Live Art is now widely recognised as a vibrant and challenging area of practice in the UK and internationally. An area of practice that genuinely reflects the shifts that have taken place across and between visual art, performance art, theatre, dance, new writing, digital media and the moving image, and one that understands the evolution and sophistication of artists' and audiences' experiences and expectations.
Over the last few decades the impact of artists working within the Live Art arena has extended throughout and beyond the rarefied confines of the art world, shaping critical frameworks, cultural infrastructures and the politics of artistic production and consumption. They have brought concepts of interdisciplinary and collaboration to the foreground, they have changed the reference points of contemporary art and in their response to the hybridity and complexity of the forces at play in the modern world they have actively contributed to the defining of broader cultural and social debates.
Live Art has proved that, as an area of practice, it can not only challenge the nature and experience of contemporary art but can also challenge received ways of reading the world.
Live Art can occupy a huge range of sites and circumstances - from the institutional to artist led interventions, from galleries to theatres, from artists working outside of the constraints of official culture to those exploring the points where live and mediated cultures converge - all of which not only expand the formal and cultural frameworks art is understood to occupy, but also pose exciting challenges as to how such practices are framed and promoted.
With no fixed paths or signposts to follow, the exploratory processes of Live Art demand different approaches to ideas of art and artists’ development. Conventional ideas of training, research and career development are often unable to effectively address how artists are supported in their artistic and professional development where process is not only critical but also inherent.
The spectrum of Live Art processes and practices demand different approaches and new models: specialised approaches to artistic and professional development strategies; informed curatorial and critical frameworks; and support structures that are able to respond to the different needs of different artists at different stages of their practice.
The Live Art Development Agency was established to meet this demand.
The Agency responds, both strategically and practically, to new artists, approaches and ideas by working with practitioners, organisations and institutions on curatorial initiatives; by developing strategies for increasing popular and critical engagement; by providing information and advice; and by offering extensive opportunities for dialogue, debate, research and training.