Live Weekends: Futures and Pasts
With contributions from leading artists, academics and writers in the field, Futures and Pasts is a long weekend of live art at the ICA exploring the diverse pasts and possible futures of live art and performance. Curated by writer, artist and performance maker Tim Etchells with the aid of artist Ant Hampton and Lois Keidan (Live Art Development Agency) this ambitious event combines marathon lecture performance with a rolling scheme of conversations, interviews and archival investigations alongside speculation as to the future of this vigorous and vital area of contemporary art practice.
"I worked with Ant Hampton last year to produce a provocative virtual season of events for the ICA when they closed their Live Art department, so it's an odd thing to be invited into an institution of which one has been publicly critical of. However the chance to help hold the doors of the ICA open to Live Art for a while is too good to miss, especially considering the ICA's historical role as an important supporter of live work." Tim Etchells
Futures and Pasts culminates in a day long Open Space discussion event or public meeting, framed by Phelim McDermott and inviting practitioners, curators and audiences to identify and explore key questions and ways forward for the live art and performance scene in the UK.
Futures and Pasts comprises four main strands. You can join as an audience member or participant anytime over the long weekend, moving between parallel events and discussions.
Please note that for Open Space on Sunday 23 May you will need to contact the ICA box office and reserve a place as capacity is limited.
More information and running order:
Friday 21 – Sunday 23 May: Some of the Pasts
Over three days the gallery is transformed as the site of an ongoing investigation on the power of performance, as a succession of invited artists, curators and writers linked to the field frame investigations on the exuberant and influential past of the form. Audiences can arrive anytime, stay, leave and return at any point. Conversations, interviews, slideshows, mini-performances, video-screenings and all kinds of playful hybrid interventions unfold in the gallery as different perspectives on the archive are explored. Personal recollections sit next to attempts at authoritative time lines, inexplicable images and sounds sit next to narratives and interactions of different kinds. A more detailed timetable – who’s curating, who’s speaking and participating - will be available in due course.
Featuring Heike Roms, Peader Kirk, Lois Keidan, Richard Crow, Stoke Newington International Airport, Shunt (Mischa Twitchin) and Mary Paterson.
12noon - 11pm, Friday and Saturday, Lower Gallery
12 noon – 9pm Sunday, Lower Gallery
Saturday 22 May: Some of the Futures
Throughout the day audiences for this marathon event can arrive anytime, stay, leave and return at any point. A ten hour durational performance lecture in which artists, academics and writers connected to the field of live performance make independent thirty minute presentations on the topic of the future. From diverse artistic futures, to the future of arts institutions and funding regimes, to the future makeup of audiences or participants in live art, these presentations show contemporary artists and thinkers leaping forwards to the challenge of what’s next. Expect speculation, polemic, optimism and pessimism in distinctly unequal measures.
Featuring Kira O Reilly, Matt & Ju (Blast Theory), Richard Dedomenici, Centre of Attention, Oreet Ashery, Ron Athey, Kim Noble, Chris Goode, John Jordan, Judith Knight, Harun Morrison and Laura McDermott (Fierce), Mark Ball (LIFT), David Micklem, Anthony Roberts, Annie Lloyd, Alan Read and Joe Kelleher.
12noon - 10pm, Theatre
Sunday 23 May: Open Space Discussion and Action Event
What are the urgent questions at the heart of live art in the UK today? This Open Space discussion event is open to anyone interested and concerned about performance and live art in the UK - about the particular draws or necessities of making live work now, and what these might be in the future.
Iconoclastic, idiosyncratic and yet deeply connected to questions of public and social space Live Art and performance exists at a certain fault line in the relationship between the individual and the collective. What are the tensions between independence and the institutional realm? What does each approach or context offer that the other cannot, are they irreconcilable and/or mutually exclusive approaches to culture? What are the possible advantages and possible pitfalls of acting collectively as artists? What roles can artists and arts institutions play to help support the development of radical art practice?
If any of these issues interest you or there are any other issues you want to raise and work on please come to this event. All are welcome - practitioners, academics, audience.
We will be working with Open Space Technology which may be new to you. It has been used successfully all over the world since 1985 for dealing with wide ranging issues from redesigning aeroplane doors, creating shows, to strategising social activism. It is an open-ended event that enables a self-organising group to use its collective imagination to deal with complex issues within an incredibly short space of time. By the end of the event the following will have occurred: Every issue of concern to anybody will have been raised, if they took responsibility for doing that. All issues will have received full discussion, to the extent desired. A full report of issues and discussions will be available to all participants. And you will have taken part in making it happen. If you wish to know more about open space technology visit http://www.openspaceworld.org/. Facilitated by Phelim McDermott.
Please call the ICA box office if you are interested in attending this event as places are limited. N.B. The event will begin promptly at midday and all participants are strongly advised to arrive at this time.
12noon - 9pm, Theatre, Upper Gallery
Friday 21 – Sunday 23 May: Performing Wikipedia
Performing Wikipedia project will set up camp in the bar area at the ICA from 12noon - 7pm each day. Please join us with laptops, reference materials and your writing skills.
Performing Wikipedia invites participants to collaborate on updating the on-line encyclopaedia with materials about performance and live art. A marathon attempt to write the legacy of performance into electronic public space, Performing Wikipedia is at once a mediated collaborative performance, and an intervention which propels the history and representation of live art into this significant online encyclopaedia/resource.
12noon – close daily, around the ICA