This two-week event marked Site Gallery’s ongoing commitment to supporting live art, by highlighting the practice of artists working across time-based, performative, interactive or durational contexts. Through installations, projections, performances, sound and streaming media. The program foregrounded the relationship between art and life by showcasing works whereby the physical presence of the artist and/or audience, experienced in both time and space forms an essential aspect of the work. Work was exhibited in the gallery, off-site and site-specific locations; as well as the Showroom Cinema, NCPM and the Site Gallery Projection Window.
Archaique Cinema – Julien Maire
The representation of reality, nurtured by photography and cinema, underlies Maire’s work. By projecting a three dimensional object in order to obtain a picture, this piece experiments with a different kind of cinema. The artists performance, introducing objects and elements into the slide as it is projected, creates its own live action and the spectator shuttles constantly between their view of the projected object and their supposition of what is really contained in the projector.
Ongoing Installations in the Gallery
The Black Maze – Stan’s Cafe
The Black Maze is a labyrinth of dark, narrow, twisting corridors full of unexpected sounds, visions and physical sensations. It is a five minute journey into the darkness of your own imagination. The Black Maze is a fairgound ride, a performance installation in which you are the only performer. Mind the step. Let all doors close behind you. The Black Maze is an adventure in the dark. Alone or in pairs you must brave its narrow twisting corridors. Never turn back. The walls are filled with unexpected sensations. The floor isn’t to be trusted. Like a computer game come to life you are at the heart of the action. Your task is simple, find a corridor full of stars.
Designed and built by the Birmingham based Live Art group Stan’s Cafe. The Black Maze was commissioned by Birmingham’s Forward Festival for Revolution.
Echo – Wendy Kirkup
Echo is a multi-media artwork in which artist Wendy Kirkup has created a technological ‘body atlas’ of herself by using advanced Siemens Panoramic Ultrasound techniques. The resultant 22 minute video, consisting of an abstract journey mapping internal body tissues and organs, was originally broadcast to two different geographical sites simultaneously using satellite technology: the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow and the International Centre for Life, Newcastle upon Tyne. The projected images are accompanied by an additional audio track, recorded using Doppler Ultrasound, of amplified recordings of the ‘echo’ of the artist’s blood circulating through her system. Wendy Kirkup is an artist based in Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Toward and Untoward – Roland Miller
Friday, Saturday, Sunday 9-11 March/daylight hours
Toward and untoward means favourable and unfavourable. “Toward has come to connote movement, direction and time imminent; untoward has taken on a string of negative meanings – improper, unlucky, adverse, unruly. I use the word to trace fault lines in the surface of the city.” Three day durational performance and intervention into the streets around the gallery. Main activity will be the alternation of actions which are ‘toward’ and ‘untoward’. Notes taken during the three day action will be on display in the gallery foyer, where Miller will be available to talk to spectators as he inscibes the notes.
The Big M
Saturday 10 March/Sunday 11 March
Charles Street Car park opposite the Site Gallery
The Big M celebrates moving image culture and the impact of new technologies on contemporary video art. Unique in design and function, the 17m wide inflatable structure presents an alternative to the conventional gallery setting for video artworks. Housing a state-of-the-art ‘video jukebox’ with a touch screen interface, The Big M invites viewers to choose their own projection prgramme from 21 newly commissioned and contemporary works. From performance to computer animation, the works highlight the diversity of practice within this growing field.
The Big M is an Isis Arts New Media Production. www.isisarts.org.uk
Transmute – Keith Armstrong
Friday 9th March
Simultaneously presented at Site Gallery Studio – UK and The Powerhouse – Australia
Transmute is a highly interactive, live-art/installation work that aims to draw attention to the visible and invisible relationships that exist between people and their local and global environments. For this work, Transmute will comprise a physical performance/installation environment in Australia and a dynamically updating web site projected within a 3 dimensional set at Site Gallery. Followed by short artist talk.
The ultimate goal of the project is to produce a “net-work” that becomes distributed across several worldwide locations, connected via streaming media servers. After 2 months of online conferencing and developments Keith Armstrong will be artist in residence for one week developing the performance/installation environment in Site Gallery’s upstairs studio.
Launching Site Gallery’s live art programme, live art online, (long term project) “Transmute Global Nodes” and The Powerhouse online/streaming facilities.
