rethinking why performance matters through the matter of performance

What and Why


Crossovers is a DVD series of artists’ films, documentaries and dialogues generated from the creative research undertaken during Performance Matters.

Crossovers films look at the multiple histories of performance art as it engages with mainstream TV, appears on the internet, as subculture, in stand-up comedy, and in avant-garde art. Other films explore ideas of performance in contemporary thought, in original filmed conversations with international critics and thinkers working at the forefront of their disciplines.

All of the Crossovers films address marginal and untold histories of performance in inventive ways, and raise issues of performance in new directions of contemporary thought. Collectively they ask how performance matters, and to whom, by considering its value to artists working in experimental and popular cultural forms; to academics, philosophers and cultural commentators; and to a diversity of audiences. 

Three of the Crossovers films have developed from commissioned dialogues and events for Trashing Performance (2010-11):  Mel Brimfield’s spoof television documentary This is Performance Art (Part Two), Gavin Butt and Ben Walters’ documentary This is Not a Dream, and Oreet Ashery’s Party for Freedom.

The other films in the series have developed from Performing Idea (2009-10) and take the form of filmed exchanges between Adrian Heathfield and leading intellectuals Hélène Cixous, Alphonso Lingis, Brian Massumi and Bernard Stiegler. Each dialogue aims to crystallize the place of performance within their thought and the relation between their work and questions of the aesthetics and politics of contemporary art production.



Crossovers is a major new series of artists’ films, documentaries and dialogues reflecting the potential of marginal artforms and intense ideas within popular media. 

The films in the Crossovers series have been generated from Performance Matters creative research projects. 

Three of the films have developed from commissioned dialogues and events for Trashing Performance (2010-11

Oreet Ashery’s Party for Freedom looks at freedom as a deeply conflicted and contradictory entity, by responding to the freedom rhetoric of the far-right. The film has developed from a residential workshop held as part of Trashing Performance.

See here for more information about the Party For Freedom project and the Party For Freedom DVD.

Gavin Butt and Ben Walters’ directorial debut, the documentary This is Not a Dream, charts an underground story of artist’s DIY use of moving image technology, from Warhol’s Factory to contemporary London club performance.  

See here for more information about the This is Not a Dream project and the This is Not a Dream DVD.

Mel Brimfield’s This is Performance Art (Part Two) spoofs the format of the television documentary to mark the fragmentary and unreliable nature of performance art’s historical record. 

See here for more information about theThis is Performance Art project and the This is Performance Art: Parts One and Two DVD.  

Other films in the Crossovers series have developed from Performing Idea (2009-10) and take the form of exchanges between Adrian Heathfield and leading intellectuals from diverse disciplines whose work has significant impact upon the understanding of contemporary culture and performance - 

Writing Not Yet Thought, Hélène Cixous with Adrian Heathfield.The acclaimed author discusses the practice of writing alongside its relation to painting, music and philosophy. See here for details of the Writing Not Yet Thought DVD

Transfigured Night, A Conversation with Alphonso LingisAn exchange between the celebrated American philosopher Alphonso Lingis and Adrian Heathfield. See here for details of the Transfigured Night film and DVD.

No Such Thing As Rest, A Walk with Brian Massumi. Setting thoughts and conversation in constant motion, Adrian Heathfield encounters the philosopher and cultural theorist while walking the streets of Montreal. See here for details of the No Such Thing As Rest DVD.

Technologies of Spirit, a conversation with Bernard Stiegler.  A discussion on the value of spirit, shot in the heart of France, with the philosopher Bernard Stiegler. The film will be released on DVD in summer 2014. 

Creative research processes, exchanges and events that move between practice and theory, education and cultural production