Guest Editors: Sheaf+Barley


We’re Sheaf+Barley.

We tell stories and make objects around things we’ve experienced and believe in and we like books A LOT. We have a lot of books, some are found and some are gifts and some are bought (if u want to borrow any we have a list, have a look and send us an email). The best books are ones that imagine new worlds, that make us think that we’re there (or almost there), that tell us new things or reposition old things. The best books can be touched and smelt, written on and ripped out, eaten up.

We’ve been LADA’s artists in residence in the Study Room since February 2018. The residency has resulted in a project called Weeding, where we are inviting people to bring a plant to LADA and create a living archive there - a promise made between the people who make up LADA both inside and out. We have also been working with Simple Gifts* and are trying to set up a new after-school club with them. Out of this will come a stained-glass window designed by the young people of Simple Gifts which will form our other collaboration with LADA - The Garrett Centre commission 2018.

We were invited to make a list of things on Unbound. There are a lot of people speaking with grace and knowledge about art, live or otherwise, and its place in our world and the discourse (like Diana Damian-Martin or Jasmine Shigemura Lee, who is a fantastic artist in her own right). There are a lot of people making things that are necessary and that change the flow, like Umama Hamido or Daniella Valz Gen (to name a few). There’s probably a lot of super good lists out there, we haven’t read nearly enough books, and really we know very little.

But here is a little contribution.

love n hugs, s+b xxx

p.s Send us an email if u want to borrow any books from us.

p.p.s Mainly we’ve picked the artists that we’ve seen and have moved us and our thinking, less theory.

*Simple Gifts are a community centre, running free lunches for local people, an after-school club for the three schools in the area, and English lessons. It is a safe and important space in Bethnal Green. Check it out if you’re in the area, they could always do with some more volunteers or some more lunch-mates.


Pleading in the Blood

Pleading in the Blood: The Art and Performances of Ron Athey
Ed. Dominic Johnson
£16.88 / Original Price £22.50

Ron Athey’s St. Sebastian was the first piece of ‘Live Art’ we saw, right before he moved back to California, and it was the most moving spiritual transformative experience we’ve ever had in a space designated for art.


After Kathy Acker

After Kathy Acker: A biography
Chris Kraus
£15 / Original Price £20

Kraus on Acker? Acker through Kraus? A story about closeness, fucking, making, loving, fighting and being fought.


Out of Now

Out of Now: The Lifeworks of Tehching Hsieh
Adrian Heathfield and Tehching Hsieh
£24.71Original Price £32.95

Work that is deeply considered and deeply committed, work whose material is time and the body and labour and frameworks. also, he’s sort of famous now? Live Art - the final frontier for art-world capital.


The Art of Being Many

The Art of Being Many - Towards a New Theory and Practice of Gathering
Eds geheimagentur, Martin Jörg Schäfer, Vassilis S. Tsianos
£18.75 / Original Price £25

Assembling, gathering, being together, is something at the heart of what we are trying to do. Towards towards towards a demos or a communitas, maybe.


Naked Bouys Reading Anthology

Naked Boys Reading Anthology (2017)
Eds. R. Justin Hunt, Matthew Ryalls, Ivan Moya Denia
£9 / Original Price £12

Soft bodies speaking allowed, uncut dick and non-gendered genitals: a sticky point to move through.


Critical Interruptions Vol 1

Critical Interruptions Vol I: Steakhouse Live
Eds. Critical Interruptions (Diana Damian Martin and Bojana Janković)
£10.13 / Original Price £13.50

Generous with thought, careful, open: Steakhouse Live in 2016 as a jumping-point to how to be in and out of Live Art. It feels slight, unpretentious, suspicious and very present.


It's All Allowed

It's All Allowed: The Performances of Adrian Howells
Eds. Deirdre Heddon & Dominic Johnson
£15 / Original Price £20

Care, queerness, softness as a material and a methodology. ah! lots of pain here too. Thank you Adrian.


The Live Art Almanac Volume 4

The Live Art Almanac Vol. 4
Eds. Harriet Curtis, Lois Keidan and Aaron Wright
£12.74 / Original Price £16.99

A reflection of the typography, and these sorts of things are important - we are immersed in a scene, for better or for worse and perhaps against our will. Let’s reflect on it, let’s see what’s up, let’s talk amongst ourselves.


4 Boys [For Beuys]

4 Boys [For Beuys]
The Institute for the Art and Practice of Dissent at Home
£3 / Original Price £4

Cheap n cheerful embedded activism art practice, a new way of being all for the price of a fancy coffee (and there’s no shame in a fancy coffee).


Laurie Anderson: Nothing in My Pockets

Nothing In My Pockets
Laurie Anderson
£26.21 / Original Price £34.95

Laurie Anderson! The premier storyteller of Live Art maybe. She tells stories that open up like flowers, we listen to her talking when we’re going to sleep.