Artist Presentation & Panel Discussion
Friday 9 March
Tehching Hsieh is an artist who uses his own life as his means of expression. ‘His work consists of five One Year Performances, done between the years of 1978 and 1986, and Earth, a thirteen-year performance that stretched from the end of 1986 to the end of 1999. Each of these performances involves a particular vow, a particular constraint, and a particular mode of being, (these have included living in a cage, punching a time clock every hour and staying out of doors, each for an entire year) Each of them is meticulously documented in a manner appropriate to its content. And, although Hsieh never explicitly states his rationales for his pieces, each of them implicitly raises profound, difficult questions about life and art and being, and about what it means to live in the world we live in.’
From Performing Life: The Work of Tehching Hsieh, by Steven Shaviro. First UK presentation by New York-based performance artist, Tehching Hsieh. Tehching Hsieh was born in Tawain and is based in New York. His recently completed DVD “One Year Performance” Art Documents 1978-1999″, will also be on display.
Life as Art or Performance Art as Fashion Statement ?
“For those of us who feel dedicated to making art – Hsieh’s resolve and determination to repeatedly make work of such extreme duration challenges our very defenition of commitment, the word duration, and is a truly humbling experience to witness” – Mike Stubbs
A round table discussion organised and chaired by artist and programmer Mike Stubbs. Panelists include critic and writer John Slyce, artist and disablity activist Ann Whitehurst, performance artist & writer Roddy Hunter and artist Jemima Stehli.
In the context of Teching Hsieh’s performances of extreme duration, demonstrating endurance in such a fundamental way, how do we as people value time? If artists turn life into art and occasionally turn entire aspects of there lives into art (Hsieh and Whitehurst), what does that make of a contemporary art practice which increasingly denies the authentic and the meaningful ? Are art, action and performance under threat from a new generation who don’t seem to care? Are media specifity and protectionist practice caving in under market forces, connectivity and cheaper technology? As visual artists increasingly make performance and media art, has radical subversion been subverted ? Has time based work been commodified ? Is performance art fashion ?
Goin…Gone – Lisa Wesley
Friday 9 March – National Centre for Popular Music (NCPM)
A powerful, witty and inventive exploration of a night out in any British city drenched in private testimonies, testosterone, piss, condoms, crisps, peanuts and including characters such as Crystal Tits, Stinky Craig, A Personification of Gary Barlow, a Homeless Person etc. Written, performed and consumed by Lisa Wesley, one of the most original and direct voices from a new generation of live artists. “A lowlife tale of Saturday night oblivion that is brilliantly conceived and superbly executed. A challenging investigation into the “dramatic form” and one of the most inspired uses of the body in performance that I’ve seen for ages …” Lois Keidan
Project Dark & Mongrel Monitor: An explosive double bill of experimental sound and image
Friday 9 March – National Centre for Popular Music (NCPM)
Project Dark ‘Gramophone Deluxe’
A new live video/music show by Project Dark (Kirsten Reynolds, Ashley Davies, Tony Pattinson), who dj on customised gramaphone players using custom sculpted 7″ singles made from materials such as etched glass, human hair and circular saws, to generate unique sounds and spectacular images.
These artefact singles are played on both modern dj decks and old-fashioned gramaphones, simultaneously generating acoustic and electronic sounds. A robot mounted surveillance video camera provides one of the live feeds to a giant video projection enabling the minute surface details of each disc to be seen mixed with previous footage of slow-motion exploding decks and a 10,000 volt high voltage generating record player.
The catalogue of artefact singles now numbers over 100 limited edition releases from Braille discs to Cheese Singles. Each one generates a different sound when placed under the somewhat eroded Project Dark stylus and none have grooves in the conventional sense, but rely on the individual surface texture of each record to generate a spectrum of sounds from the uncompromisingly abrasive to the soft and lush brushing of human hair against steel.
The link between the visual nature of the object creating sound and what is heard is crucial to the essence of the Project Dark live show. Live cameras are located in the thick of the action on the deck giving a stylus-eye view of the disc and the necessarily percussive playing style. Sounds from the whole catalogue of singles have also been sampled and linked to video and are live triggered via midi throughout and mixed with the live images.
PROJECT DARK IN 3D – Project Dark’s 3D film, Disc Continued, will be screened at the Showroom Cinema on Thursday 8 March and will be introduced by the artists. Produced with assistance from The Arts Council of England.
