Friday, 6 May 2011


19 May 10.45- 8pm
Old Mining Building, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9JT

Charles Olson’s Projective Verse invites writing to be considered spatially, as OPEN, or as FIELD (of) composition in three dimensions. His proposition is one of text as space of action, of breath as punctuation, and of the bodily pressures of writing in which ‘form is never more than an extension of content’. Drawing together the practices of UK artists and writers, this day-long event attempts to further explore notions of physical and spatial writing, drawing on the installation Re – (WRITING (the) SPACE) and Olson’s notion of Projective Verse.

10.45 – 6pm: OPEN OLSON OPEN Laboratory
A laboratory exploring practice-based examples of Olson’s Projective Verse. Presenting is David Berridge talking on PHRASE POETICS and Olson’s “field”, Rachel Lois Clapham on FINGER and three dimensional ‘diagramming’, Emma Cocker explores the 'spacing' of extraction, condensation and close reading, Victoria Gray unpicks her performance of Loop (2011), Claire Hind examines voice and breath in response to Olson’s insistence upon the author’s body and Mary Paterson uses her online text 'Navigation Through Unbound' as a case study for writing the unknown. Audience space is limited so booking essential, please email

6-8pm : How is Art Writing?
Dinner, drink and a live performance by Giles Bailey as part of the In a word…artists’ dinner series. Free but booking essential via or by clicking here.

Details of the overall WRITING (the) SPACE series is here


Giles Bailey was born in York in 1981. He studied art in Leeds, Glasgow, London and Rotterdam at the Piet Zwart Institute where he is currently enrolled on the Master of Fine Art Programme. Having a long term interest in the power and peculiarities of the voice much of his work constitutes a study of the performing role for a speaking subject with a specific interest in the images that are used to construct and recount history. The inefficiency or problematic character of these images become the basis for performances that aim to expand or complete them. David Berridge is a writer based in London. He curates VerySmallKitchen, and writes on connections of language and art practice for The Fanzine, Fillip, Jacket, and others. His book Lemonade will be published by LemonMelon in August 2011, and he was part of the serial exhibition NierghtravAOnWint’sIf A Teller, curated by Simon Lewandowski, which is now a book from The Wild Pansy Press. With Mirja Koponen he is co-curating I AM NOT A POET, a summer school and festival of language and art practice at the Totalkunst Gallery in Edinburgh (7-21 August). Formerly Editor of Live Art UK’s Writing from Live Art (2006-2008), Rachel Lois Clapham is Co-Director of Open Dialogues; a UK collaboration that produces critical writing on and as performance. She also curates radical writing with the Arts Council partnership In a word.... Her regular column, Inside Performance, is published by Dance Theatre Journal. Her own practice points..., punctuates movement and presses on physical gestures as text. 2010 work includes Re- (PSL, touring to Norwich Arts Centre and Flat Time House), Readers Wanted (Pigeon Wing), (W)reading Performance Writing (Live Art Development Agency) and Essaying Touch (Islington Mill). Emma Cocker is a writer and artist based in Sheffield and a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University. Operating under the title, Not Yet There, her practice explores models of practice – and subjectivity – that resist or refuse the pressure of a single or stable position by remaining willfully unresolved. Recent published essays includes ‘Over and Over Again and Again’ in Contemporary Art and Classical Myth (Ashgate Publishing 2010) and in Failure (Documents of Contemporary Art, Whitechapel/MIT, 2010); ‘Performing Stillness: Community in Waiting’ in Stillness in a Mobile World (Routledge, 2011); ‘The Restless Line, Drawing’ in Hyperdrawing: Beyond the Lines of Contemporary Art, (I.B. Tauris, 2011), and ‘Border Crossings – Practices for Beating the Bounds’ in the forthcoming Liminal Landscapes, (Routledge, 2012). Cocker has written for various exhibition catalogues and publications, including the forthcoming Manual for Marginal Places as well as for Frieze, Dance Theatre Journal, The Art Book, a-n, engage, drain, m/c, Journal of Writing in Creative Practice and artandresearch. She is a member of the Publishing Advisory Group for the Live Art Development Agency. Victoria Gray makes live work that is located between performance, sculpture and writing. She has performed work nationally and internationally, including Axis Arts (Manchester), Chisenhale Studios (London) and Sideshow, British Art Show 7 (Nottingham).In 2011 she will present new work at Epipiderme (Portugal) and Grace Exhibition Space (New York). She co-curates O U I Performance, with artist Nathan Walker, together they programme performance art in York. Victoria is Lecturer in Performance at York St John University. Claire Hind is a Senior Lecturer at York St John University where she specializes in conceptual performance practice. She has a PhD from the University of Leeds. Claire collaborates regularly with Claire MacDonald on international writing research projects and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Writing in Creative Practice and has guest edited two editions on performance writing with Professor Susan Orr. Claire is currently writing a solo performance with Gary Winters and Alexander Kelly entitled Ghost Trackfor an international tour. Her writing functions as the connective tissue between forms of theatre and repetitive acts of stand up. Mary Paterson is a writer, producer and collaborator based in London. She is currently Creative Producer of Encounter, a programme of public art in urban spaces across North Kent, and Writer in Residence for Glorious, a socially engaged musical extravaganza by Rajni Shah Projects. Mary is co-founder of Open Dialogues, a collaboration that produces critical writing on and as performance.


