At Performing, Writing (10-19 March 2017, Wellington, NZ) I presented a keynote and a workshop at the generous invitation of the College of Creative Arts, Massey University.

My full twitter documentation is below.

I am still thinking through this symposium, and am deeply grateful to Julieanna Preston and her collaborators for offering so stimulating a set of provocations as I continue to work through what writing means to me.

WORKSHOP/PERFORMANCE: Writing in the public space

2:00-4:00pm Saturday 11 March 2017
Meet at Performance Arcade lawn, Wellington waterfront behind Te Papa and beyond

What does performing writing look like? How is it embodied? What does it tell us about performance? What does it tell us about writing? In the public space, we read thousands of words every day – words that guide us or alert us or try to sell us things. Writing in public, however, seems less common to us; as writers we prefer solitary, comfortable spaces that are highly idiosyncratic and private. Performing the act of writing in a public space is something we rarely consider consciously – and yet, it’s something that many of us do every day. The open-plan workspace orients the body toward a screen that draws the facial expression away from the circulation space. The mobile device draws the expression downward, allowing writing to be performed in social spaces or in transit while the body performs its daily routines. In each case, the public space surrounding the writing body takes on an anonymised character; an unremarkable public space of seemingly inert bodies in relation to one another. In this workshop, we will create a performance of scale: a critical mass of bodies, solitary or collaborative, writing in the public space. In doing so, we will perform a public space through the act of writing. Afterwards, we will come together to reflect on how writing (in) the public space is possible. Let’s get the words out on the street.

KEYNOTE: Performing Practice

6:30pm Monday 13 March 2017
Massey University, Museum Building Lecture Theatre 10A02
Open and free to the public

As modes of writing and as modes of thinking, critique and advocacy are fundamental to my practice. They are expansive, responsive and connective. They take a complex set of propositions, identifying them within the unique cultural and political trajectory of which they are the culminating work, and in doing so, making them public. Advocacy and critique perform the reception of practice. The third strand of my practice, experimentation, both disrupts and formalises my approach to each of the three. Experimentation is deeply personal, drawing out an instinctive mode of working, and in doing so, exposing the profound ways in which those instincts are always already attuned to writing as form. For the self, experimentation is the performance of writing as practice. This keynote traces the parallel trajectories that comprise my practice, culminating in the conscious decision to experiment with ways of making public its more private aspects: to experiment with the performance of practice. I will draw on recent adventures in archive, drawing, constructive disruption, exhibition and other ways of making public what is essentially private: performing practice as a work in itself.


Tweeted 10-19 March 2017

Wellington! BYO writing for today’s 2pm event Writing (in the) Public Space as part of Performing, Writing:

I’m in sunny Wellington for #PerformingWriting about to shift my workshop somewhere drier…

Here’s Taking Note(s), Performing Care as part of #PerformingWriting

If you’re looking for Writing (in the) Public Space as part of #PerformingWriting, we’re in the Public Library… in unexpected places.

Writing (in the) Public Space: private gestures and intimate expressions in spaces designed for movement and work.  #PerformingWriting

Writing (in the) Public Space: Looking up, looking down, catching a curious child’s eye. #PerformingWriting

Writing (in the) Public Space: The writing body becomes the object of curiosity for a body moving with great care.  #PerformingWriting

Writing (in the) Public Space: Developing an instinct for the space to choose. Avoiding being moved on. Occupying boldly. #PerformingWriting

Oh my. So much to think about after my Writing (in the) Public Space as part of #PerformingWriting. Thank you to everyone who participated.

Follow @arcade_2017 for #arcade2017, New Zealand’s experimental performance art festival, on right now: 10-19 March

I’d never read the Treaty of Waitangi before visiting Aotearoa. The principles, the complexities of translation, the 9 non-identical copies.

Partnership and active protection. Affirmed by New Zealand’s high court as Waitangi Treaty’s key principles. How far Australia has to go.

I’m in Aotearoa this week for #PerformingWriting and #arcade2017. Right now I’m at @Te_Papa learning about this beautiful country.

About to get going for #PerformingWriting’s first keynote by John Hall. ‘Performing, Writing’: What’s that comma up to?

