The Centre for Contemporary and Digital Performance

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Performance Research Seminar Series

Fall 2010

School of Arts - Brunel University - West London

The public is invited to participate in this series of encounters, lectures, screenings, physical and new media workshops and discussions, focussed on new thinking in performance practices,new medi arts, technologies, physical and digital/scientific creativity, and cultural production.

For more information contact 01895 267 343 .........Admission free.......... Location: Cleveland Rd, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH

Research Seminar on Dance TECH TV LIVE

Welcome to this fall's research seminar series at the Centre for Contemporary and Digital Performance. This fall we will focus on how praxis and theory in performance and theatre shifts as they are informed, challenged and or altered by other disciplines, processes and or art forms.


Wednesday, Wednesday October 13, 2010

Performance Research Seminar

GB048 Drama Studio 16:oo

Fiona Templeton

(Brunel University)

"Speaking for Performance"

Fiona will introduce a method she uses in the last few years to generate text without writing, described in her article "Speaking for Performance" in Sensualities/Technologies, and used particularly in herwork The Medead. She will also talk about voice, not only physiologically and musically but about the notion of voice in the sense of authorial position/ persona in performance / inhabitation / ventriloquism. This relates to her current work in progress, and also to another very brief article/note about the work she directed last June by Leslie Scalapino. That article, entitled 'Acting Brackets' is about directing decisions about the non-lexical aspects of the text to reflect Scalapino's and herown interest in the above notions.

Fiona Templeton is currently director of New York based The Relationship, an international performance group, and was a founder of The Theatre of Mistakes in the 70s. Her work ranges across theatre, poetry and installation, and she has won awards and published 12 books in several disciplines. Her You-The City (1988) was a pioneering work in the genre of the site-specific performance journey. Recent productions include the 6-part performance epic The Medead, and L'Ile, a recreation of the dreams of the people of Lille in the places dreamt of.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Performance Research Seminar

GB048 Drama Studio 16:oo-17:30 pm

Johannes Birringer

(Brunel University)

"Dispositif: Performance Repositions "

In this speculative lecture, Birringer seeks to develop methodological frameworks for grappling with the daunting challenges that underlie a sociological or pragmatist/materialist analysis of contemporary "interfacial installations." After introducing the notion of the "performative dispositif" (extending studies of cinematic and scenographic arrangements), questions will address the material processes in installations and what it might mean to advance knowledge or explore sensory perception. How do performer-participants assess or value attributes or affordances of "technical beings," of programmed responsive environments or hybrid media spaces which behave with and towards the visitor-participant Ð as if becoming living, moving, animate matter, changing their vitality and displaying a range of symptoms in their materiality (motion, agency, autonomy, protocol behavior, and ritual aspect, etc.). With this research, Birringer proposes to place more attention on how a particular dispositif enables the interface relations technically while observing how human performers respond to responsive environments or experience its sensate articulations.

Johannes Birringer is a choreographer and media artist. As artistic director of the Houston-based AlienNation Co.(, he has created numerous dance-theatre works, video installations and digital projects in collaboration with artists in Europe, the Americas, China, Japan and Australia. His digital oratorio Corpo, Carne e Esp rito premiered in Brasil at the FIT Theatre Festival in 2008; the interactive dancework Suna no Onna was featured at Laban Centre and Watermans, London. The mixed reality installation UKIYO toured Eastern Europe in June 2010. He is founder of Interaktionslabor Gattelborn in Germany ( and director of DAP-Lab at Brunel University, West London, where he is a Professor of Performance Technologies in the School of Arts. His new book, Performance, Technology and Science, was released by PAJ Publications in 2009.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Performance Research Seminar

GB048 Drama Studio 16:oo-17:30 pm

Misha Myers

(University of Falmouth)

"Is that a pistol in your pocket...?': Corral Consciousness and the Performance of Enclosure and Concealment"

This presentation stages a performative 'fictocritical' dialogue with Jimmie Durham on the strategies employed in his work to intervene in the rituals of concealment and erasure which founded and continue founding the unique brand of empire made in the political and ideological narratives of the US. This dialogue engages with Durham's performance/installation works, writings on cowboys, and his curation of the American West (2005) at Compton Verney, UK, and his work Building a Nation (2006) at Matt's Gallery, London, through the persona, performance texts, lyrics, stage directions and images of my own performance practice, including Yodel Rodeo and Lonesome Long Gone and the installation/outpost Buffalo Sue's Wild West (2004), which were commissioned and performed as part of Spacex Gallery and Relational's Homeland exhibition in Exeter, UK. As a method of researching Durham's strategies of interruption, I staged a re-enactment of a moment of Building a Nation for a Performance Re-enactment Society (PRS) photo shoot. It is a kind of research that I do through the doing of a thing. This involved a process of finding out what something was, is or what it can become through a dynamic and discursive relationship with 'second hand' memories, photographs, and other relics of a performance archive.

