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ABOVE: Ergot and Other Stories (2017) Photograph by Lorenza Cini


Ergot and Other Stories is a series of ongoing essay performances that encompass writing as a primary mode of making, and reading as a primary mode of performance. These works are representative of a continued shift away from the question: ‘what is it like for an audience to witness my performance?’ Rather, I am now interested in asking ‘what is it like for a reader (or listener) to engage with my writing?’ Elements of this exploration began with a presentation at the Venice International Performance Art Week in Italy, December 2017. This performance initially took on the characteristics of an artist lecture, but transitioned into a completely fictional realm, exploring a series of narrative strands that depicted the implications of an artist having some sort of ‘special power’ – for example, a performance artist who can walk through walls, an artist who can shape-shift from human to object form and back, or an artist who is able to time travel. I continued to explore this framework of fictional writing during my 2018 MacDowell residency, where I began revisiting a number of earlier performance pieces that struck me as potentially functioning as texts (to be read) in their own right. This novelistic approach to my writing continues with the ongoing development of a series of unfinished stories that derive from my experience of working within educational institutions. These stories describe a series of strange, imaginary seats of learning, and esoteric classroom activities. The texts generated thus far variously have the characteristics of a novel, a lecture, historical research and philosophical musing, with recurrent themes such as the virus as a metaphor for the transmission of information, outmoded teaching technologies and histories of collective hallucination.


Poets Theater Festival, Sector 2337 (Green Lantern Press), Chicago, USA: 12.08.2018 / Venice International Performance Art Week, European Cultural Centre, Italy: 12.15.2017


A short extract from a live reading of this work can be found here.

ABOVE: Ergot and Other Stories (2017) Photograph by Lorenza Cini