Here’s the abstract for John Hall’s #PerformingWriting keynote:

John Hall: We call this a talk, but it’s not a talk at all [waves printed pages] It’s already written… A lecture? No… #PerformingWriting

John Hall: Seeing, hearing. Do you see what I mean? I’ve heard of that. Beyond the literal readings of perception. #PerformingWriting

John Hall: The sense of anticipation on the #PerformingWriting homepage with animation and sound by Julieanna Preston. Rewarding patience.

John Hall: Waiting. I am waiting for a performance to start. Is this waiting not part of the performance itself? #PerformingWriting

John Hall: The already written can be archived. The already read cannot. How do we remember? How do we commit to memory? #PerformingWriting

John Hall: Am I the only one whose breath shortened experiencing this performance? Remembering learning to write? #PerformingWriting

John Hall: And then, the comma. Only at the very end. Transforming the meaning. What is this comma up to?  #PerformingWriting

John Hall: The teaching of writing and learning how to write as an institutionalised discipline for each cultural context #PerformingWriting

John Hall: Complementarity, differences that augment each other, is at the heart of performance writing. #PerformingWriting

John Hall: Written words speak as though they have intelligence, says the Phaedrus, but interrogate and they only repeat. #PerformingWriting

John Hall: [you could hear a pin drop in this theatre] #PerformingWriting

John Hall: Generative grammar. -ance, -ing. Performance writing. Performing writing. Mass nouns, abstract nouns. #PerformingWriting

John Hall: The -ance is more capacious, vaguer, more open. Performance as an adjective for writing. Add a hyphen maybe. #PerformingWriting

John Hall: Writing itself can be a ritual performance. Like signing an executive order. Writing has a performative force. #PerformingWriting

I’m at #PerformingWriting in Aotearoa this week, hosted by @MasseyUni w. @arcade_2017. John Hall is presenting the first keynote right now.

John Hall: Live, visual, voiced, digital, page-based… Ways of writing and performing.  #PerformingWriting

John Hall: Sitedness in relation to writing goes beyond the apparatus of pen and paper. It might be an island… #PerformingWriting

John Hall: Turns and modes: #PerformingWriting vs @Dartington

John Hall: Without liveness, nothing happened. Silent reading is a live event. It’s in the nature of writing to be seen. #PerformingWriting

John Hall: All writing is situated in a social relational setting, even if only in a deferred way.  #PerformingWriting

John Hall: All phonetic writing is sonic. Even if it’s not read aloud.  #PerformingWriting

Wondering how deliberate John Hall’s choice of ppt background has been. Mock vellum or parchment perhaps. Subtle texture. #PerformingWriting

John Hall: Our @Dartington program flourished, and then uni marketing took over. After 2010, it exists as a framing idea. #PerformingWriting

John Hall: What forms of support will future such projects receive? And from whom? #PerformingWriting is in an academic and artistic space.

John Hall: Here are nine takes on #PerformingWriting complementarities. 1. Performing comes first. What if writing did?

John Hall: 2. As a social act between people: writing need not wait for a performance to perform.  #PerformingWriting

John Hall: 3. An expanded notion of text that includes context, materiality, situatedness. Broader than site.  #PerformingWriting

John Hall: 4. Extending Halliday’s notion of grammatical metaphor. Keeping multiple senses of meaning in play. #PerformingWriting

It suddenly occurs to me with a thumping great thud that what I’m doing for you, here, right now, is #PerformingWriting.

John Hall: What would it mean for a work of art to aspire to the condition of writing? Of performance? And what is it? #PerformingWriting

John Hall: 6. Writing can play out aspects of its production that might otherwise be taken for granted.  #PerformingWriting

John Hall: 5. Cross/multi-modal practice. Collaboration as generative negotiation. Domainal transfers that transform. #PerformingWriting

John Hall: 8. Open to its relationships with other practices. Including means of production. #PerformingWriting

John Hall: Fully alert to performances of reading/s. There are many ways to perform writing, reading. #PerformingWriting

John Hall: 9. Versioning. Varied manifestations, media. No fixed outcome. #PerformingWriting

John Hall: I have no wish to assert that I have contributed anything other than a means of beginning #PerformingWriting. Looking forward…

Warm thanks to the dapper and cheerfully intelligent John Hall for getting us going so beautifully. #PerformingWriting

Discussion now. I was curious about No. 6. Now talking about choice of typeface and how that affects the #PerformingWriting experience.

