Friday, 31 July 2009

Notes on NOTES...

image - Arco, Bookwork/C-type prints, 2008 © Sam Belinfante

Open Dialogues is taking part in Notes on NOTES…; a collaborative writing residency with Matthew Hearn, John Dummett and Rachel Lois Clapham

NOTES on a Return is a series of events and exhibitions recalling a sequence of live artworks which took place at the Laing Gallery in the late 1980s.

The programme brings back works by Anne Bean, Rose English, Mona Hatoum, Bruce McLean and Nigel Rolfe. Five UK and international artists - Sam Belinfante (UK), Sofia Greff (Germany), Graham Hudson (UK), Meg Mosley (UK) and Viola Yesiltac (USA/Germany) - have also been commissioned to make new works that respond to the five original 1980’s performances.

Together, the exhibition based archival recollections, new commissions and symposium are all part of an open question or in-process experiment in how to house ephemeral practice and return to or re-enact the live.

Notes on NOTES

Notes on NOTES is a writing residency
in which Rachel Lois Clapham, John Dummett
and Matthew Hearne will collectively make an imperfect fiction of Notes on a Return in a series of live, drawn and public actions.

Rachel Lois Clapham ‘Scoring Notes on a Return’
Ultimately speculative, a score lies in between action and object, performance and document; it is a singular record of action past or imagined and a call to future performances.

Exploring how to compose, punctuate or re-write performance Rachel Lois will publicly make a score for Notes on a Return using materials gathered from artists and audiences over the two days of the symposium. The resulting score will be used to produce a written response to the five newly commissioned performances in Notes.

Visitors to the exhibition are invited to contribute to the composition of the score in whatever way they wish. All contributions will be acknowledged in the final published text.

Rachel Lois Clapham has a BA Fine Art/Art History (2000) and an MA in Contemporary Art Theory (2007) from Goldsmiths College. Previously editor of Live Art UK’s Writing From Live Art, and Arts Council funded Writing Live fellow for Performa Biennial, New York, her writing on performance related practice is published in the UK and internationally. She works across exhibitions and gallery education, most recently curating Nahnou-Together Now an exhibition at Tate Britain (June -Sept 08). She is currently Co-Director of critical writing initiative Open Dialogues and writes a regular column 'Inside Performance' for Dance Theatre Journal. Current interests are collaborative live writing, scores and the porosity of text.

John Dummett ‘My very first Incunabulum’
Through working on and annotating a facsimile of Mel Bochner’s seminal 1970 conceptual artwork; ‘Language is not transparent’ John Dummett will print a text composed of the transient, ephemeral, and unstable fictions that together constitute memory. This live printing process will draw upon what is made visible and legible during the 1,050 minutes of the Notes on a Return symposium.

(Incunabulum is the Latin for "swaddling clothes" or "cradle" and can refer to the earliest stages or first traces in the development of anything. In printing, an incunabulum is a book, or even a single sheet of text that was printed— not handwritten — before the year 1501 in Europe.)

Working with text, writing and discussions,Dummetts' practice is a live collaborative process which performs the act of thinking and critical reflection. Over the past 10 years he has worked internationally exhibiting works at the Museum of Modern Art in Vienna, Irish Museum of Modern Art and at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto.

In 2009 John has worked on bodies of writing which have explored urban green space (The Architecture Centre Bristol), the significance and value of thinking in contemporary society (National Review of Live Art) and how shared codes of behaviour mark public space (Limerick City Gallery). He is currently undertaking a 6 month research programme supported by Longhouse in Birmingham.

Matthew Hearne ‘Notes on an Index’
Whilst accepting the subjectivity of our individual response to an event, action or intervention, as we process our thoughts, polish our vocabulary and perfect our grammar the indexical link between first impression and written response both diminishes and collapses.

Within this fulcrum, this margin, this middle ground however there exists the potential to develop and rekindle this connection. Exploring the process, connection and the immediacy of the writing with the aid of type-writer – formally used by Rob le Frenais in Anne Beans 1997 performance at the Laing – and a sheet of carbon paper, the medium, like the live work itself, will become the message.

Matthew Hearn is a writer, curator and sometime artist. He is currently undertaking an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award in partnership with University of Sunderland and The Locus+ Archive. Having worked with Locus+ since 2002 this current body of research led to his involvement in researching and curating the Locus+ Archive exhibition This Will Not Happen Without You and has also fed into the development of Notes on a Return.

