Live art; a series of processes and practices

As curator of ‘Live Art Meets Choreography’ (see Enabling dialogues between disciplines – March 12), I defined choreography thus:

‘Choreography is when moving things (could be people) are arranged in space and time – with the dynamic qualities and the pacing of the movement considered throughout the whole’.

In my introduction to the evening, I described live art as less of a thing in itself, than a series of processes and practices. More of a how than a what. Attempts to pin down both the term live art are numerous (as are attempts to define choreography).

The definition I do use when asked, is:

‘Whether challenging orthodoxies of fine art practice, exploring the limits of theatricality, appropriating the idioms of mass culture, pushing at the boundaries of choreographic conventions, or exploring the performativity of cyberspaces, Live Art practices copy all kinds of mediums in a volatile state’.

From Fluid Landscapes in Live Culture at Tate Modern Catalogue, Live Art Development Agency 2003.

I like its fluidity, how it glides over the edges of various discipline boundaries and merely fixes itself as unfixed. It describes what live art does in different contexts, rather than what live art is.

Image 1: Duncan Marwick

Image 2: Adam Young




About waymarkingthesketchbook

Sarah Spanton is director of arts organisation Waymarking -
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