Image of a dv tape with list of contents, from Live Art Archive, Bristol  Image of actors dancing from performance company Every House Has a Door

[Photo credit: Every house has a door. They're Mending the Great Forest Highway. June 18 & 19 2011. Photo by John W. Sisson Jr.]

Performing Documents Team

Collaborating Artists

Partner Organisations

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Simon Jones is Professor of Performance at University of Bristol, and is a writer and scholar. He founded and co-directs the performance company Bodies in Flight, which has to date produced 15 works and numerous documents of performance that have at their heart the encounter between flesh and text, where words move and flesh utters. Bodies in Flight are embarking on a new long-term project exploring the nature of collaboration in contemporary devised practices, titled Impossible Collaboration. Simon has been visiting scholar at Amsterdam University (2001), a visiting artist at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2002) and Banff Arts Centre (2008).He has published in Contemporary Theatre Review, Entropy Magazine, Liveartmagazine, Shattered Anatomies, and more recently in The Cambridge History of British Theatre and Performance Research: on Beckett. He has pioneered the use of practice as a means of research in performance studies: see Practice as Research in Performance and Screen, co-edited with Ludivine Allegue, Baz Kershaw and Angela Piccini, including DVD and chapter contribution “The Courage of Complementarity”, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009.

Nick Kaye is Dean of the College of Humanities and Professor of Performance Studies at the University of Exeter. His research focuses on the history of post-war experimental performance, with emphasis on the relationship between theatre and the development of ideas and practices through distinct but related disciplines, including sculpture, architectural theory, conceptual and performance art, aspects of experimental music, installation, video art and video installation. His books include: Postmodernism and Performance (1994), Art into Theatre: Performance Interviews and Documents (1996), Site-Specific Art: Performance, Place and Documentation (2000), Staging the Post-Avant-Garde: Italian Performance After 1970' (co-authored with Gabriella Giannachi  2002), Multi-media: video - installation -  performance (2007), Performing Presence: Between the Live and the Simulated (co authored with Gabriella Giannachi, MUP: 2011) and Archaeologies of Presence (co-edited with Gabriella Giannachi and Michael Shanks, Routledge, 2012).

Paul Clarke is a Lecturer in Performance at University of Bristol. From 2008-2010 he was the Great Western Research Fellow on 'Performing the Archive: the Future of the Past', hosted by University of Bristol's Live Art Archives and Arnolfini archive. Prior to this Paul was a Senior Lecturer in Theatre at Dartington College of Arts. Paul is a member of the Performance Re-enactment Society (PRS) and also directs Uninvited Guests, whose work has toured nationally and internationally. Their recent productions include 'Make Better Please' (Fierce Festival and BAC), 'Love Letters Straight From Your Heart' (Southbank Centre) and a surround sound and video son et lumière for Tate Britain's 'John Martin: Apocalypse' exhibition.

Johanna Linsley is an artist and researcher based in London and Bristol. Her research interests include performance writing, experimental pedagogy, and documentary practices. Her work text, video, sounds and performance has been seen at the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Victoria & Albert Museum, the British Film Institute, Duckie, BAC (London), and other venues, festivals and clubs nationally and internationally. Her research has been published in Contemporary Theatre Review and Performance Research. Johanna is co-founder of the Brooklyn-based documentary arts organisation UnionDocs, which produces and presents innovative nonfiction work in a variety of media. She is also part of the London-based performance collective I'm with you, whose recent projects have taken place at New York University, the Hayward Gallery in London, and the edge of a cliff in Scarborough.

Cara Davies is a performance artist, researcher and self-taught digital archivist. She completed an MA at Dartington College of the Arts in Contemporary Arts Practice and Dissemination, exploring questions of artistic processes, production and communication, in specific relation to the documentation and archiving of contemporary performance. She has performed.with Sardinian-based collective Carovana S.M.I on their project Paesaggi Interrotti (2009), and is  a founding member of the research collective Tracing the Pathway (2011).In the last year she has presented work in Spain, Utrecht, Finland and Turkey; and was one of Colchester Art Centre’s selected Escalator: Live Art artists (2011), receiving an Arts Council England Grants for the Arts Award, for the durational performance-as-research project Instability in Stability.

