rethinking why performance matters through the matter of performance
Performing Idea

A collaboration between Goldsmiths, University of London, University of Roehampton, and the Live Art Development Agency

Goldsmiths Live Art Development Agency

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Performing Idea (2009-2010)

Performing Idea was the first themed year of Performance Matters.

Across these pages you can find information and documentation of its various activities, which culminated in the Performing Idea public programme at the Whitechapel Gallery and Toynbee Studios, London, 2-9 October 2010.

The public programme comprised a set of workshops led by three internationally acclaimed artists; a five day symposium with leading writers, thinkers and artists; a sound and video archive of seminal performance lectures; and a series of new performance lectures and redos by UK and international artists.

A selection of video extracts of the presentations and performances can now be viewed in the Activities section of this website. The complete video documentation can be viewed at the Live Art Development Agency's Study Room, and at the British Library.


About Performing Idea

At a time when performance and live art have increased visibility in the worlds of art, theatre, dance and the academy, Performing Idea asked how such experimental performance forms signal changes in understandings of both art and the world beyond. The project’s activities pursued the many ways in which contemporary artists and thinkers have come to refashion understandings of art, but also the ways in which we produce and value the world of ‘ideas’.  

Performing Idea sought to explore the consequences for traditional notions of knowledge when contemporary art actions, immaterial performances and social exchanges are routinely presented as valuable ways of knowing. Contributors asked: What challenges do such practices present for the keepers, institutions and edifices of knowledge: the intellectuals and art arbiters, the academic institutions, and archives and libraries? Might the current forms of critical practice – of ‘creative research’ and ‘discursive events’ – represent new models of knowledge exchange and thoughtful relation, and suggest something more provisional and trans-active in the ways in which we might hold something dear?

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To register your interest and keep up to date with Performance Matters, send an email including your full name to with the subject heading ‘Register me’.

Below is the archive of News items that appeared during Performing Idea (2009/2010).

2009-2010 News

Performing Idea contributors' books for sale on Unbound
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Announcing the Performing Idea archive of Performance Lectures
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Unbound - Performing Idea specials
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Bookings open for the Performing Idea public programme
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Creative Spaces: Call for Workshop Participants
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Announcing the Performing Idea week of events
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Announcing a new Project Manager
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2009-2010 Words & Images

Two deceptions
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Nine epigraphs
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A matter of deviation
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Introducing the dialogue
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The ram and the column of air
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Some futures
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