Live Writing, Live Art

I am working with Bojana Jankovic, in partnership with Steakhouse Live for their annual festival Longer Wetter Faster Better, on a pilot project that focuses on developing models of critical writing about Live Art that are formally daring, critically rigorous, contextually relevant and adaptive to the needs of an ever-changing, shape-shifting field.

The programme consists of the following:

  • Two workshops, exploring relevant histories and practices of criticism in relation to live art, as well as providing a set of provocations, contextual, social and political, emerging from the works presented in LONGER WETTER FASTER BETTER
  • A durational, embedded writing project occurring throughout the festival, where participating writers will be responding to the different works presented, exploring the possibilities of this model within a festival-context. This iteration of the programme will also feature a Writers Hub.
  • Reflective articles following the festival by participating writers, published in Exeunt Magazine
  • A follow-on publication that collates writing, commissions and reflections on both the works presented and the writing project itself, edited by Diana and Bojana.

Participating writers were selected through an open call, focused specifically on emerging writers and those new to the field of live art. As a result, the group includes established artists and students, bringing experience and perspectives of visual arts, theatre, choreography and literature to discussions of Live Art.

You can follow the live critical responses throughout the festival on the dedicated website from Friday 14th October- Sunday 16th October.

And read more about the festival and the project in this feature on Exeunt Magazine:

Steakhouse: Live Art, Live Writing


Writing, motherhood, narratives

I was invited to take part in The Mother House / Procreate’s one day symposium at L’Iklectic, exploring art-making, motherhood and audiences.

You can read my paper here.


The Department of Feminist Conversations at Tate Exchange

The Department of Feminist Conversations is an intervention into contemporary criticality that seeks to broaden conversations about life and art through the perspective of contemporary feminisms.

Founded by myself with writers Mary Paterson & Maddy Costa, The Department of Feminist Conversations embodies feminism as a political stance and a historical discourse. It approaches art as the symbolic and material terrain that both represents and influences the concerns of culture at large. We want to understand criticism as a plural, collective engagement, to consider what might constitute a contemporary cultural discourse, and widen access to both. We want to establish a feminist framework for speaking beyond women’s issues, about art, performance, politics and social organisation.

Through discussions, events, roaming assemblies and a series of published pamphlets, The Department of Feminist Conversations will create a visible, embodied and inclusive practice of feminist discourse in public space.

Our approach builds on the thoughts and actions of our feminist predecessors, while attempting to avoid the pitfalls of the so-called third and fourth waves. We pay attention to personal experience in order to expose the assumptions at the heart of patriarchal society, but recognise the limitations of our worldview as a more-or-less homogeneous group (all living with white and middle-class privilege), and make intersectional awareness and inclusivity key strategies for learning and thinking. Neoliberalism fuels debates surrounding questions of privilege, identity and co-option: we seek to develop criticality towards these issues, while creating a space for productive discourse related to difference, visibility and autonomy.

The Department of Feminist Conversations will be talking on the theme of ‘exchange’ as part of The Give & Take, a festival of talks, discussions and mini-panels curated by the artist Tim Etchells at Tate Modern, Thursday 29th September to Sunday 2nd October.

We will be talking at 6.15pm on Friday 30th September.

For more information on our work, you can visit the Department’s page on Medium:


Performance and the new Tate Modern

‘How can one think of art institutions in an age that is defined by planetary civil war, growing inequality, and proprietary digital technology? The boundaries of the institution have become fuzzy. They extend from pumping the audience for tweets, to a future of ‘neurocurating’ in which paintings will surveil their audience via facial recognition and eye tracking to check whether paintings are popular enough or whether anyone is behaving suspiciously.’

Hito Steyerl, A Tank on a Pedestal: Museums in an Age of Planetary Civil War

In its interest in performance, the newly expanded Tate is claiming an institutional engagement with its archiving, documentation, collation and legitimation within narratives of art history. It probes important distinctions: between presentation and representation, enactment and interpretation. The Tate has justified its centrality at the heart of two systems, seemingly incompatible with each other: one is the necessary business-minded, profit-driven, economically fluctuating world of private sponsorship and the art market itself; and the other, an alignment with public accountability  – the institution as civic space. So is the Tate turning to performance not just to satisfy the necessary expansion of its art histories, and of contemporary narratives of art, but also to carve the space for public engagement and art as event? Is it trying to mediate between those two worlds by seeking spaces of encounter? So I begin with Hito Steyerl as a way of asking an old question: what do we demand of a contemporary art institution, when that institution positions itself as public without acknowledging with the wider infrastructures that challenge that identity?

You can read the full piece for Exeunt Magazine here.