Mongrel Monitor Live and chompin’ at the muzzle, Mongrel Monitor is an interbred mix of the underground and the ethereal. Beauty and the beast. A merged and mixed post-industrial-trash-funk, to shake your avant-garde booty to!!
Mongrel Monitor bring you an evening of audio-visual extremes. From a tweeter caress to a bass bin bombardment. Music, spoken word, performance and projections that nibble at the edges of the mainstream.
‘Hardshoulder’ – Improvised performance using a Sony Playstation and generative slideshow.
‘Patch’ – Sonic alchemy. An explorer in the metaphysics of sound.
‘Voxpopuli ‘V’ Sign’ – Whispered sub-urban tales of love ‘n’ hate.
Also, a performance by the infamous ‘Hot Snack’ and video animation loops from ‘Dr. Richard and Mr. Rich’.
A unique cross- section of new audio-visual work that has slithered out from under the rocks in Sheffield’s’ cultural industries landscape. Owing nothing whatsoever to the Baha Men and their catchy chart topper ‘Who let the dogs out?’, Mongrel Monitor can possibly lay claim to being the radical top dogs of the audio litter.
Mongrel Monitor is also off the lead @ the Showroom Cinema Bar on 25th February 2001 as art of the ‘Modal 2001’ music industry convention in the C.I.Q. Sheffield. Featuring ‘Chris Finguz’ (Fight Night), ‘Porlock’, ‘Hardshoulder’, ‘Matt Black and Keith Jafrate’, ‘Voxpopuli ‘V’ Sign, ‘Pulsar’ and ‘Dr. Richard and Mr.Rich’. Mongrel Monitor is an ongoing independent programme of events and happenings, striving to promote audio and visual experimentation in a bi-monthly series. Mavericks, mutants and misfits unite!!
The Days of the Sledgehammer Are Gone – lone twin
Saturday 10 March
lone twin will be presenting a new one day durational work to take place on the pavement opposite the gallery.
‘Beginning at either end of the country, we will meet, roughly in the middle, and begin to sing. We will sing about the survivors, the craftsmen, the law, limitations, the vet, four ladies, the northern invaders, officers and gentlemen and the agricultural training centre. Initially, we will sing just to each other and those around us, although eventually we hope we will get a crowd and hear our echoes in the streets, shops, homes, bars, parks and cinemas of the city. It will become the song of that day, it will become the work for that day and it will become for the work of that day.’ lone twin
The day’s project is to orientate the work using various strategies of establishing a meaningful relationship to a visited or known place, with those who make, meet and inhabit the work throughout the day. Here the piece travels from mouth to mouth and out into the city, and through it’s travel, journey and passage might give ways by which to develop a sense of place. As part of lone twin’s ‘The Days Of The Sledge Hammer Have Gone’ series, the work holds a fascination with urban and rural traditions and activities that begin to establish a sense of community.
Still after stolen dances – Fiona Wright
Saturday 10 March Site Gallery
A five minute solo performance for a solo audience.
It is part of a series of small works in progress, adapted for each particular event, exploring fascinations with the image of the lone figure and the incidental intimacies of performance.
Fiona Wright has been making performances for over ten years, developing an approach to dancing and writing which is inevitably personalised and yet deliberately unconfessional. Her performances use stylised choreography and functional actions and text and are often described as subversive and intense and even ‘rare’.
Floored/In Perfect Condition – Eve Dent
Saturday 10 March Site Gallery
Like Eve Dent’s previous work, the piece for Site Gallery is an exploration of absence and presence in relation to environment. In response to the site she creates an interplay between hiding and being seen, mimicry and merging, in order to fundamentally alter perceptions of structural and spatial relationships. These acts reveal both the uncanny nature of those everyday and familiar environments that surround us and also question our notions of body, identity and wholeness, asking, not who am I, but where am I.
Based in Cardiff, Eve Dent has been producing work in the UK and Europe since graduating from Cardiff School of Art in 1999. Recent work includes Expo 99 and Transeuropa in Germany.
Feeling Poorly – Sophia New
Saturday 10 March Sheffield Independent Film (SIF)
Durational performance installation for a solo audience member at a time. The work draws on common illnesses and the visceral experience of the ointments that we rely on to relieve our symptoms, as well as the nostalgic smells, textures and the hours that linger on as we are forced to contemplate our bodily state.
Two performers sit out the relationship between carer and cared for, while the spectator has 15 minutes to explore and witness what takes place there. Visitors are also give a separate space to contemplate what they saw and contribute to the on-going visitors book.
