. As Haraway notes, ‘[p]lay makes an opening. Play proposes’ (2008: 240). While games may require rules and, indeed, we identify something is ‘in play’ when the rules of the game appear to be agreed to, playful experiences exceed conventional systems of functional interaction and knowledge creation. As Henricks writes, ‘playful behavior is… a protest against orders and orderliness’ (2006: 209). Haraway echoes this when she observes that the joy of play rests in its ability to ‘breaks rules to make something else happen’ (2008: 238).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


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