In Certain Fragments Tim Etchells, in an essay entitled On Performance and Technology, speaks about what theatre must do in order to truly reflect society and its continual development.
What I mean is that the theatre must take into account of how much technology (from the phone and the walkman upwards) has rewritten and is rewriting bodies, changing our understanding of narratives and places, changing our relationships to culture, changing our understands of presence. (Etchells, Glendinning, and Phelan, 1999)
In a way, I think I’m trying to investigate how the communities I am a part of speak to my performance practice like Etchells speaks of technology’s role within theatre. I’m trying to work out what my work can say about or do for punk and DIY performance culture. I’m trying to be of use.
With this in mind, I had a meeting with lecturer and mentor Dr Laura Bissell. She was keen to let me know that she thought it would be helpful for me to be more specific about what I am trying to get out of this research project. What am I really hoping to do with my research? Yes, there are a lot of things I want to learn but what will my findings allow me to do? How will my knowledge turn into action? How will this project impact my practice?
As a curating producer, I am excited by work that engages with an individual and a collective. I’m interested in supporting work that speaks directly about the world around us. I want to make and support performance that responds to current affairs. I want to use my skill set as a producer to make live events happen that support the needs and wants of the artist and audience. Following the loss of the Arches, I can see that the performance community of Glasgow needs alternative ways of presenting work. Knowing that in Glasgow gigs happen every night of the week, despite not pulling in large audiences, I wonder what venues (in collaboration with musicians) are doing that we, the performance community, aren’t. I want to learn about the ways in which punk and contemporary performance are similar to see if there is any merit (or integrity) in re-appropriating the structures used in music venues for contemporary performance spaces.
With this in mind, I have decided to pay focus to the sites where artist meet audience.
I will be researching the links between contemporary performance and punk within Britain by paying specific interest to the spaces that both art forms meet their audience.
I will be examining the notion of ‘spaces of culture’. To do this I will look into:
- The spaces used to present performance and live music within Britain.
- The role of these spaces in supporting artists and their art.
- The objectives of those that run these spaces.
I hope to identify similarities in the arts practices and aims of those that work or come in contact with these ‘spaces of culture’. I hope the findings of this project can inspire and inform future collaborations between artists, audience and venues.
Etchells, T., Glendinning, H. and Phelan, P. (1999) Certain fragments: Contemporary performance and forced entertainment. New York: Routledge.