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WORDS / WORLDS: Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Practice

Date: 9 May 2013 Time: 1.30-5.30pm

Venue: The Nuffield Theatre

9th May 2013 The Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster University: Centre for Performance and Practice

Convened to mark the appointment of Tim Etchells as Professor of Performance and Practice at LICA, Words / Worlds is an afternoon symposium focused on approaches to writing in an interdisciplinary context. The event takes its title from a two-part neon work All We Have is Words / All We Have is Worlds by Etchells, which quotes and then repeats with modification, a line from Samuel Beckett.

Beginning with a keynote paper/performance from Etchells, which opens questions relating his to text-work in different media, WORDS / WORLDS proceeds with panels and presentations from visual artists Martin John Callanan and Penny McCarthy, from curator Mathieu Copeland, from the novelist Tony White and from the performance maker and scholar Andrew Quick. WORDS / WORLDS celebrates the possibilities of a cross-disciplinary conversation between and about text-based work and writing. A statement by William Burroughs - that the purpose of writing is to make things happen - provides one point of departure for the discussions, which will see each of the participants touch upon key works and ideas from their practise as they think around texts and inter-texts, texts as interventions in, and transformations of, the world, texts as tests or probes of reality, and text as a tool for fragile and temporary world-building.

Tim Etchells

Tim Etchells is an artist and writer whose work shifts between performance, visual art and fiction. He has worked in a wide variety of contexts, notably as the leader and the artistic director of the world-renowned performance group Forced Entertainment, formed in 1984. In recent years he has exhibited widely in the context of visual arts, participating in biennales Manifesta 7 (2008, Rovereto, Italy), Art Sheffield 2008; Goteborg Bienale (2009), October Salon Belgrade (2010), Aichi Trienale (2010, Nagoya, Japan, with Vlatka Horvat) and Manifesta 9 Parallel Projects (2012, Genk, Belgium). He has had solo shows at Gasworks and Sketch (London), Bunkier Sztuki (Krakow), Galerije Jakopič (Ljubljana) and Künstlerhaus Bremen. Etchells' first novel The Broken World was published by Heinemann in 2008 and his widely acclaimed monograph on contemporary performance and Forced Entertainment, Certain Fragments was published by Routledge in 1999. A publication based on his 2011 online project Vacuum Days was published by Storythings in October 2012. His forthcoming publications include a new artist book, While You Are With Us Here Tonight, (April 2013) looking back at some 30 years of artistic practice, published by Live Art Development Agency, within the framework of his Legacy Award, an initiative by LADA and Tate Research.

Penny McCarthy

Penny McCarthy works with drawing and text. Recent works have appropriated texts that describe scientific discovery, historic expeditions and the fictions of Borges. For the past few years her work has explored the imaginative space of the book in a series of pencil-drawn copies of texts. Encyclopaedia of Dust (RGAP 2001) and Shadow Book (RGAP 2004) are volumes that bring together her images and writings. Her work has been supported by the Wellcome Trust, Arts Council England and Arts and Humanities Research Council and exhibited extensively including a new sited work for the exhibition Nothing is Forever at South London Gallery. Her project Penelope/Odyssey will be shown as part of Ulysse(s): L'aute mer at the FRAC Bretagne in May 2013. Penny is Course Leader for Postgraduate Studies Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University.

Tony White

Tony White is the author of novels including Foxy-T (Faber and Faber), the non-fiction work Another Fool in the Balkans (Cadogan) and numerous short stories. His novel Shackleton's Man Goes South will be published by the Science Museum, London in 2013. Recent titles include the novellas Dicky Star and the Garden Rule (Forma) - commissioned to accompany a series of works by the artists Jane and Louise Wilson and reflect upon the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster - and Missorts Volume II (Situations) a novella published to accompany White's permanent public artwork for Bristol (see He has edited and co-edited short story collections including Croatian Nights (Serpent's Tail). Tony White has been writer in residence at the Science Museum, London and Leverhulme Trust writer in residence at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He collaborated with Blast Theory to write Ivy4evr, an SMS-based, interactive drama for young people broadcast by Channel 4 in October 2010 and nominated for a BIMA award in 2011 by the British Interactive Media Association. Tony White is chair of London's award-winning arts radio station Resonance 104.4fm and blogs regularly at