The piece was originally a collaboration by Sofia New and Katrina Horne, commissioned by the Arnolifini, Bristol, for Breathing Spaces in April 2000. It was also part of the 12 Days of Risk at Chapter Arts, Cardiff in May 2000. Since August 2000 the piece has been reworked with Bristol-based visual artist & performer Catherine Large and assisted by Bristol-based artist & performer Ailsa Richardson, since February 2001. Sound track by Daniel Belasco Rogers.
New Work Network – The Sunday Brunch Live Review
Site Gallery Studio Sunday 11 March
The Sunday Brunch Live Review provides an informal forum to debate events in Site Gallery’s Live Art Season .
Feast on bagels and coffee and ruminate, cogitate and digest the work that’s on offer over the weekend. An ideal opportunity for practitioners and audience members to reflect on and discuss the work seen and the issues raised during the festival. New Work Network is an umbrella organisation serving the interests of artists working in the live and combined arts sectors across the UK.
Still Life – Jordan McKenzie
Sunday 11 March Site Gallery
A durational, one day performance, re-interpreting and deconstructing a found still-life painting, and exploring the act of drawing as a performative action. Jordan will recreate the still life in three dimensions and on video – the action is the graphite drawing over a white 3-D representation of the still life. Jordan McKenzie has been making performance, sculpture, installation and video work in Britain and overseas since 1989.
Relief From Memory (V) – Roddy Hunter
Sunday 11 March
A durational performance taking place on the street outside the gallery.
A series of works primarily shaped by drawing, action and installation. A combination of these can already make a ‘relief’ in formal, artistic terms. This series, however, seeks to combine these existing forms and methods to reach a distinctive and particular outcome. Each work stimulates a simultaneously curious, distressing and liberating actuality: an exempting of the human from memory. In doing so, the work also attempts to leave objective reality and subjective response out of account. Repetition and symmetry are deployed in this context as disconcerting means of composition that question the reliability of our senses and perception. ‘Relief from Memory’ is a series of works, then, which have historical, cultural, political and personal consequences for the artist and the viewer.
Roddy Hunter is a performance artist, writer and curator who is currently Associate Director of Visual Performance and a funded researcher at Dartington College of Arts.
Video | Streaming | Documentation for Live Events
Sunday 11th March @ Site Gallery
A workshop presenting the technical possibilities for documentation and streaming of Live Art events. Including quicktime live broadcast software and other compression tools, shooting, mixing and projecting live feed audio/video. The workshop will demonstrate the technicalities and practicalities of integrating real time video, streaming and/or projection into a live event. Discussion will explore the aesthetic considerations when integrating technology into: a. the performance environment and b. the gallery context; post production options for online presentation and dual site performance – the bending of time and space across global networks.
FRAMING DEVICE: Cinema And Performance
To accompany the festival The Showroom Cinema will be presenting a short selection of films that explore the relationship between film-making and live performance, including documents, exclusive new work and classic celluloid inspirations.
Thursday 8th March
Project Dark 3D Film Prior to their live performance on Friday, there’s a chance to see the 3D digital film of Disc Continued for the first time ever in a cinema (Produced with assistance from The Arts Council of England).
The illusion of depth is applied to exploding turntables and all manner of re-purposed sound equipment. Special viewing glasses provided. The programme will include other Project Dark films.
The artists will be here to introduce the work.
Saturday 10th March
Desperate Optimists & Forced Entertainment / 90 mins approx. The first UK showings of new film and video work from two of the leading groups in UK Live Art. Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor present No Motive and Apt. 801. Forced Entertainment present Kent Beeson Is A Classic & An Absolutely New Thing and Starfucker. These films reflect differing approaches to the moving image, traversing 35mm, digital film and performance video or “documents” of a moment. The artists will be here to introduce and informally discuss the work .
Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th
Lenny Bruce Performance Film / John Magnuson / US / 60 mins A rare gem from the archives is a compelling document of the legendary comedian captured in performance at a seedy New York night club. This is a vital example of how celluloid can capture a live performance at its rawest.
Sans Soleil (Sunless) / Chris Marker / France / 100 mins Arch film essayist Chris Marker is a master at gathering eclectic and disparate material and conjuring pure magic. This collection of home movies and location footage from all over the world is linked and re-invented by an ingenious and hypnotic narration. Event Pass holders are entitled to Showroom membership discounts on all Framing Device Films and Events.