DIY 8: Mary Paterson and Natasha Vicars #dawnchorus

Professional development projects BY artists FOR artists across the UK

DIY 8: 2011 – Call for Participants

An opportunity to collaborate on devising and piloting #dawnchorus – a live writing work for Twitter..

Project summary:
Drawing on your existing experience of writing within your art practice you will take part in a collaborative intervention in the ‘public forum’ of Twitter. In three days of structured workshops, supported by individual exploration and research, you will work with artists/writers from across the country to consider live, digital writing as a communal act and a response to ideas of place. Extending the metaphor of the ‘tweet’ the project asks what happens when diverse voices are brought together in defence/celebration of individual territories as a ‘dawn chorus’ on Twitter.

Participants will develop and reflect on their use of writing particularly in response to place, in both digital and material contexts and explore the social medium Twitter as a new context for live performance.

After piloting, #dawnchorus is intended for further development and there may be opportunities to be part of a further performance/exhibition at the relaunch of the Irwell Sculpture Trail and/or at Bury Street Light Festival.

Dates:  15 – 16 August and 12 September.
Times:  10:30am – 5:30pm
Location: Meetings held in Bury – exact venue TBC.
Application procedure:
Open to artists at all stages of their careers who use text in their work and enjoy the craft of writing, and writers who have some engagement with contemporary art/live art.

Participants also need to have access to a laptop (alternatively an iPhone or equivalent device) and the internet, and be willing to get up very early to see dawn. No previous experience of Twitter needed.

Participants will arrange their own accommodation and travel to Bury, but a contribution towards expenses is available to all participants.

Expressions of interest should be emailed to Natasha Vicars at [email protected] by 1st August. Include a 1-2 page attachment noting where you live and giving a short statement discussing what attracts you to the project, what you hope to gain and how writing features in your practice and an example of your writing of maximum 750 words.

The project organisers will review applications and select a varied group who have writing experience, and a spread of locations in the UK (including Manchester-Bury).


Mary Paterson is a writer and producer based in London. In 2008 she co-founded the writing collaboration Open Dialogues, which explores writing on and as performance, producing writing programmes with festivals, curators and artists around the world including SPILL (London), Performance Saga (Switzerland) and PERFORMA (New York). As Writer in Residence for the Live Art Development Agency (2009) Mary carried out research into online space, active readership and collaborative writing in ‘A Navigation Through Unbound.’ She is currently working with Rajni Shah Projects to produce textual responses to the ongoing, collaborative musical production ‘Glorious.’

Natasha Vicars is an artist working with participation and performative public interventions, who is interested in creating actions that are both individual and communal. She received a Longhouse Action Research bursary in 2010/11 to develop the work Hackney Dawn Watching, and reflect on her working methods in the context of socially engaged practice in the public realm. The concept for #dawnchorus arose from this exploration, but her current interest in the online as a public forum is also influenced by a background in Technology PR and research on Second Life. She is also a project manager working in gallery offsite and community programming.

For more information please contact [email protected]

This project was a response to the DIY 8 Call for Proposals ‘Associations of Place’

Part of DIY: 2011

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