Martin John Callanan Martin John Callanan is an artist and researcher exploring notions of citizenship within the globally connected world. Concerns include information, data, and knowledge. His work spans numerous mediums and engages both emerging and commonplace technology. His work has included translating active communication data into music; freezing in time the earth's water system; writing thousands of letters; capturing newspapers from around the world as they are published; taming wind onto the internet and broadcasting his precise physical location live for over two years. Some of his more well-known pieces include Letters 2004-2006 published by Book Works, the ambient audio installation Sonification of You, the meta-news aggregator I Wanted to See All the News From Today and Text Trends, which abstracts the casual manner in which we receive, scan and process information and language on a daily basis.
 Martin's work has been exhibited, published and screened at venues throughout Europe, Russia, North America, South America, Asia and Australia. Participating with, among others, Es Baluard Modern and Contemporary Art Museum, Moscow International Film Festival, Ars Electronic Centre, ISEA 2010, FutureEverything, Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina, Riga Centre for New Media Culture, UCL Environment Institute, Science Museum (London), Tate Britain, Folly Festival of Digital Culture, Book Works, The Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture, File Prix Lux, and in several editions of the FILE Electronic Language International Festival in Brasil. Martin is currently: - Teaching Fellow in Fine Art Media (Digital Media & Print) at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London and a member of Slade Centre for Electronic Media in Fine Art (SCEMFA) and Word Image research group.

Mathieu Copeland

Mathieu Copeland has been developing a practice seeking to subvert the traditional role of exhibitions and to renew our perceptions. An independent curator, he published 'Perfect Magazine' in 2003, and curated - among many others, the exhibitions Expat-Art Enter/EAC, Soundtrack for an Exhibition, Alan Vega's retrospective and initiated the touring A Spoken Word Exhibition. In 2008, he curated A Choreographed Exhibition at the Kunsthalle in St. Gallen, Switzerland, and at the Ferme du Buisson in Noisiel, France. In 2009, he co-curated the exhibition VOIDS, A Retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and at the Kunsthalle in Bern. He is also the co-editor of the catalogue Vides/Voids. In 2010, he curated The Continuous Exhibition (echo) at the CNEAI, and Une Exposition (du) Sensible (an exhibition of the sensitive) at the Synagogue de Delme, and initiated the series of An Exhibition to Hear Read. He teaches in the Fine Art master's program at the HEAD-Geneva University of Art and Design, and lectures in numerous universities and art schools. He also release

Andrew Quick

Andrew Quick studied English and Philosophy at Newcastle University and trained as a theatre director at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff in 1984. Having worked professionally in making and touring experimental performance, he returned to academic study in 1989, completing a PhD investigating the histories and languages of contemporary British experimental performance at Bristol University. He has been teaching at Lancaster since 1991, where he is currently the Director of the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA). Together with Professor Elaine Aston he established the Centre for the Advanced Study of Contemporary Performance Practice in 2004 with funds from Lancaster University (CASCPP). In 2012 the Centre was renamed the Centre for Performance and Practice, which is co-directed by Quick and Etchells.

Andrew is also a founder member of imitating the dog, an Arts Council funded performance company that tours nationally and internationally. Since 2005 he has been collaborating with Pete Brooks and between them they have written and directed a number of new works including The Zero Hour (2012), Six Degrees Below the Horizon (2011), Kellerman (2008) and Hotel Methuselah (2006). His academic work is closely bound up with contemporary art practices and much of his writing on performance, photography and installation investigates concepts of space, play, documentation, scenography and performance ethics. He has edited a number of significant publications and has contributed chapters and articles to many books and journals on performance and related art practices. His major publications include The Wooster Group Work Book (Routledge, 2007) Hotel Methuselah in Theatre in Pieces (Methuen, 2011). Kellerman, (Presses Universitaires du Mirall, Toulouse). He also co-edited Shattered Anatomies (ArnolfiniLive, 1997), Time and Value (Blackwell, 1998) and On Memory (Routledge, 2000).

Andy Smith

Andy has been making theatre under the name a smith since 2003. His most recent solo works are all that is solid melts into air and commonwealth. Along with Karl James he is the co-director of An Oak Tree, ENGLAND, and The Author by Tim Crouch. Together, they haverecently been commissioned to write and perform a new work for The Almeida Theatre with the titlewhat happens to the hope at the end of the evening.He is currently undertaking an AHRC funded practice-as-research PhD at Lancaster University.>


1.30 Coffee and Registration

2 - 3.15 Key Note Presentation: Words/Worlds: Tim Etchells

3.45 - 5.30 Words/Worlds Panel: John Callanan, Penny McCarthy, Tony White, Mathieu Copeland and Andy Smith: Chaired by Andrew Quick

For further enquiries please contact: Jennifer Bull:

To find the Nuffield Theatre: Building number 9,


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts


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