For the Live Art Development Agency's (LADA) next LADA Screens launch event on 10 October we will be showing Uncertain Fragments, a video essay reflecting on the work of Forced Entertainment, created by Hugo Glendinning and Tim Etchells.
To complement this event we have collated a small selection of titles on and by Forced Entertainment, Tim Etchells and Hugo Glendinning to browse:
Heroes & Heroines of Live Art
Somewhere Near Variety
Tim Etchells and Adrian Heathfield
Transfigured Night: A conversation with Alphonso Lingis
Hugo Glendinning and Adrian Heathfield
No Such Thing As Rest: A Walk With Brian Massumi
Hugo Glendinning and Adrian Heathfield
Anne Bean, Holding Infinity in the Palm of my Hand. Photo: Marketa Luscacova
Anne Bean is a Patron of the Live Art Development Agency. In this Blog entry, she outlines her Patron’s Picks from Unbound.
To view all of our Patron's Picks follow the link here.
I was overwhelmed by possible picks of fantastic books and DVDs by friends and comrades. This made me decide to physically browse the Unbound store at LADA’s office in Hackney Wick, London, to find lurking presences that caught me and which I knew little or nothing about.
With the clamour of words on book spines, I pulled out one with a hardly-decipherable title in tiny pale letters, hiding in shiny cellophane. On top of an embedded acupuncture needle I read ‘Pain in Soul: Performance Art and Video Works by He Cheng Yao.’ I arbitrarily opened it and read "Quoting Beuys’ words 'art heals all wounds', He Chengyao reminds us how art can be experienced as a state of limbo … saving unconventional behaviour from the label of insanity that is often applied so readily." Her powerful images of ‘Homeless Mental Patients’ and ‘Families with Mental Illness’ are viewed with shifted awareness, through us recognising her identification with them and her own work manifestations.
Another ‘soul’ book, also dealing in social strangulation and pain, is ‘The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy,’ by Franco “Bifo” Berardi. The book speaks of a new alienation of people caught up in ‘voluntary’ overtime, ‘tethered to cell phones and Blackberries, debt has become a postmodern form of slavery, and antidepressants are commonly used to meet the unending pressure of production.’ Berardi calls for alternative lifestyles that cannot be commodified and if we collectively rethink the true meaning of the word “wealth,” in terms of human collaboration, then ‘the competitive illusion that is impoverishing everyone’s life, the very foundations of capitalism, would start to crumble.’ Soul is recognised as affinity.
Another ’hidden’ book with a black on black title is Giovanna Maria Casetta’s ‘Looking Good.’ It explores the fragility between identity and lived reality, right down to a visceral alienation from her own body: ‘Firstly, my smell had altered, I do not smell like me ... I don’t smell right, so I can’t engage with me.’
Fred Moten’s book ‘In the Break, The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition’ drew me in when I read, ‘F M argues that all black performance -- culture, politics, sexuality, identity and blackness itself -- is improvisation’ … the complex relationships between sound and resistance in the collective life of commodified human beings. I remember him speaking elsewhere about Sam Cooke’s ‘You Send Me,’ saying ‘to be sent, to be transported out of yourself, it’s an ecstatic experience … by the time you get to work that shit out as well as it should be worked out, we’re sent by one another to one another until one and another don’t signify anymore.’
Watching the DVD ‘No Such Thing as Rest: A Walk with Brian Massumi,’ the words and the walking and my thoughts merged: ‘rhythms of language… paces and pulses of ideas… bringing the thinking that is the doing into language… philosophy is the activity of running thought experiments… the mundane is full of events… modes of complicity … imagining and constructing qualitative alter-economies is a major task of our time and its task can only be done collectively… micro-political movements always succeed, they feed potential forward unto the iterative event-fabric of life… experiment with techniques enabling people to reconnect with relational fields that yield enhanced intensity.’
Finally, I was surprised and pleased to find ‘The Act of Killing’ by Joshua Oppenheimer - a pungent documentary that has stirred me more than any I can remember, with fact and fiction colliding and fusing, disturbing the fabric of one’s body and chilling the mind. It made me think of another disturbing work by Omer Fast, ‘Spielberg's List’, a documentary in which actors from Krakow conflated the Hollywood version of the Holocaust with historical reality.
I recommend browsing.
Unbound is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2016 and it's fascinating to look back on shifts and developments in Live Art publishing and distribution that have taken place since 2006.
Although LADA were partners on two exceptional publications in 2002 (Manuel Vason’s Exposures) and 2004 (Adrian Heathfield’s Live: Art and Performance), we only became publishers ourselves in 2006 when we embarked on Programme Notes Volume One. Since then we have published over 100 books, DVDs, Box Sets and Editions, including our own publications, artists’ publications, and co-publications with major publishing houses including the Intellect Live series in collaboration with Intellect Books. And we are not alone. In recent years, in response to heightened public interest, expanding areas of scholarly research, new archival initiatives, and developments in technology and online platforms there has been a relative explosion in Live Art publishing.
Unbound reflects these developments. When we launched Unbound in 2006 we sold around 50 titles and we now stock over 300. We originally set up Unbound on the advice of Adrian Heathfield partly as a one stop shop for all thing Live Art, and partly as a form of advocacy for this constantly evolving and expanding area of practice that was increasingly generating new forms of thinking and writing about art and new ways of looking at performance.