John Hall: Once I was concerned about having to sign certain unwelcome papers. So I made up a new signature. Alt font. #PerformingWriting

Huge thanks, John Hall. That’s #PerformingWriting for today. Back tomorrow… on a boat!

Wellington! My keynote for #PerformingWriting is open to the public. 6pm tomorrow at @MasseyUni. Background reading:

Angela Kilford and Aliyah Winter performing the origins at Mātiu Island #PerformingWriting

And the story as performed/written.

Annie Morrad and Steve Dutton in jazzform poetry: the work is a mind that exists in the word, the word is a work that… #PerformingWriting

For an hour I have been immersed in this work. The comfortably jarring experience of word and note. Abstracted as text.

People have come and gone. Sat down on the carpet, found a shape for their bodies, and made that shape an inert form of quiet concentration.

Annie Morrad’s saxophone hums, clicks, stutters, moans, sighs, fills the space, fills the room, casts itself across the sky.

Steve Dutton at the electronics makes human voices sound, now masculine, now feminine, now masculine again. Phonemes, words, rhythms.

#PerformingWriting as a jazz: a conscious reference to a syncope, a deliberate exposure of structure, an awareness of language in play.

This work, and my mind, they are attuned. My thoughts travel. They are interrupted gently. They are punctuated, precipitated, played.

When my mind is animated, I want to write. When I am writing, my mind is animated. When I want to be animated, I write the mind. Automatic.

Blushing. Reddening. Abnormal reddening. Red stain. Fear of blushing or red lights. From Paterson’s Dictionary of Colour. #PerformingWriting

Julieanna Preston #PerformingWriting

Which is ironic because today is no longer observed as a public holiday at @unimelb:

Huge thanks to #PerformingWriting for tonight’s invigorating opportunity. My mind is abuzz.

Lisa Munnelly’s Dirty Edges and Clean Lines: performing drawing composed against imperative text spoken to guide our own. #PerformingWriting

Jessica Worden’s The Mutable Score. The changeable. The tendency toward change. The investigation of manifest change. #PerformingWriting

Now I am hearing words sounded in entirely new ways, with breath, with emphasis, with controlled subtlety, with delicate precision.

One of the greatest things about international symposia is how they put you in closer contact with people local to you. #PerformingWriting

Stats! This just in from the Women’s Theatre Festival at @BatsTheatre by @CircaTheatre

Caroline Wright’s A Thin Place led us siren-like up and down stairs with her mellifluous voice, against Invisible Cities. #PerformingWriting

Take a moment to think about a circle. Or at least, something circular. The Thing That Is What a Circle Is by David Hall #PerformingWriting

Curatorial writing, contemporary dance, the catalogue, the archive: Victoria Mohr-Blakeney. Materiality and movement. #PerformingWriting

Victoria Mohr-Blakeney: Does text stand against ephemerality or embodiment? Or is it a matter of colonisation, control? #PerformingWriting

Victoria Mohr-Blakeney: Perhaps not dance itself but the presence of dance that can be compromised by documentation. #PerformingWriting

Victoria Mohr-Blakeney: Translating embodied practice such as dance into writing can strip it of its agency and power. #PerformingWriting

Victoria Mohr-Blakeney: Derrida’s archive codetermines what it archives. Dance curators codetermining embodied practice. #PerformingWriting

Victoria Mohr-Blakeney: And yet both writing and contemporary dance are porous, intertextual. Not inert universals. #PerformingWriting

Victoria Mohr-Blakeney: Dance situated in cultural studies for example reframes it as cultural production. Constructive. #PerformingWriting

Victoria Mohr-Blakeney: The dance exhibition catalogue as expanding rather than subduing embodied practice. #PerformingWriting

Victoria Mohr-Blakeney: Past project No Context reconsidered curatorial discourse in relation to dance. Things happened. #PerformingWriting