WRITING (the) SPACE is developed by Rachel Lois Clapham (Open Dialogues) in partnership with New Work Yorkshire and supported by In a word…


By Rachel Lois

My piece for this new zine – launched today online, as well as in and around Yorkshire - is titled RE-TYPE (500 words) and responds to the zine’s invitation to write 500 words on the theme of DIY. RE-TYPE (500 words) is a 500 word excerpt of Charles Olson’s 1951 text Projective Verse re-typed by myself; as tribute, as research, as labour (WORK, TRY, HARD).

The whole zine can be downloaded and viewed here

RE-TYPE (500 words) is also a pre-cursor to a fuller examination of this particular text in WRITING (the) SPACE 19 May at Wild Pansy Press, Leeds.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A Prototype of Walking (S)miles

By Rachel Lois Clapham and Present Attempt

An incomplete textual sample that comes out of Walking (S)miles by Present Attempt.

Optional Instructions for Self-Assembly

1. Print the document
2. Cut each of the pages down the centre with the exception of the last page
3. Affix the cut pages to the last page
4. (W)read the document

Walking Smiles

Rachel Lois Clapham is a writer based in Bradford. She is Co-Director of Open Dialogues, a UK collaboration that produces critical writing on and as performance. She also curates radical writing with the Arts Council partnership In a word… Her regular column, Inside Performance, is published by Dance Theatre Journal. 2010 performance work includes Re- (PSL Gallery, Norwich Arts Centre and Flat-time House), READERS WANTED (Pigeon Wing), [Essaying Touch] (Islington Mill) and (W)reading Performance Writing: a Guide (Live Art Development Agency).

Present Attempt is a group of four artists making collaborative performance works since 2007. These have included studio-based pieces, site specific performances, writing and practice based research. They have shown work across the UK at venues includingthe ICA, The Greenroom, BAC, Shunt Vaults and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Recent performances include Networks 1.0 (Riverside Studios, Forest Fringe), Keeping the Park (Away Day 2010) and Walking (S)miles (Hazard Festival, Hide and Seek Weekender). Present Attempt are James Bush, Alex Eisenberg, Venla Hatakka and John Pinder.

About the performance

Walking (S)miles is an event that builds a unique ‘map’ of the city as people wander through it, collecting smiles from passers-by.

© Rachel Lois Clapham and Present Attempt. Commissioned by Hazard Festival in association with Critical Writing Collective 2010.