Originally, from Mississippi, Dr. Misha Myers is a live artist and Senior Lecturer in Theatre at University College Falmouth-incorporating Dartington College of Arts. She creates socially engaged, dialogic and participatory events that invite participants to reflect on and articulate their experience of particular places and landscapes through various spatial practices and performance mechanisms involving walking, singing, moving and writing. Documentation and digital artworks from her walk works way from home and Take me to a place, co-created with refugees and asylum seekers and refugee support organisations in cities across the UK, are online at Her recent work has been shown at Spacex Gallery's public art exhibition 'Homelands', in the Millais Gallery's 'Art in the Age of Terrorism' exhibition, and as part of Art Surgery and Newlyn Art Gallery's 'Tract', a programme of site-specific and live art. She has published articles on her work and that of others in various journals, including Visual Studies, Performance Research Journal, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Performance Paradigm, The International Journal of Arts and Society, Research in Drama Education and in the book Art in the Age of Terrorism.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Performance Research Seminar

GB048 Drama Studio 16:oo-17:30 pm

Mike Pearson

(University of Plymouth)

"'Fighting in Built-Up Areas': staging The Persians with the British Army "


This seminar will reflect upon matters of archaeology, landscape and site-specificity theory and practice in relation to the production of Aeschylus's The Persians that Mike Pearson directed in August for the newly-founded National Theatre Wales.

Mike Pearson studied archaeology in University College, Cardiff (1968-71). He was a member of R.A.T. Theatre (1972-3) and an artistic director of Cardiff Laboratory Theatre (1973-80) and Brith Gof (1981-97). He continues to make performance as a solo artist and in collaboration with artist/designer Mike Brookes as Pearson/Brookes (1997Ðpresent). In August 2010 he directed a site-specific production of Aeschylus's The Persians for National Theatre Wales on the military training ranges in mid-Wales. He is co-author with Michael Shanks of Theatre/Archaeology (2001) and author of In Comes I: Performance, Memory and Landscape (2006) and Site-Specific Performance (2010). The monograph: All that remains: an imperfect archaeology of the Mickery Theatre, Amsterdam is forthcoming in 2010. He is currently Professor of Performance Studies, Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, Aberystwyth University.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Performance Research Seminar

GB048 Drama Studio 16:oo-17:30 pm

Guillerme Mendonca

(Research Student, Brunel University)


A reflection of personal research methods and the significance of philosophy

The method of physical actions is one aspect of acting theory that deals with reading procedures. Since classical times a number of treatises have tried to explain the nature of drama ? these are poetics of drama.? Mendonca's research looks at the intersection between acting theory and playwriting theory. It argues that, as a procedure for reading, the method of physical actions can be understood as inverted poetics of drama.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Performance Research Seminar

GB048 Drama Studio 16:oo-17:30 pm

Rachel Fensham

(University of Surrey)

Archive Fire: thoughts on choreography and the archive



Winter 2011


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Performance Research Seminar

GB048 Drama Studio 16:oo-17:30 pm

Research in performance at Brunel University


1 5 min presentations of current research and round table discussion of staff members: Barry Edwards, Gretchen Schiller, Fiona Templeton


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Performance Research Seminar

GB048 Drama Studio 16:oo-17:30 pm

Research in performance at Brunel University part 2

RSDO presentation by Averil Horton discussing issues regarding research and Impact. Short presentations of current research and round table discussion of staff members: Sue Broadhurst, Meretta Elliott, Jo Machon, Johannes Birringer


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Performance Research Seminar

GB048 Drama Studio 16:oo and 20.oo pm & Evening Concert at Artaud Performance Centre

Phill Niblock in concert

Composer/filmmaker Phill Niblock will speak about his work and his methods in dialogues with Bob Gilmore (Music) and Johannes Birringer (theatre), and he will be joined by an orchestra of twelve musicians to perform his com position R2 Lips.S The concert will also feature the projection of NiblockUs film RThe Movement of People Working.S Phill Niblock is a New York-based minimalist composer and multi-media musician and director of Experimental Intermedia, a foundation born in the flames of 1968's barricade-hopping. He has been a maverick presence on the fringes of the avant-garde ever since. In the history books Niblock is the forgotten Minimalist. Niblock's music is the emancipation of the drone, the splitting into atomic parts of dozens of flailing, beating frequencies singing out loudly in close acoustical proximity to each other. His works are broad oceans of sound, where very little really "happens" but where there is a great deal to be heard, felt, and pondered.His music involves electronic manipulation of acoustical sound sources recorded over the years by several generations of musicians, playing every instrument under the sun from flute, bass clarinet, saxophone, trombone, digeridoo, to electric guitar, bowed piano, cello, organ, hurdy-gurdy, and much else. Recordings of single held tones are layered into textures rich in micro-nuance, building into imposing, complex soundscapes. Website:


