This chapter is a reflection on projects that I was involved in during the period of March 2020 to May 2021, the period when in-person meetings, rehearsals and performances were made difficult, postponed or cancelled altogether. One project that I present here, with Niklas Lindberg, was a conventional concert which took place at Sentralen in Oslo in September 2020 for Ultima Festival. I will present selected works from the Lockdown period and will use an almost identical approach to the previous “Collaborative Processes” chapter but with some new categories that are relevant which I will define now. These structures of working together are described as ‘cooperative’ and ‘coordinated’ This is based on Dave Pollard’s typology. Pollard distinguishes well between the three categories, coordination, cooperation and collaboration but does not emphasise the nuances of the different variants of collaboration. Because some of the following projects now fall into these new categories, I need to extend my vocabulary as part of my methodology such that I can discuss the projects in the same way as those within previous chapters.

Pollard (2005) identifies both coordination and cooperation as group exercises needing shared objectives whilst collaboration also needs this along with a sense of urgency and commitment from those involved. Coordination only asks that those involved have an understanding of who needs to do what by when however cooperation, Pollard writes, has mutual trust, respect, and the acknowledgment of mutual benefit of working together as preconditions. Collaboration also requires trust, respect and a sense of belonging within the dynamic process as well as: open communication, intellectual agility and complementary, diverse skills. Furthermore, collaboration benefits from the right mix of people who have good collaborative skills. Cooperation benefits from frequent knowledge sharing between participants who clearly understand their roles and coordination benefits from tools like charts, timetables and action lists. Each serves a different outcome: cooperation is concerned with efficiently solving a problem, avoiding overlap between assigned tasks; coordination is the same but there might be more sharing of work; collaboration produces results that individuals would not have been able to accomplish alone with breakthrough results and a collective feeling of accomplishment.  Coordination is applicable to traffic flow regulation, the example Pollard gives whilst cooperation is applicable to a marriage or a community owned enterprise and collaboration is relevant for co-creation, improvisation in performance or discovering a better way to do something (Pollard, 2005). 

Interesting thoughts on ‘liveness’, performance, and performativity of space have arisen through writing this part of the reflection that I will outline now. Each of the following works, excluding Niklas’, deals with ‘liveness’ in a particular way and each is ultimately mediated by video, uploaded to Youtube, Instagram, Facebook and/or Vimeo. This has consequences for performance in the context of this RP. 

For Philip Auslander, liveness ought to be understood as subject to change and existing within “specific cultural and social contexts” rather than a “global, undifferentiated phenomenon” (Auslander, 2008, p.3). At its outset, this RP took live performance for granted in as much as the performers and the audience would be physically present - ‘co-present’ - in the same performance space. Auslander explains that the term ‘live’ was not used in the context of performance before 1934 when it became necessary to distinguish between broadcasts of pre-recorded and live material on the Radio (Auslander, 2008, p.59). This was a consumer-led shift to recordings creating the need for language to differentiate between studio performances and recordings of a live event. Unlike the Gramophone whose sound source is clearly visible,  the radio is more mysterious in that you can not be sure whether what you are listening to is live or prerecorded. We know from the developments in Television and the rich variety of types of shows being made and viewed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries that liveness does not necessarily mean that the audience needs to be co-present with the actor, athlete or host. The key then to a live performance is real-time communication between performers happening in the same space. But what if we redefined what is meant by ‘same space’ and freed it from the idea of the same physical location? A live performance online with performers in the same virtual space contemporaneously offers a single point of capture for the performance, making the rendering of a live recording possible.

There is now a need to clarify the two contexts in which ‘live’ is used. I draw on the article 'Schedule Meeting: Keeping it live in Bastard Assignments' lockdown jams' by Caitlin Rowley and myself to expand on the two terms. A ‘live recording’ “is defined as the whole piece being recorded at the single point of capture as we perform together, temporally and spatially co-present with each other, with no alterations other than cropping out unwanted material from around the desired section. The second is the ‘live piece’ - formalized as a video recording in this project - which has the potential to be reperformed over a livestream or on stage. Live recordings are always of live pieces, but non-live recordings may also become live pieces when the final form of the video performance can be recreated by combining all the elements of the piece on-the-fly in the capture/streaming software.” (Rowley & Spear, 2021).

Because the Lockdown Jams project, which is described in some depth within this chapter, produced a mixture of ‘live’ pieces and video-art, the question: “‘could it be livestreamed?’ can help to determine whether a piece is ‘live’” (Rowley & Spear, 2021).

