with Adrian Heathfield, Sara Jane Bailes, Tony White and Lara Pawson
Friday 21 September 2007
1001 nights cast is a durational performance by Australian artist, Barbara Campbell. Each night at sunset, Barbara performs a short text-based work as a live webcast. The performance texts are written for her each day in response to a prompt she draws from the morning’s newspaper reports on the Middle East. The project will run for 1001 nights, ending on March 17 2008.
On 21 September 2007, Barbara Campbell and the Live Art Development Agency, co-hosted a gathering for the Europe-based 1001 nights cast writers at the Agency’s office in East London. As Barbara explains:
I webcast the first night of 1001 nights cast on the summer solstice, 2005, from Paris. Since then, I have transported it between hemispheres and across time zones, along the way, collecting stories by writers from various parts of the world and diverse disciplines – artists, performance-makers, poets, playwrights, novelists, essayists, journalists, bloggers, screenwriters and academics. In July 2007 I brought the project to London for the second and final time, beginning with a writing workshop co-sponsored by the Live Art Development Agency for their DIY 4 programme. Two months later, when I was due to leave London and take the project back to Australia for its home run, I invited all the Europe-based writers to attend a gathering. It seemed a good moment to meet some of the 'strangers' who had given me their stories to perform and to hear their reflections on and approaches to the experience of writing for the project.
The evening began with the live webcast of night 823 at 7.02pm local time. That night’s story was written by Tim Etchells (Artistic Director of Forced Entertainment and writer for nights 449, 528, 628, 693, 753), who said in his online notebook, it was 'written on the move between Brussels and Graz, with a connection through Stuttgart. Pleased with the results, but not with the travel-sickness/nausea produced by trying to write in the van that picked us up from the airport.'
After the webcast, I welcomed the attendees and said a few words about the frame story for the project. Then we heard from four project contributors:
Adrian Heathfield: Writer, curator and creator of performance; Professor of Performance and Visual Culture, Roehampton University; editor of Live: Art and Performance (Tate Publishing, 2004) and Small Acts: Performance, The Millennium and the Marking of Time (Black Dog Publications, 2000).
Sara Jane Bailes: Writer, theatre-maker, curator; Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance, University of Sussex; member of The Special Guests theatre group and author of Performance Theatre and the Poetics of Failure (forthcoming, Routledge, 2007).
Tony White: Author of novels including Foxy-T (Faber & Faber, 2003), the non-fiction Another Fool in the Balkans (Cadogan, 2006); co-editor of the short story collection Croatian Nights (Serpent's Tail, 2005); literary editor the Idler magazine; editor and publisher Piece of Paper Press.
Lara Pawson: Journalist, formerly reporting the wars in Angola and Ivory Coast for the BBC and Reuters; about to take up a writing fellowship at Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg.
The evening concluded with general discussion between the gathered writers. In attendance were:
Sara Jane Bailes, nights 692, 795
Nicholas Blincoe, nights 774, 822
Clara Brennan, nights 439, 504, 612, 678
Daniel Brine, Live Art Development Agency
Adrienne Gaha, artist, a London webcast host
Sheila Ghelani, nights 637, 821
Daniel Gosling, night 827
Adrian Heathfield, nights 688, 806
Helen Idle, nights 5, 23, 37, 86, 136, 365, 420, 482, 675, (DIY 4 workshop nights: 760, 761, 762), 787 and a London webcast host.
Narelle Jubelin, artist, audience stalwart, Madrid webcast host.
Joe Kelleher, night 816
Almir Koldzic, night 805
Branislava Kuburovic, nights 728, 788
Alisa Lebow, night 724
Clodagh Miskelly, friend/host of Folake Shoga
Cathy Naden, nights 575, 686, 765, 824
Mary Paterson, nights 583, 689, (DIY 4 workshop nights 760, 762), 777, 826
Lara Pawson, nights 729, 784
Simon Porter, (DIY 4 workshop nights 760, 761, 762)
Derville Quigley, nights 639, 707, (DIY 4 workshop nights 760, 761, 762), 781
Joseph Rabie, nights 22, 33, 54, 82, 133, 182, 238, 284, 362, 445, 526, 641, 703, 766, 828
Julian Richards, night 779
Edwin Rostron, nights 601, 676, 754, 818
Theron Schmidt, (DIY 4 workshop nights 760, 761, 762), 800
Folake Shoga, nights 549, 611, 674, 739, 797
Ingrid Wassenaar, nights 3, 15, 93, 128, 178, 241, 290, (Easter workshop ’06 nights 299, 301), 332, 700, 820
Tony White, nights 701, 758, 815
Hannah Williams, French/English translator for Lina Saneh, night 718
Thanks to Daniel Brine and Lois Keidan at the Live Art Development Agency and Adrian Heathfield for encouraging me to put the event together and thanks to all the attendees for marking the end of my European sojourn in such a memorable way.
Barbara Campbell is in receipt of an Australia Council for the Arts Fellowship to produce, perform and travel with 1001 nights cast.
barbara [at] 1001.net.au
Download a pdf of the transcript of the presentations and discussion.
Listen to Barbara Campbell.
Listen to Adrian Heathfield.
Listen to Sara Jane Bailes.
Listen to Tony White.
Listen to Lara Pawson.
Listen to the discussion between Barbara Campbell, the panelists and the participating writers.