- rethinking why performance matters through the matter of performance
Performance Matters – a three year creative research project rethinking why performance matters in collaboration with Goldsmiths, University of London, and University of Roehampton
Performance Matters is a three-year creative research project bringing together artists, curators and academics to investigate the challenges that contemporary performance presents to ideas of cultural value. A collaboration between the Live Art Development Agency, the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, and the Department of Drama, Theatre and Performance at University of Roehampton, the project asks whether such forms of cultural practice are now being taken seriously in culture more broadly, and how they may possess the potential to refashion understandings of what, and how, things matter in the contemporary world.
Performance Matters comprises numerous events and activities: collaborations between artists and writers on creative dialogue projects; a series of practical workshops; two public international symposia; the development of two innovative PhD projects; and a series of talks focused around the project’s concerns.
The Performance Matters website carries information about collaborators and events, announces news stories and updates on activities, as well as being a space for expanded writings, ideas and images about and around the issues at the heart of Performance Matters.
Between 2009 and 2012 Performance Matters moves through three themed years of interlinked research activities – Performing Idea, Trashing Performance and Potentials of Performance. In the first year, Performing Idea (2009/10) investigated the shifting relations between performance practice and discourse, event and writing. In the second year, Trashing Performance (2010/11) explored marginal and degraded performance practices in order to produce critical and cultural innovations through non-institutional manifestations and informal disseminations.
Potentials of Performance (2011/2012) is the third and final year of Performance Matters. Led by the project’s postgraduate researchers, it features a vibrant series of commissioned process-led dialogue projects taking place throughout the year. Exploring and exploding the dialogue as a potential format for thinking through and testing possible futures, it addresses timely questions of performance, promise and transformation. Dialogue projects cross performance’s cultural and international contexts and range from intimate conversations and collaborations to pedagogical experiments and public interventions – all asking what lies latent within performance? What is waiting to be realized, developed, and made legible? What does performance hold in store in its present-day testing of the limits of the social, the cultural, the vital and the critical?
For details of Potentials of Performance ongoing dialogue projects see:http://www.thisisperformancematters.co.uk/activities.html
Each dialogue features its own blog in which Associate Researchers document and reflect on their ongoing processes: http://www.thisisperformancematters.co.uk/words-and-images.html
Potentials of Performance culminated in P o P - a two-day public programme of hands-on performance research exploring and exploding the Potentials of Performance that took place on 26 and 27 October 2012 at The Yard Theatre, ]performance s p a c e [, and The White Building, Hackney Wick, London.
Please visit the Activities section of the Performance Matters website for full details of the P o P programme.
Download Performance Matters Press Release (November 2009) here
Performance Matters launch event: Friday April 30, 2010
Performing Idea events: October 2010
Trashing Performance events: October 2011
Books and dvds by Performance Matters contributors available on Unbound