Victoria Mohr-Blakeney: Multiple text types in multiple voices decentralise a definitive approach, expand signification #PerformingWriting

Victoria Mohr-Blakeney: Interrupted texts, multiple perspectives, conversations, scenarios. Not narrative description. #PerformingWriting

Victoria Mohr-Blakeney: Toronto’s experimental dance scene once had the magazine Spill, a big focus in the 70s. #PerformingWriting

I’m in the middle of #PerformingWriting in Wellington, by @MasseyUni with @arcade_2017, today at @BatsTheatre. More:

Victoria Mohr-Blakeney: Dance has been my research interest, but my intervention extends beyond dance. #PerformingWriting

Victoria Mohr-Blakeney: The incompleteness of the archive as a source – of work, of liveness, and not only documentation. #PerformingWriting

Victoria Mohr-Blakeney: Writing that gestures toward embodied practice as a form of knowledge. Productive fields. #PerformingWriting

Ok. Lots of discussion. Writing and liveness. Text, knowledge, otherness. Knowledge as understood beyond the academy. #PerformingWriting

Amelia Ehrhardt lamenting the roles of creative power for women across the past few decades. #PerformingWriting

Comma: Judd Morrissey’s #PerformingWriting keynote. Go.

Judd Morrissey: A #PerformingWriting performance in code and function, presented in re-enactment. A suggestive constellation of language.

Judd Morrissey: The comma, the zero and the one positions, the conjoining. Coding and decoding. #PerformingWriting

Judd Morrissey: We are sinking in a code-like complexity of complex signification perhaps… #PerformingWriting

Judd Morrissey: Using the coder’s automatic syntax highlighting cuts up a text and parses new meanings. #PerformingWriting

Judd Morrissey: Patterns of pseudo-code nods towards meaning – that, or the fetishisation of meaning. #PerformingWriting

And now Judd Morrissey becomes Kjell Theory to queer the space with augmented reality. Balloons: burst! #PerformingWriting

Kia ora! It’s #PerformingWriting’s final day. Starting with Dr Tina Makereti’s keynote Writing/Performing/Identity and Other Grand Ideas

Tina Makereti: How are identities performed when we write a novel? How are our own identities performed? #PerformingWriting

(Omg it’s a #PerformingWriting miracle! Sunshine!)

Tina Makereti: Parading Indigenous bodies like Saartje Baartman used to be part of the human zoo culture that I research. #PerformingWriting

Tina Makereti: It’s a complicated post-colonial layered project, and #PerformingWriting made me consider how my novel is about performance.

Tina Makereti: Began to realise how performance of identity was required not just of Indigenous people but colonials too. #PerformingWriting

Tina Makereti: My premise was simple. Savage native travels to London to expose how savage civilisation was. Not new. #PerformingWriting

Tina Makereti: The writing is cleverer than me. I open the aperture just a little to let it emerge. #PerformingWriting

Tina Makereti: The book became an examination of the modern self – both Indigenous and non – as seduced by civilisation. #PerformingWriting

Tina Makereti: I learnt that there were places like exhibition halls where poor and rich mixed. Pseudo-science world view #PerformingWriting

Tina Makereti: General Tom Thumb! The Celebrated American Dwarf! Visited by ladies and gents of the first respectability! #PerformingWriting

Tina Makereti: Comapre today’s reality tv freak shows dressed up as health education e.g. weight loss contests. #PerformingWriting

Tina Makereti: These days we perform this exhibition in different ways. Including social media. Exploiting and exploited. #PerformingWriting

Today’s #PerformingWriting turn is On Voice and we’re up at Wellington SPCA, a former fever hospital:

Tina Makereti: I’m still researching who could say what in social settings, who could introduce themselves, shake hands. #PerformingWriting

And by the way, the cat is dead. By Kate Adams. #PerformingWriting

We join in sorrow so that silenced violence will find its echo in our spirit, not by imagination but by artistic vision – Ettinger 2016

Gatchinsky: Performance allows us to prod the wounds of mourning and grief to the surface in ritual, periodic and strategic ways.