Bex Carrington is Keeper of the Live Art Archives in the University of Bristol Theatre Collection. She is an MA qualified information specialist with extensive experience of library and archive work, including database development and maintenance, data collection, audit and dissemination. Previously Project Manager in the Nottingham Trent University Performance Arts Digital Research Unit, she transferred to Bristol with the Live Art Archives in 2006 and in addition to pro-actively acquiring several new archives, has also worked as a key team member on a number of digitisation projects relating to the National Review of Live Art Archive (Capturing the Past and Into the Future) and the Digital Performance Archive (DPA Online). She has also worked with the Performance Re-enactment Society.

Every house has a door is Lin Hixson (director) and Matthew Goulish (dramaturg). After a twenty-year collaboration as co-founders of Goat Island, they have formed Every house has a door to create project-specific collaborative performances with invited guests. This company seeks to retain Goat Island’s narrow thematic focus and rigorous presentation, but to broaden the canvas to include careful intercultural collaboration, and its unfamiliar, even awkward, spectrum. Let us think of these things always. Let us speak of them never. a bilingual performance collaboration between U.S. and Croatian artists, premiered in Rijeka, Croatia in 2010, and has been performed at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the Fusebox Festival in Austin Texas, and New York’s COIL Festival at Performance Space 122. The dance performance They’re Mending the Great Forest Highway was commissioned by the Chicago Dancemakers’ Forum and will premier in Chicago in late 2012. Every house has also presented collaborative lectures, taught workshops, and co-produced the film Waking Things (2011) by Melika Bass. The company has received support from The Fund for Mutual Understanding, the National Performance Network’s Commissioning and Forth Fund, and The Driehaus Foundation. Goulish and Hixson shared the United States Artists Ziporyn Fellowship in 2009, and received honorary doctorates from Dartington College of Arts 2007.

The Performance Re-enactment Society (PRS) is an occasional collective of artists, archivists and researchers, who use documents and memories to revive past art experiences and create them anew. Their collaborative performance re-enactments are acts of conservation and transform past works into new events. In its current constellation the PRS are Paul Clarke, Tom Marshman and Clare Thornton. Their work has been exhibited and presented nationally and internationally.

Blast Theory is renowned internationally as one of the most adventurous artists' groups using interactive media, creating groundbreaking new forms of performance and interactive art that mixes audiences across the internet, live performance and digital broadcasting. Led by Matt Adams, Ju Row Farr and Nick Tandavanitj, the group’s work explores interactivity and the social and political aspects of technology. It confronts a media saturated world in which popular culture rules, using performance, installation, video, mobile and online technologies to ask questions about the ideologies present in the information that envelops us.

Bodies in Flight formed in 1990 to make performance work that explores the encounter between flesh and text, and challenges and reinvigorates the conventional relationship between audiences and performers. Do the Wild Thing (1996) was their eighth project and the first to be led by a specific research concern: to explore the encounter between discursive and embodied practices in the performance-event by means of a series of separations of what is heard and what is seen. This was achieved both in the rehearsal process, structuring how the collaborators worked together, and in the performance itself, determining design and the relation of choreographic to textual and musical elements. As such, the project marked a key shift in Bodies in Flight’s work towards exploring both the performance as event and the collaborative process. Over the years the company (led by Sara Giddens and Simon Jones) have become renowned for their innovative collaborations with sonic, visual and performance artists and have toured extensively nationally and internationally. Bodies in Flight has made seventeen national touring and site-specific works since 1990 and have been supported by ACE, EMA, SWA, Nottinghamshire County Council, AHRC, British Council and numerous festivals, including Now, the National Review of Live Art, The Time Being Festival & Bath Festival Fringe.