But how are we to understand this new type of liveness that no longer requires a co-present audience within the context of Fischer-Lichte’s theory of performance? The autopoietic loop is upset here. In a strong sense, we Bastard Assignments become each other’s live audience for the sessions when we meet, play, rehearse and perform. Videos documenting performance that are uploaded to social media cannot be said to be performances, following Fischer-Lichte, because there is no live exchange between performer and spectator; in fact the performance already happened. When performing for the camera, I first notice what and who else is spatially and temporally co-present with me and who can potentially see me. After this I consider the future audience, however this future audience is imagined and non-concrete.

In this new landscape, with no in-person working, will the emergence of intimacy continue to operate in the same way?

Song for Alwynne (2020)



Alwynne Pritchard, born 1968, is a British composer, vocalist, actor and writer based in Bergen. I knew Alwynne already from having booked her to perform at a Bastard Assignments gig in London in 2016.


Alwynne instigated one of the first lockdown projects that I became aware of called “Recorded Delivery”.  At the start of Lockdown, Alwynne invited composers and artists, via social media, to send her works to record. These were to be very brief works and they would be performed in and recorded from Alwynne’s lavatory.


I was desperate to simply do something and have it recorded and shared in a quick turnaround. A score was going to be the best method to communicate with Alwynne because we were not going to spend any in-person time together or even likely communicate together beyond the score. The score also made it easy for me to create a ‘frame’ for her and it would be easy for her to interpret. This frame was the combination of the limitations of the proposed structure, the instructions and the choice I gave Alwynne of what sounds she would populate the piece with. This is built upon my principle that I was developing: engaging my collaborator’s creativity beyond interpretation. It was not a random operation; quite the contrary. I knew that Alwynne was able to interpret as well as compose and create pieces so she would have been able to understand how I have formulated this matrix, where to breath, and what sounds will work best for her. Below is the score I sent via email, on March 21st 2020.


Imitating non-musical sounds is not something that all singers are comfortable doing, certainly Opera singers are lost without pitches. I knew that she could do it and would pick things that would work for her voice and discard things that would not. This is a demonstration of the familiarity that I have with Alwynne as an artist and performer. That said, this interaction remained directive due to the finished nature of the score but because the sounds and their durations and order were left to be decided by the performer, it can be categorised as interactive. For Torrence, Alwynne is decidedly an interpreter because her task was to execute the piece, without workshop or discussion. Alwynne recorded at least forty new works from composers all over the world within her network and beyond. This was an important and touching project because it showed that, despite the pandemic, we were all still composers and artists and that we could continue through this difficult period in a new connective way; there was strong relatedness. Under lockdown conditions then, can I deduce that intimacy as a condition is not only limited to integrative collaboration?


Ravel was a project that was still fresh, having workshopped it less than two months before the lockdown came into force. Clowning had become a possible route to explore with this piece and as already mentioned, Ed suggested that I work with Tim on it, with Zubin playing the piano.

With that and the Lockdown Jams project in its infancy, a project that I will introduce shortly, I thought to make something with Tim. What ended up happening was a straightforward directive interaction where Tim was tasked with solving the practicalities at his end for the execution of what I was requesting; at this time we were about 1500 km apart. We had no score, only orally transmitted instructions that we memorised. We were each other’s audience, looking at one another across “Zoom”. We used “Zoom” as a camera, pulling objects from somewhere out of shot and in this way creating illusions and almost performing the separation between us. The ‘lag’ added an authenticity to this.  


The video of this is short and I have overlaid “Anamorfosi” (1980) by Salvatore Sciarinno recorded by Marc-André Hamelin because its use emerged from the group workshop earlier in 2020. This was really an experiment and not to be understood as a finished work but also an expression of the separation we were feeling as a group.

“Lockdown Jams”

These were Bastard Assignments’ response to the pandemic, cancellation and a general uncertainty that spread. They are short experiments, intended for rehearsal and performance online. The Jams is a large project so I will only mention a small part of my own contribution to it and two works that the group commissioned. These are “Zusammen III” by Jennifer Walshe and “Unprecedented” by the group, initiated by Oliver Dawe and Alan Fielden. These two commissions, released December 2020 and May 2021 respectively, represent a high standard of production value and they demonstrate the project’s development. We commissioned eleven Jams with funds from Arts Council England from 2020-2021. Tim, Ed, and Caitlin also created JAms and brought ideas to experiment with.

