On Edge: Materials and Bodies was an online symposium organised and run by the members of the Material/Performing research group at Bath Spa University.
On Edge aims to test an alternative mode of symposium where the group’s works are introduced as a series of collective performances, works in progress, talks, creative interventions and writing. We would like to call this event ‘sympoiesis’, a neologism combining ‘symposium’ and ‘poiesis’ (Greek: making). On Edge will investigate materials and bodies in performance as a means to cross an ‘edge’ of conventional conditions of stage, performer/audience relationship and material presence. Lois Keidan and Joseph Morgan Schofield from the Live Art Development Agency (LADA) and Lizzie Lloyd, a creative writer, have been invited to respond to the group’s work.
Speakers and Presenters:
Professor Steve Dutton (Research Lead in School of Art, Director of the Art Research Centre, Bath Spa University) will present a materially mixed work which hovers around the following questions. Where does the body sit in language? Is there an architectonic space in (as opposed to of) writing, reading and speaking? Can a text be too near or too far away as to be understood as a text? The work will take the form of a dialogue between various elements including live presentation, digital animation and sound.
Steve Dutton is an artist, researcher and curator who works on both collaborative and individual projects. He is developing a new body work under the working title of “industry” which is including drawings, sound works, live works, animations, objects and texts. His work is difficult to classify, as it moves between various media, materials, processes and forms. Steve also works in collaborations, currently with Andrew Bracey on a Curatorial project entitled Midpointness which has had manifestations for the the Lock Up Gallery in Newcastle, Australia, The Trans Art Triennial and Airspace in Stoke-on-Trent, UK. In the past he worked closely with Steve Swindells (Dutton and Swindells) since 1998. Individual and collaborative projects have been exhibited throughout the UK and internationally, including The Stag and Hound at PSL in Leeds for which Dutton and Swindells were nominated for the Northern Art Prize. Steve has recently been published in the Journal of Studies in Theatre and Performance as well being published in the Journal of Writing in Creative Practice (2009) and the Journal of Visual Arts Practice (2007) along with many contributions to various magazines and publications. He also has curated a number of exhibitions including a co-curated project (with Brian Curtin) for an exhibition for Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre, entitled ‘Possession’.
Young In Hong (Reader in Textiles and Performance, Creative Arts, Bath Spa University) is introducing a duo musical performance with two professionally trained musicians testing a process of ‘becoming animal’ through playing their musical instruments. This piece will be a further exploration from The White Mask (2019), where she collaborated with Club Inégales, London. Through mirroring between humans/animals and him/ his - other, the representation of animality itself become a critical deconstruction of music/art itself.
Young In Hong is a visual artist working across installation, sound, performance, textile and drawing. Her practice often focuses on undervalued cultural practices, questions around the notion of ‘equality’ and its practice through art making. Young In has presented work at among other institutions; the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, the Korean Cultural Centre, London, Gwangju Biennale, ICA London, Block Universe Festival, the Grand Palais, Paris and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.
Lois Keidan and Joseph Morgan Schofield (Live Art Development Agency) will give an interactive talk during the presentations of the research group.
Lois Keidan is the Director of the Live Art Development Agency (LADA), London which she co-founded with Catherine Ugwu in 1999. She was the Director of Live Arts at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London from 1992 to 1997. She was responsible for national policy and provision for Performance Art and interdisciplinary practices at the Arts Council of Great Britain, and before that, she led on programming and marketing for the Midland Group, Nottingham and Theatre Workshop, Edinburgh.
Joseph Morgan Schofield (they//them) is an artist, writer, curator and producer. Their work utilises queer ritual action in order to think through queer futurity. They have worked with the Live Art Development Agency since 2018. In 2017 they established FUTURERITUAL, a research and performance project considering the use, place and function of ritual in contemporary queer and performance cultures. They are a frequent collaborator of ]performance s p a c e[ and Venice International Performance Art Week, and a member of the Anam Cara Collective and Chisenhale Dance Space. With Sara Sassanelli and Es Morgan they co-produce queer club night move close, and co-facilitate Live Art Club [London] with Phoebe Patey-Ferguson, Nicol Parkinson, Rachel Gammon and An* Neely. They recently established V SS L, a project space and performance art studio in London, with Benjamin Sebastian.
Dr Lizzie Lloyd (Freelance writer, researcher and lecturer) will pick up on the thread of voices passing between bodies, performers, spaces and materials that are interrogated through the symposium by generating live written responses to the performances. Lizzie will collaborate with composer Owen Lloyd to process these words (written and spoken) through a bespoke Max MSP patch that will play on a live Twitch feed simultaneously for the duration of the event.
Lizzie Lloyd is a Bristol-based art-writer. Her writing has appeared in numerous art magazines and publications and been commissioned by a range of artists and galleries. Her doctoral thesis Art Writing and Subjectivity: Critical Association in Art Historical Practice was completed in 2019 (University of Bristol) and is concerned with the crossovers between art, writing, history and the performance of research.
Dr Robert Luzar (Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Bath Spa University) is presenting a new project, Him-me. “I am speaking… as ‘He’ speaks.” “I am speaking… and, sometimes, you may or may not know who’s speaking,” These are some words that come about through a certain body-portrait: seeing and hearing someone saying “I am Him and He is Me.” Who seems to be there, perhaps tracing someone else’s voice? From throat to ear, verbosely tracing himself: Him-me. Him-me is a ‘voice’, a voice coming from a set of video selfies overlapped with a silent drawing made onto the speaker’s throat. Him-me verbosely, saying too much at times, tracing what may or may not sound like some Ted-Talking, Self-Helping, Self-Improving, YouTube personifying, Identitarian…
Sounding like this leviathan, this Him-me.
Robert Luzar is an artist, writer, and educator. He exhibits globally in live-art events, museums and galleries, such as Palazzo Loredan Venice (IT), Torrance Art
Museum (USA), Talbot Rice Gallery (UK), DRAWinternational (FR), Katzman Contemporary (CA), Künstlerhaus Dortmund (DE), and CUMT Institute (China). His writings on art, culture and philosophy are published in books and journals such as Nancy and Visual Culture (Edinburgh University Press 2016), Theatre and Performance Design (Routledge 2017), and Drawing: Research, Theory, Practice (Intellect 2019).
Dr Conor Wilson (Course leader in MA Design: Ceramics, Bath Spa University) presents ‘workshop word work’, a speculative project that explores paths (and aporias) between research in the art school and practice in the art world. A video document of a performative-making-dialogue, between Bruce McLean, Dr Conor Wilson and Richard Winfield will be shown. The project explores and documents the ceramics workshop as a particular art school site.
Conor Wilson has worked and exhibited his work in a variety of contexts – ceramics, sculpture, public art and performance. Wilson was awarded a Jerwood Contemporary Makers prize in 2010 and work is held in private and public collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Archive of the Cass Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood and the World Ceramic Exposition Foundation, Republic of Korea. Wilson’s teaching explores and develops intersections between art and craft and between theory and practice. His PhD at Royal College of Art (2016) explored a poetic approach to relationships between material and language, writing and making. Wilson’s ongoing research project explores making as an intimate engagement between body, site and material.