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Elements of Performance Art

Paper i proceeding
Författare Jason E. Bowman
Publicerad i PARSE Conference, Universitty of Gothenburg, 3-6 November
Publiceringsår 2015
Publicerad vid Akademin Valand
Språk en
Ämnesord Performance Art, Time, Theatre of Mistakes
Ämneskategorier Konst, Bildkonst, Scenkonst, Teatervetenskap


Elements of Performance Art. The Ting: The Theatre of Mistakes ‘Working without a watch and without a tape-measure, the performance artist may come to rely on a sense of “performance time”- where yards are expressed by strides and feet by paces, where minutes are expressed by counts and, where time and space are expressed by any means that may be devised.’ Instigated by Anthony Howell, a poet and dancer and founder of conceptualist magazine Wallpaper, The Ting: The Theatre of Mistakes was a UK-based collective formed in 1974, which disbanded in 1981. Their foundational work was generated through a series of openly advertised events at which, from 1974-1976, attendees co-developed a series of game-based exercises via instructional rules informed by spatiotemporal mechanisms, which were collectively named The Gymnasium, and thoroughly recorded in a suite of eponymous notes. Their sole publication Anthony Howell and Fiona Templeton’s Elements of Performance (refined by activities developed via The Gymnasium from 1974-76) was self-published and distributed by Ting in 1976 in an initial edition of 60 and in 1977 in a revised edition of 800. The Ting: The Theatre of Mistakes’ ethos and methods of production are outlined in the publication against six convergent elements: conditions, body, aural, time/space, equipment and manifestation with a total of 42 exercises to be structured via chance allowing for multiple formations and focalised structures. Designed as a comb-bound instructional manual with an introductory manifesto, Elements of Performance Art offers a unique insight into how Ting advocated the temporal liveness of performance art be created via instruction and chance with cross-disciplinary activities. It remains an out-of-print but influential publication within the history of inter-disciplinary and is arguably the first manifesto for Performance Art in the UK. Jason E. Bowman will curate a career survey of The Theatre of Mistakes in 2017. For the PARSE conference he has invited Anthony Howell to workshop, with a series of participants, a re-activation of exercises from Elements of Performance Art. Bowman and Howell will subsequently be in conversation regarding Elements of Performance Art, temporalities and inter-disciplinary concepts of time.

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