Helen Cole is Artistic Director and Chief Executive of In Between Time. She began her career as a producer in Manchester in the mid-90s, developing interdisciplinary projects in unusual locations: urban car parks, disused warehouses, building sites and deserted shopping centres. It was in Manchester that she honed her interest in contemporary practices beyond the mainstream and her belief that the experiences of live ideas and emerging artistic forms, can benefit a wide range of the public. She was appointed Senior Producer at Tramway, Glasgow in 1996, and in 1998 took up the post of Producer, Live Art and Dance at Arnolfini in Bristol. Cole established the Arnolfini live programme as one of the most influential live art and contemporary performance programmes in the UK. She created the In Between Time Festival at Arnolfini in 2001, as an international biennial of live art and future performance practices. In 2009, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation awarded Cole a prestigious Breakthrough Award. This honor recognised Cole as an exceptional cultural entrepreneur and allowed her established In Between Time as an independent organisation to develop the festival and other extraordinary projects. After four editions the In Between Time Festival is both a respected international Biennial and one of the UK’s most significant events in which to experience genre-defying performance and unusual contemporary artwork. Alongside her work with In Between Time, Cole is also the artist/curator of the live memory project, We See Fireworks, commissioned by SPILL Festival and now touring around the UK and internationally. Cole mentors artists and emerging producers, works as a writer and curator and sits on symposia, commissioning and selection panels nationally and internationally.

Arnolfini is one of Europe’s leading centres for the contemporary arts, presenting innovative, experimental work in the visual arts, performance, dance, film, music and events, accompanied by a programme of educational activities. Five exhibition spaces, a theatre/cinema auditorium, Reading Room and Light/Dark Studios are housed in the Grade II listed, fully accessible building in a fantastic waterside location at the heart of Bristol’s harbourside. The converted warehouse also contains one of the country’s best arts bookshops as well a café bar.

In Between Time is an international production company creating extraordinary art works, and the biennial In Between Time Festival. We encourage artists and audiences to think, to dream, to do things they have not yet imagined. The first In Between Time Festival was established in Bristol in 2001 as an international biennial of live art and future performance practices. In Between Time emerged as part of Arnolfini’s live programme, produced by IBT’s Director, Helen Cole between 1997-2009. In 2009, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation awarded Cole a prestigious Breakthrough Award, and she left Arnolfini to establish In Between Time as an independent organization. After four editions, the In Between Time Festival is established as a respected international biennial and one of the UK’s most significant events in which to experience genre-defying performance and unusual contemporary artwork in all its many guises. In 2011, In Between Time became a new National Portfolio Client of the Arts Council of England further securing its future and programme. Exploding out of the most respected art institutions into streets and public spaces In Between Time revels in new curatorial models, technologies and critical discourse around an impressive programme of live, digital, architectural and sculptural works.

Being here makes me feel better. IBT Audience 2010

A petri dish in which ideas begin and flourish. IBT Audience 2010

Go to the brilliantly curated In Between Time Festival. Lyn Gardner, The Guardian


Live Art Archive is part of The University of Bristol Theatre Collection, which is an accredited museum and Britain’s foremost, non-national collection relating to British Theatre History and Live Art. It is an internationally renowned research resource covering the history of British professional theatre from the 16th century to the present day, with particular strengths in the 19th and 20th century. Performance from the 21st century (traditional theatre and Live Art) is also covered and the world leading Live Art Archives (LAA) form a contemporaneous record of this cutting edge and ephemeral art form.


The Live Art Archives (LAA) are a collection of archives which include The National Review of Live Art (NRLA) Archive, Record of Live Art Practice (RLAP), Digital Performance Archive (DPA), Arts Council England Live Art and Performance Art Archive (ACELAP) and personal and organisational archives such as those of Franko B, Bodies in Flight and greenroom. Between them they make up the world’s most substantial collection of Live Art documentation and the combination of audio visual material (such as the 2000+ hours of recorded material in the NRLA Archive alone), cutting edge digital media (such as that in the DPA), and paper based material, textiles, objects and other mixed media represent the inception, development and reception of Live Art practice and scholarship.


The Live Art Archives are now recognized internationally as being of great significance to scholars and practitioners alike. The scale of the Archive, and the range and breadth of media it holds, is utterly unique and singles it out as a national treasure. Lois Keidan – Director, Live Art Development Agency.


Due to its slippery and subversive nature, live art has often been marginalized…Archiving such a challenging art form therefore helps build an indispensable infrastructure for the local and international art scene. Phoebe Wong – Head of Research Asia Art Archive