Thinking, talking and writing about archives and the need, means and process of documenting ephemeral practices he has fed into a number of recent initiatives including, Per-Forming the Archive and Arkive City in collaboration with University of Ulster, Belfast, and Rethinking Archives, Arnolfini and UWE, Bristol.

Notes on a Return is supported by Arts Council England

Subversive Correspondence

Open Dialogues are currently featuring in the Subversive Correspondence Exhibition; a group show of works that explore the subversions of correspondence and dialogue.

As FREE PRESS, we (the defendant) have submitted a complex and curious legal injunction against Subversive Correspondence, prohibiting the organizers from going ahead with the exhibition on the grounds of plagiarism and initiating legal action. The injunction will be displayed- along with sworn affadavits- in Subversive Correspondence as testament to the exchange of ideas between the two projects and a call to future (court) appearances.

Subversive Correpondence is at Broadwalk Arts Centre in Bristol From Monday 20th July to Thursday 23rd July 2009 and will tour to The Gallery at Willesden Green, London from Wednesday 19th August to Wednesday 2nd September 2009. Private View 18th August 6-9pm

It is curated by Diana Ali and features Adam Burton, Alice Bradshaw, Arman Tadevosyann, Barbara Bianchi, Chantal Powell, Colin Andrews , Danielle Oke, FREE PRESS, Guy Bigland, Jacqueline Bradley, JJ Higgins, Johannes Gerard, John O'Hare, Julie Hill, karien Van Assendelft, karl Mendonca, Katie Watters, Kevin Timmins, Leslie Doyle, Lindsay Jenkinson, Lorna Giezot, Louise Tett, Markus Brillert, Mary Elizabeth Hubbard, Mary Rachel Fanning, Michal Iwanowski, Mickey Beal, Osvaldo Cibils, Owen Mundy and Joelle Dietrick, Ozzy Yorulmaz, Project 6, Rachel Marsden, Riccardo Attansio, Richard Joel Bannister, Robin Boothroyd, Robin Clare, Ruth Pringle, Sarah Bentley, Sibyll Kalff, thickandtastyxxx, Tim Harris, Ting Ting Cheng, Valentina Ferrandes, Ziggy Evitts

for more details about Open Dialogues's Free Press case study go to Free Press: Till Poems

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Acts of Language

Acts of Language is currently producing FIVE ROOMS the new collaborative writing publication by interdisciplinary art collective Propeller.

About Acts of Language

Established by Larry Lynch in 1997, Acts of Language is concerned with the publication, dissemination and production of the types of experimental writing and cross-artform text work often captured under the term Performance Writing. Between 1997 and 2001 a number of events were produced, including ‘Writing Aloud’ (Institute of Contemporary Art, London), featuring performances by Aaron Williamson, cris cheek, Grainne Cullen and Fabienne Audeoud, and ‘The Space Writing’ (Bonnington Gallery, Nottingham), including live/audio work by Miles Champion, Caroline Bergvall, Daniel Gosling and Edith-Marie Pasquier. In 2000 Acts of Language collaborated with The Liminal Institute (a transeuropean artists collective) to produce a 2 week festival in Berlin, that included work by (amongst others) ‘Things Not Worth Keeping’, Caroline Bergvall, Ric Allsopp, Sarah Frances and Ciaran Maher. Around this time the book ‘Sweet G Variations’ by Gregg Whelan was published, and Acts of Language worked with Brigid Mc Leer on the development stages of her networked project ‘In Place of the Page’.

Acts of Language are currently planning publishing, live, audio and gallery projects.

for more details see

For details of propeller see

Thursday, 23 July 2009


One-day event: Thursday 26 November 2009

10 PERFORMANCES is a text-based performance project that will explore the nature of performative writing and its relation to the staged event of performance. 5 established international artists and 5 UK based postgraduate artists will contribute one written work each.

Sharing a concern with language “not as a text, but, as an event”, as Tim Etchells, the artistic director of Forced Entertainment, has aptly noted, the project’s aim is to explore the notion of writing as a way of performing as well as the ways that performance is being elaborated through linguistic and writing processes. The main aim of the artists participating in the project is therefore to expand the forms and ways that one can “make writing perform” (Pollock, 1998:75). Within the project’s frame the page will become the material stage upon which 10 PERFORMANCES are realised.

The five established artists participating in the project are: Barbara Campbell (Australia), Robin Deacon (UK), Matthew Goulish (USA), Akillas Karazisis (Greece) and Cathy Naden (UK).