In collaboration with


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Performance Research Seminar

GB048 Drama Studio 16:oo-17:30 pm

Aviva Rahmani

Trigger Point Theory as Aesthetic Activism

Ecological artist and Affiliate, Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado at Boulder, Rahmani received her Masters from the California Institute of the Arts working with Allan Kaprow, and is a PhD candidate at the University of Plymouth, UK.

Trigger Point Theory as Aesthetic Activism is a methodology conceived by ecological artist Aviva Rahmani, to use body knowledge to see the global in the local. Based in current environmental restoration theory and practical experience, it combines science, performative means and discussion to identify where and how people can intervene in sites of serious environmental degradation. Aviva Rahmani, ecological artist and Affiliate, Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), University of Colorado at Boulder, received an Arts and Healing Network 2009 award for her work on water. In 2009, she began performing workshops about her theoretical approach to environmental restoration, "Trigger Point Theory as Aesthetic Activism," beginning at the Survival Academy, Copenhagen, Denmark. Her new media project on global warming, Gulf to Gulf (2009- present), fiscally sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), tracks the global impact of extractive industries. Previous ecological art projects have resulted in the restoration of a former dump site to a flourishing wetland system (Ghost Nets), linking 35 hectares of migratory bird fly zone habitat and helped catalyze a USDA expenditure of $500,000 to restore an additional 13 hectares of critical wetlands habitat (Blue Rocks) in the Gulf of Maine. Internationally known, exhibited and published for her installations, remediation earthworks and environmental art activism, she has over 40 years collaborative experience with scientists. Rahmani received her Masters from the California Institute of the Arts working with Allan Kaprow and is a PhD candidate at the University of Plymouth, UK.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Performance Research Seminar

GB048 Drama Studio 16:oo-17:30 pm

Ursula Mawson-Raffalt & Anthony J. Faulder-Mawson

Silence + Activity

Ursula is an artist & artistic director (performing arts) with Anthony J. Faulder-Mawson, artist & artistic director (visual arts), working as a team in the creation of visual performance installations. They will discuss their work as an International Platform for Innovation in the Arts.

A performative and exhibitive lecture demonstration that investigates the border territory between the disciplines and experiments with blurring the boundaries between performance, exhibition and lecture. Ursula Mawson-Raffalt and Anthony J. Faulder-Mawson both direct the International Platform for Innovation in the Arts. Known particularly for the avant-garde nature of their works, their artistic integrity and unique artistic language, Ursula Mawson-Raffalt and Anthony J. Faulder-Mawson invent means to layer their independent works to form a third entity which is somehow greater than the sum of its parts. Their artistic vision is derived from the view that Art is an OPEN SYSTEM that sustains the flow of oxygen and heals and transforms and relates specifically to time, the embodiment of silence and memory and the articulation of contemplative space through movement, text, voice, spatial drawings, light, painting, video, photography, media and sound. In 1993, when they founded the inter-& cross disciplinary association known under the logo ) + ( = a0, they began a serious, passionate & challenging lifelong collaboration which is rooted in the dialogue about their integrative methods of construction and presentation. Based on their significant groundbreaking methods, both artists have built up, over twenty years, a highly rigorous, complex and responsive working practice in the fields of performing and visual arts. Working as the innovators, creators, artistic directors and producers, they have since created & produced a large body of work - over thirty international projects to date, - conceived for the theatre, exhibition space and for site specific locations which have been shown in Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Israel, the UK and Romania. &


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Performance Research Seminar

GB048 Drama Studio 16:oo-17:30 pm

Nick Hunt

Designer > Performer Repositioning the role of the theatre lighting artist


Lighting designer and Head of School (Design, Management and Technical Arts, Rose Bruford College)

The role of the person with creative responsibility for lighting in theatre performance has traditionally been conceptualised as designer - someone who makes a prior imaginary act before the moment of performance, which is then replayed in performance through an essentially procedural, non-creative, process. I want to propose a partial reinvention of theatre lighting as an arts practice, emphasising the live operation or "performance" of lighting, rather than its design prior to the performance event, and conflating the existing roles of the lighting designer and the lighting operator into the lighting artist. In this seminar, I trace the historical origins of the professional role of the lighting designer and how it is structured, and suggest some strategies for making the shift from designer to performer. As well as describing changes to rehearsal room practices to include lighting, I demonstrate a custom lighting control interface conceptually structured in terms of lighting affects and temporal dynamics,that provides a playable, expressive instrument for the performance of theatre lighting. Nick graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering before deciding that theatre was more interesting than thermodynamics. After ten years as a professional lighting technician and designer, he started teaching at Rose Bruford College, where P some thirteen years later P he is currently Head of the School of Design, Management and Technical Arts. NickUs principal research interest at present is the performative potential of light and the lighting artist as performer. NickUs other research interests include digital scenography and digital performance, the history of theatre lighting, and the roles and status of the various personnel involved in performance-making.