Here’s Jock Gilbert with Sophia Pearce Skyping in from Mildura. Interpreting country and stories through mappings. #PerformingWriting

Jock Gilbert: Cartography as performative, as narrative, as the immutable mobile. Understanding Indigenous knowledge/s. #PerformingWriting

Sophia Pearce: I’m a Barkandji woman and that’s how my story begins. My research is on storytelling as a research tool. #PerformingWriting

Sophia Pearce: Working with my own mob, I know how much the Elders love a yarn and that’s a big part of my learning work. #PerformingWriting

Jock Gilbert: The story always begins with the speaker telling their journey to here. The importance of deep listening. #PerformingWriting

Jock Gilbert: Deep listening as recognising and respecting that Indigenous knowledge is and sounds different to non-Indig #PerformingWriting

Jock Gilbert: Sam Truebridge mapped a prickly Mildura landscape on a hot day in a giant inflatable black thing. #PerformingWriting

Sophia Pearce: We started a whole new conversation on how to know what to look for on country. Animals, plants, dangers. #PerformingWriting

Jock Gilbert: Standing in a circle, we were invited to rub dirt under our armpits, all together… An electric charge. #PerformingWriting

Jock Gilbert: We wrote pages and pages… One of them asked, So you just want us to respond to what’s here, right? #PerformingWriting

Jock Gilbert: One participant worked on bark. One reluctant participant, a mapper, offered these found remnants. #PerformingWriting

I’m in Aotearoa this week for #PerformingWriting by @MasseyUni with @arcade_2017. Here’s the symposium’s last day:

Sophia Pearce: Oh if I was there with you I’d be yarning my head off! I’m so nervous my mob will bomard me while we talk! #PerformingWriting

Oooh thrilling now it’s Martin Patrick on Fluxus and its scores #PerformingWriting

Martin Patrick: One of my students recently remarked: It’s as if I’m allowed to do these as well! #PerformingWriting

Martin Patrick: Fluxus scores are concise and tersely written. ‘Shuffle around the audience’ ‚Äì and not gaining complicity #PerformingWriting

Martin Patrick: Nivea cream; tying up the audience; exhorting a group of people to make a salad. A shareable performance. #PerformingWriting

Martin Patrick: The Fluxus score is not re-enacted, but realised through performance. Fixity and indeterminacy coexist. #PerformingWriting

Martin Patrick: John Cage’s students said the best thing about his classes was the strong sense of Anything Is Possible. #PerformingWriting

Martin Patrick: A textual form of bad memory. Reconfiguring the past. Fluxus scores as the displacement of time. #PerformingWriting

Martin Patrick: The politics of memory in late-capitalist culture. Reject the object and the documentation of the present #PerformingWriting

Martin Patrick: Here is the full score of John Cage’s Danger Music No. 17. Scream! Scream! Scream! Scream! Scream! #PerformingWriting

Martin Patrick: Fluxus scores by female artists were proto-feminist or directly feminist, and today, more so. #PerformingWriting

Martin Patrick: Fluxus located their subjects at the extreme ends of convention without explicitly rejecting them. #PerformingWriting

Martin Patrick: Interdisciplinary, diverse and uncategorisable, the Fluxus artists were largely invisible. #PerformingWriting

Martin Patrick: @yokoono’s Cut Piece (1964): a more explicit violence than Lick Piece, both in sexually conservative era. #PerformingWriting

Martin Patrick: While Fluxus was open to everyone indiscriminately, sometimes a founder would exclude or excommunicate. #PerformingWriting

Martin Patrick: Fluxus is read as messy contingencies, but they mark out vast territories for thought, even today. #PerformingWriting

Lynley Edmeades: A philosophy of sound art, the experience of doubt, the performance of context. #PerformingWriting

Lynley Edmeades: Very rarely in the do we experience only one sound. We do hear the beginnings and ends of many sounds. #PerformingWriting

Kevin Sparrow is taking us on an adventure. #PerformingWriting

Orange you glad we’re here?

Look. A navel orange. It looks like a navel. Orangeness is round and sweet. With a frustrating whiteness under the flesh.

Let us go forward…

Kelly Malone’s #PerformingWriting presentation is texty not talky.

Comma. #PerformingWriting

Enormous thanks to @MasseyUni @arcade_2017 and everyone who made #PerformingWriting happen.