Performing Documents Conference – Call for Papers

We invite your proposals for papers, presentations, and other less traditional formats for the Performing Documents conference on 12-14 April 2013 at Arnolfini in Bristol, UK.

Performing Documents is a three-year research project that looks at questions of historical narratives of performance and contemporary re-use of performance documentation. The conference corresponds with Version Control, a large-scale survey exhibition produced by Arnolfini in association with Performing Documents. Version Control draws the notion of appropriation and performance in the expanded field of contemporary artistic practice.  Instead of an understanding of performance as a live activity or connected to an exploration of the artist’s Cheap body, the exhibition explores performance in a radical sense as a method of making the past present. Performativity, in this way, explores the conscious moment of staging, appropriating, archiving and re-visiting images and other forms of representation, touching on questions of historiography, mediation, subjectivity, and ownership. Artists include Amalia Pica, Tim Etchells, Felix Gmelin, Melvin Moti and Rabih Mroué, amongst others. Through a series of interventions and ‘performing objects’, the exhibition will be itself performative and change over the course of the show.  As part of the project, an extended series of live events will be presented in the galleries and the auditorium.

We are thrilled to welcome Rebecca Schneider as a keynote speaker at the Performing Documents conference, as well as previously commissioned artists Every House Has a Door, Performance Re-enactment Society, Blast Theory and Bodies in Flight. Further invited speakers and live events will be announced at

We are seeking papers of 15 minutes which address the themes of Performing Documents. We will also happily consider proposals for curated panels, where to buy zetia and for presentations which take a variety of forms. Possible themes include (but are not limited to):

– The use of performance archives towards the creation of new performance work, either artists’ own Cheap archives or the archives of others, including those strategies which span an artist’s career.

Purchase Performance, objects and ephemerality.

– The Pills value of gaps, mistakes, fictions or misfires in the re-constitutions, re-enactment or re-presentation of historical performance.

– Curatorial issues in the exhibition of performance archives.

– Performance documentation and the problematics online of canon-building.

– Performance art and performance tradition

– Performance archives and national context/identity.

– Re-presentation as a method of global activism, and the potentials for alternative archives.

– Performance and historiography.

– Performance re-enactment and questions of authorship, originality and subjectivity.

– The politics, aesthetics and philosophy of repetition.

– The ethics of re-use.

– The evolution of recording and database technology, and its effect on both the making of performance work, and the documentation, preservation Cheap and distribution of performance.

– Performance documentation and the body.

– Performance documentation and time/duration.

Proposals should be sent to [email protected] and deadlines for proposals is 13 December. Successful applicants will be notified by 21 December. Registration for the Performing Documents conference is £80 (£120 institutionally supported rate), with an early registration fee of £65 (£100 institutional rate). Please visit for more information about the project.

Performing Documents is an AHRC-funded project hosted by the University of Bristol, in partnership with University of Exeter, Arnolfini and In Between Time.