Performance Research Seminar Coordinator: Gretchen Schiller

All Research Seminars are co-produced with dance tech live TV and streamed online as well as archived.


Research Seminar on Dance TECH TV LIVE

The Centre broadcasts selected Performance Research Seminars live from the Brunel Drama Studio - making them available to anyone in the world interested in the subject. Johannes Birringer and Marlon Barrios Solano are co-producing the talks and discussions as live webcasts webcast live on dance tech net TV . The partnership between the Centre and dance-techTV, is an experiment in collaborative video broadcasting (the channel is dedicated to interdisciplinary explorations of the performance of movement. The channel allows worldwide 24/7 linear broadcasting of selected programs, LIVE streaming and Video On-demand).



Special Event 2011

Artaud Performance Centre

April 4-5

* * *


Wed June 15th and Thurs June 16th, 2011

Researching the Arts Conference

Artaud Performance Centre

Wednesday June 15th

13:30 Tea Coffee Reception throughout the whole afternoon

14:00 Welcome speech,A001 Gretchen Schiller

14:15 Louie Jenkins A001 Performance Five Fragments

15:00 Helenna Ren A103 Performance Digital Self part two: BodyBox

15:45 Wayne Smith A101 A reading from Big Time,

16:00 Professor Christopher Fox, Dr Edward Wickham, The Clerks A001 Roger go to yellow three

Wine Reception


Thursday June 16th

9:30 Coffee Reception

10:00 Panel One: Stories of truth, lies, faction and self (Papers are 20 min each) -Sally OUReilly, English Paper Inventing Shakespeare: imagined versions of William Shakespeare in drama and fiction -Emma Fitness, English Paper Telling Tales -Emma Jolly English Paper Hamlet and the French Connection

11:15 Second panel Redefining and Re evaluating Culture A001 (Papers are 20 min each) Joseph Norman, English Paper: Defining the Culture: The Ambiguous Utopia of Iain M. Banks. Carl Wilson Screen Media Paper: The Reality of Representation and the Representation of Charlie Kaufman P Screenwriter. Onder Ozdem, Screen Media Paper: Reevaluation of Documentary Cinema in the Age of Digital Communication Paper: Simon Katan Music Musical Matryoshka: Recursive structures through sonic and visual media.

12:45 Buffet Lunch A001

14:00 Keynote Speaker

Professor Jill Casid

University Madison Wisconsin

Pyrographies: Photography, Desire, Loss

Artaud A001

Jill H. Casid is Associate Professor of Visual Culture Studies in the Department of Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She completed her undergraduate degree at Princeton, M.A. at the Courtauld Institute in London, and Ph.D. at Harvard in art history. As a historian, a theorist of visual culture, and a practicing artist in photo-based media, her work explores the productive tensions between theory, the problems of the archive and the writing of history, issues of gender, race and sexuality; hybridity, chimerism and the complex crossings of human, animal and plant; and the performative and processual aspects of visual objects and imaging. Her contributions to the transdisciplinary field of visual studies include her book Sowing Empire: Landscape and Colonization (2005) and her forthcoming book Shadows of EnlightenmentQboth with the University of Minnesota Press. She has just begun a new book project, RThe Volatile Image: Other Histories of Photography,S that reconsiders photography as a complex and unstable medium. Her interest in pursuing the implications of RtransS for the study of visual culture and interrogating the global turn extends to the international visual culture conference on the theme of RtransS which she co-organized (at University of Wisconsin-Madison in October 2006), the anthology she is planning on "Visual Transculture," and the Clark Art Institute conference, "In the Wake of the Global Turn: Practices for an Exploded Art History Without Borders" which she is co-convening with Aruna D'Souza for 2011. In addition to creating a new curriculum in visual culture studies, she also helped to found and served as the first director of the Center for Visual Cultures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

15:15 Gregory Emfietzis performance A109 Music

16:15 Awards A001

16:30 Performance A101 Helenna Ren

17:00 Reception



(c) 2010-11 The Centre for Contemporary and Digital Performance, Johannes Birringer (acting director)