We’ve always approached Unbound as a curated site in terms of the titles we sell, the way users can navigate through different themes, and the contextualising materials we offer. Although we do sell many books by major publishing houses, at the heart of Unbound are independent, artist led books, hard-to-find publications, DVDs and editions.
In 2010 as part of her LADA Thinker in Residency Mary Paterson wrote A Navigation Through Unbound, a piece I highly recommend to everyone who is interested in Live Art writing and publishing.
In 2010 we wrote an article for Contemporary Theatre Review on New Adventures in Live Art Publishing that is probably worth revisiting on the occasion of Unbound’s 10th anniversary.
Read Contemporary Theatre Review: New Adventures in Live Art Publishing and Distribution
I am so proud of the book of Purge because it includes the voices of so many people who collaborated on the work with me, featuring interviews with other artists who have performed Purge, info/emails/responses that never made it into the stage show, and an essay - for me, a very important essay - about why Purge was created. Purge has been seen by thousands of audiences - both in person and via live-stream - and while many people are interested in the show because it's about virtual friendships (which is, understandably, a relevant topic) for me the work was ALWAYS first and foremost about love, and loss. The book gives me an opportunity to talk about the love, and I'm proud of that.
Other things I recommend from Unbound:
The Only Way Home is Through the Show: Performance Work of Lois Weaver Eds. Lois Weaver and Jen Harvie
Everything I learnt about performance I learnt from feminist solo and collaborative work, originally being a student of Holly Hughes, and later of Lois. Their work both in its content and in its ethos has been the most important influence on my practice and personal development.
Paper Stages Forest Fringe
Forest Fringe is the most important company in the UK, and has been my home (in both Edinburgh and internationally) for many years. They, much like collectives like WOW (discussed in Lois' book), produce as much daring work as they do produce a supportive and loving community.
Out of Now: The Lifeworks of Tehching Hsieh Adrian Heathfield and Tehching Hsieh
I am interested in exertion, commitment to an idea, and exhaustion; no one exemplifies that kind of practice more than Tehching Hsieh, whose work demonstrates an extreme commitment/sacrifice of the personal inside his work.
Access All Areas - Live Art & Disability Eds. Lois Keidan and CJ Mitchell
This collection is most important to me because it reminds me of the weekend symposium which it, in part, documents, one of the most awe-inspiring weekends of debate, discussion and performance by leading artists and academics.
Battle of Orgreave Jeremy Deller
This work, as I hope my work strives to do, takes a singular concept (have a battle recreation but focused on the miner strike) and beautifully produces it with stunning consequences. Deller's conceit is so simple and yet profound, and I find it a very moving work.
Forest Fringe is a community of artists making space for risk and experimentation at the Edinburgh Festival and beyond. They will be based at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Leith from 11th-20th August. And Live Art UK, the national network for Live Art venues, promoters and facilitators, which is coordinated by the Live Art Development Agency, will be in residence from 12th-14th!
As well as an opportunity to purchase publications and merchandise from the network’s 27-strong membership, interested artists and audiences can learn more about Live Art and where to find it.
Follow the link to see the full list of Unbound titles that will be available for purchase from Live Art UK in Edinburgh.
In this blog we are giving you the opportunity to read two texts from the book, including an extract from the book's introduction and an excerpt from an essay within the book written by Sibylle Peters.
Since 2010 the world has witnessed new ways of assembling, which may not have led to the political changes many had hoped for, but have proved hugely significant. This book acknowledges them as a starting point for a new art of being many, where the "many" invoke new concepts of collectivity by renegotiating their modes of participation and (self-)presentation and by rewriting rhetorical, choreographic, and material scripts of assembling. This volume is inspired and informed by the square-occupations and neighbourhood assemblies of the "real democracy" movements as well as by recent explorations of the assembly form in performance art and participatory theatre.
Eds geheimagentur, Martin Jörg Schäfer, Vassilis S. Tsianos
geheimagentur is an open collective working in Performance Art, Cultural Studies, and activism. Martin Jörg Schäfer teaches Literature and Performance Studies at the University of Hamburg, Germany. Vassilis S. Tsianos teaches sociology at the University for Applied Sciences Kiel, Germany.
In 2014, an “assembly of assemblies” at the conference The Art of Being Many was held in Hamburg, Germany, to share experiences in artistic experimentation and real democracy movements that explored new ways of coming together and discussing the desires and catastrophes of being many.
On August 17th, 2016, from 5:00-10pm, Raphaela Posner is hosting “Blind Date with Democracy: Experiments and Conversations on Gathering,” a mini-conference at Counterpath that explores the ways in which Denver assembles, bringing together politicians, activists, artists, and participants to discuss and experiment with gathering.
Unbound is excited to release an exclusive extract from The Forest and the Field by Chris Goode.
The Forest and the Field is a polemical thinking-through of the whole concept of theatre as a ‘space’, and a politically motivated exploration of how, and where, that theatrical space meets the real world that surrounds and suffuses it.
'Anyone who follows theatre will know that Chris Goode is a poet and theatre-maker who's up there with the very best.' Guardian
Learn more from our hand picked selection of publications around the subject of Dance on Unbound. Including:Exhausting Dance: Performance and the politics of movement
Check out this collection of publications, selected by LADA Patron Teching Hsieh:
Explore the subject of Body Art on Unbound through our hand picked selection of publications. Including:
The Art of Living: An Oral History of Performance Art