DIY 13: 2016 - Katie Etheridge & Simon Persighetti ‘342843 DavidBowie’


Bowie, Stargazing and Performance Writing: As “chameleon, comedian, Corinthian and caricature”, this intensive DIY offers you the opportunity to connect, collaborate, create, and perhaps even discover a new constellation!

Project summary

“Bowie showed how a long, fruitful creative career can be nourished and sustained. His passing also dramatises the abysmal mediocrity and banality of too much of today’s popular culture. Aspiring young artists should model themselves on the protean Bowie, who ransacked art history for ideas and who never lost his cultural hunger.”                                           
- Camille Paglia, January 2016

Can we view ourselves as Space Oddities who will never lose a cultural hunger? To what extent has the life and work of Bowie become our ground control? What will be the findings of a constellation of 10 artists?

Depending on which end of the telescope you look down, this DIY explores Bowie’s legacy through the lens of stargazing and performance writing OR studies performance writing through the lens of Bowie and stargazing.

Adopting creative methodologies employed by Bowie to generate written material, we will develop work through 5 Modes of Performance Writing. 342843 DavidBowie* will include a night-time field trip to explore the stars and invent asterisms, a Bowie immersion disco, and solo and collaborative experiments in writing and wroughting performance material.

This DIY is about looking into the sky, searching for familiar shapes in the darkness, joining the dots, and exploring the nature of meaning in the poetry of the final frontier.

*A mile-wide asteroid discovered in 2008 officially bears the name 342843 DavidBowie.


We invite applications from artists at all stages of their careers, and from all disciplines. Areas of practice might include: live art, writing, visual performance, music, relational practice, sound art, producing etc.

You do not have to be a Bowie fan/atic. You do have to have a cultural hunger and be open to collaboration and chance. Participants will need to be able to commit to the full intensive 3-day workshop.

The application requires answers to the following questions:

  • Please briefly introduce yourself and your work
  • How does this DIY, 342843 DavidBowie, relate to your current practice and concerns?
  • As an artist, who or what is your Ground Control?
  • When did you last look at the stars?
  • If selected, can you commit to attending the full 3-day workshop (including evenings)?

Dates, times and location

Dates: 22 - 24 September 2016 (3 long days)
Location: Colchester Arts Centre and environs
This DIY is supported by Colchester Arts Centre

The artists

Our collaborative practice currently focuses on exploring the complex constellations of relationships at the heart of different kinds of communities. For example in ‘University of DIY’ we are turning this lens to learning communities, with ‘Personal Shopper’ (Compass Live Art) we are exploring the world of one of Europe’s biggest indoor markets, and in Katie Etheridge’s ‘Faceback’, the whole idea of community is played out through a game that creates a temporary live face-to-face network of relationships. 342843 DavidBowie is a response to shifting constellations on both personal and cultural fronts.

Simon Persighetti is a core member of Wrights & Sites, a group of performance-trained artists producing international site-specific performances, walking projects, publications, and other art works since their formation in 1997. Katie Etheridge is an artist and performance maker whose work since 2001 investigates the interrelationships between people and places, and artists and audiences. They are both experienced educators, and have individually and collaboratively created and produced festivals, workshops, and arts events across the UK and beyond.

Part of DIY 13: 2016 Project List


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