Skip to main content

Performance Magazine Online

Ongoing Project

About the project

Between 1979-1992 Performance Magazine documented an extraordinary period in the development of art in the UK.

With its maverick and punk ethos Performance Magazine embodied an immensely active community of artists, writers and publics that crossed disciplines throughout the late 70s, 80s and the start of the 90s.

The magazine provided a vital platform for the awareness of new approaches to the making and experience of art by creating a critical context and space for discourse. Moving beyond Performance Art and conventional categorisations, Performance Magazine was instrumental in promoting cross-disciplinary and underground art and played an important role in triggering the development of Live Art as a terminology and field of creative practice.

Rob La Frenais (founding editor 1979 – 1987) has collaborated with Live Art Development Agency (LADA) to develop this project – Performance Magazine Online.

All sixty-six ISSUES of Performance Magazine have been digitised and are accessible on this site for you to freely search, browse and read. A new FILM  by Hugo Glendinning and Alex Eisenberg maps the magazine’s history and legacy Commissioned FEATURES by Anne Bean, Hester Reeve, Lynn MacRitchie, Diana Damian Martin, Claire MacDonald and Nahum Mantra respond to the archive and the period when the magazine was published.

LADA’s Study Room houses the complete collection of Performance Magazine.

Read Archives, Hindsight, and Change by Diana Damian Martin for blog salon ‘Stages of Resistance’


Launch events in Hull and London

Performance Magazine Online was launched with two public events: in Hull on 25 March 2017, as part of the Re-ROOTed Festival and at the British Library in London on 27 April 2017.  LADA also hosted a STUDY DAY and workshop with Something Other (Mary Paterson, Maddy Costa and Diana Damian) looking at Live Art, writing and digital publishing on 25 April 2017.
Please sign up to the LADA mailing list to be kept in the loop about the project.

Please join the Performance Magazine Facebook Group for further updates.

If you would like to be in touch about the project please contact Alex Eisenberg


Copyright Notice

All of the back issues of Performance Magazine are being made freely available to view online as part of this project. This has been done with the permission of the surviving Editors of the magazine, Rob La Frenais and Gray Watson. The copyright for articles, other texts and photographs in the magazine remains with Performance Magazine and/or the original creators, in accordance with the original copyright of each issue.

If you have any queries about the copyright or the way that the issues have been reproduced please contact LADA.


Performance Magazine is supported using public funding by Arts Council England

Banner image credit:

Performance Magazine, Front Cover Collage


Edge of an Era

A new project revisiting a series of seminal performance events from the 1980’s.

Read more

Edge of an Era and Block Universe – 1980s Performance Art and Now (A Panel Discussion)

Bringing together a panel of artists and curators from the 1980s and current landscapes

Read more

Edge of an Era: Workshop (London)

A workshop considering issues relating to the historicisation of 1980s Live Art and contemporary parallels

Read more

Glimpses of Before – 1970s Performance Art in the UK

Online Study Room Guide on 1970’s Performance Art in the UK

Read more

Performance and Politics in the 1970s – documentation

A day of screenings, conversations and presentations which explore, recover and communicate the history of performance art in London and the UK in the 1970s

Read more

Glimpses of Before Gallery – 1970s Performance Art in the UK

New gallery blog containing selected images from our new online Study Room Guide

Read more

Labour Practices: Ethics of Service and Ideas of Labour in Performance

A panel on the ways artists use ideas of service and labour as creative strategies as part of At Your Service.

Read more

Performance Matters

A three-year research project bringing together artists and academics to investigate ideas of cultural value.

Read more