These artists and 5 postgraduate artists will work individually over a period of two months in order to create 10 PERFORMANCES. The 10 new works will be presented via a one-day event and an interactive website.


Deadline for submissions: Monday 10 August, 6pm
Postgraduates interested in performative writing, particularly those working on practice-led projects in the areas of Live Art, Visual Art, Performance and Contemporary Theatre, are invited to submit proposals.
For further information, enquiries and submissions please write to:

Deadline Monday 10 August, 6pm. 10 performances is in association with Roehampton Drama, Theatre and Performance department and funded by the AHRC ‘Beyond Text’ student-led initiative

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Dancing the book

Image (c) Cornelius Cardew and Gallery Upstairs Press.

‘Dancers are at one and the same time paper, pen, and graphic, the space that their bodies use being the place where, eventually, the sign is inscribed, which is none other than a figure of the body yet again.’

- Jose Gil Metamorphoses of the Body

Open Dialogues took part in the ‘Dancing the Book’ practice as research workshop with Jude Walton on the 6th and 7th July. A group of 10 visual art, performance and writing artists danced, read and wrote scores. We looked at bodies with books, inventing a grammar for actions, writing motion, moving text and spacing thought on and off the page.

The workshop was organized by ICFAR and coincided with Jude’s placement Summer Fellowship there. The workshop was also part of the From Scratch festival at The Drawing Room, a symposium considering the legacies and practices that emerged from art collectives and collaborations of the 70s and 80s, most notably Cornelius Cardew’s Scratch orchestra.

Melbourne based dance and performance artist Jude Walton works across film, visual art and performance, making public art works, books and time-based works.

Video documentation and scores from ‘Dancing The Book’ at the Drawing Room will be made available via ICFAR (International centre for Fine Art Research).

click here for more information

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Question Time

As Open Dialogues, Rachel Lois Clapham and Alex Eisenberg worked with the 2009 East End Collaborations (EEC) community to develop Question Time; a critical response to the work seen at EEC.

Question Time is a two part response. The first part, the question, here:

The second part, the response, is here:

Please use the 'toggle full screen' button to view document.
To print the document click on 'more' and select print.

East End Collaborations is an annual platform for young London based Live Art artists organised by the Live Art Development Agency and Queen Mary University. Participating artists - 2009: Oreet Ashery, Angela Bartram, Alexander C. Bede, Ben Connors & Holly Darton, Richard DeDomenici, Sheila Ghelani, Susannah Hewlett, Helena Hunter, Yoko Ishiguro, Poppy Jackson, Rachel Mars, Martin O’Brien, Jiva Parthipan, Lindsey Price & Francesca Millican-Slater, Simon Raven, Siân Robinson Davies, Georgia Rodger, Jungmin Song, Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, Lisa Wright


Alex Eisenberg; Bimbi; London; Artist and Writer; London; Advanced Theatre Practice, Central School of Speech and Drama; Chemistry, B; Street Walker for a chartered surveyors; ‘Physics of the Impossible’ by Michio Kaku; ‘Fragments’by Jean Beaudrillard; Waiter for a catering company; network visualisation diagrams, maps, conversation, proximity, transcription; none; no current income, working on a new project with Present Attempt; £200; ‘Sounding the Event’, Yves Lomax; cortège; picture frame making.

Rachel Lois Clapham; Poo; Bradford; Curator and Writer; Manchester; Contemporary Art Theory Goldsmiths College; Physical Education: E; Curator of Nahnou-Together Now at Tate Britain; an exhibition of socially engaged art; Will Self ‘How the Dead Live’; Deleuze & Guattari ‘A Thousand Plateaus’; Sanitary Waste Collector (Dog Units) Fullwood Prison; live writing, performance criticism, improvisation, contingency and the porosity of text; Leeds United; Co-Director of Open Dialogues; £250 plus expenses; Jeff Nuttall ‘Bomb Culture’; marginalia; Second Life.

Questions: Name; the name your family or partner calls you (nick-name); the city you live in; what you do; your home town; MA course you did recently; the subject and result of your lowest GCSE grade; a job you had in 2008; a book you are reading for pleasure; a book you have not read because you tried and found it off-putting; your worst job ever; current writerly fascinations; Football team your family or partner supports (if any); what job you are doing now; the most you have been paid for a commission; a book you are really looking forward to reading; favorite word; a mild fascination that could develop into an obsession if you had more time