Paradoxically, we forged bold new partnerships online with composers and choreographers, some we had worked with before, others we had not, taking on quite ambitious projects, projects that only came about because of the pandemic,  whilst our physical day-to-day lives, movements and interactions were severely localised. 

The four of us began meeting online in late March 2020 and our initial improvisations, or jams, were fairly rudimentary. We were using instruments and focussing on sound. I found these meetings quite unsatisfactory because platforms like “Zoom” and “Google Meet” allow for only one speaker at a time and favour the human voice, not instrumental sound. Our experiments quickly took on a more visual language; we began experimenting with each having a laptop and an iPhone running Zoom, so we were all doubled in the same meeting. The sessions were almost workshops where we learnt a lot about the platform. My own approach was to explore counterpoint and make use of the square layout that Zoom provides.


On April 6th 2020, we met to work on two ideas that I had brought which consisted of imitating a video in real time. In the first, the video that we are imitating is a video of a teenage boy dancing to “Baby” (2010), recorded by Justin Bieber, in a room in his home with a computer in it. We are replicating the performance situation of this boy and replicating his actions as accurately as we could within the limited rehearsal time. Like my Zoom experiment with Tim on “RAVEL”, this process was fairly directive; it could be said that I created a video score for “Bieber Baby”. The same is true for “Makeup Tutorial” that we recorded in the same session. Like “RAVEL” with Tim, the group had to sort out the practicalities of their spaces and props themselves; I could not do it for them. In this context, the score operates a little differently to the way it would in a musical situation in that these video scores do not represent the finished resulting work but are real time instructions. This idea is not unlike Richard Dedominici’s Redux Project (2013) that makes use of material, particularly films that are well-known. Whilst Dedominici perhaps parodies a genre or a filmmaking technique, our work foregrounds how each of us interprets the material and handles it freshly. An interesting remnant of this work is that we glimpse into each other’s homes, turning domestic spaces into work and performance spaces that become a storied part of our work together. The differences between our bodies,  interpretations, spaces and props in a unison is precisely what makes the pieces interesting. With more practice, these differences might become less pronounced or we might choose to exaggerate our differences. 


My next contribution to the Jams was “Zoom Canon 1” on April 15th 2020; a further exploration into counterpoint. The sonic complexity of this piece did not work on Zoom owing to Zoom’s limit on one speaker at a time. The collaboration was directive and the workshop was focussed on executing the instructions that were, again, in video form.


Two days after this, on 17th April 2020, we met to explore a ‘two-part invention’  that I had made called “Anime Deep Cuts”.  My focus was on investigating what might happen rather than knowing what would emerge. Having made the canon explicitly to be imitated precisely, I wanted to open the next version out—by that I mean allowing my colleagues to interpret what they saw. I also chose images and .GIFs that are almost impossible to actually imitate and instead demand problem-solving. The clips were varied with different types of “shot”, some were up close, some were more scenic and some looped awkwardly. They all demanded that my colleagues divide their personal spaces and their bodies in creative ways. 

It is apparent in the result that there is a top line and a bottom line; what Tim and I are doing is the same whilst Ed and Caitlin are paired in their own activity. The order that the participants join the call was important in this regard. We realised that the person who is recording the session is positioned on the top right of the gallery view, the next person is to their left, and the rest follow on counter-clockwise in the order that they enter. This information became useful throughout the entire Lockdown Jams period; as a group we were able to create an information sheet for the artists whom we eventually commissioned that contained everything we had discovered about working on Zoom. I thought to use the world clock so that we could each start our videos playing at the same time by each referring to the same time source locally on our computers, avoiding lag. We began using the world clock at the beginning of April in the sessions on “Bieber Baby” and “Makeup Tutorial”. 

As an experiment, I decided to only have audio from one part played from two laptops whilst the other was silent. It produced a complex result. Amidst Zoom’s predetermined behaviour to seek out and isolate the human voice, the loss of fidelity, and the feeding back of the same music between laptops, a bizarre, almost organic sonic texture emerged from the original source. I chose Stan Getz’ “I Remember When” (1962) for no other reason than I had heard it the night before and knew that it would create a dreamy montage effect. Similarly, this experiment contributed useful knowledge for the Lockdown Jams as a whole. This growing shared knowledge, or even ideology, hints at the integrative nature of this collaboration that applies to the entire project, not only “Anime Deep Cuts”. 


I successfully invited the group’s creativity in, activating my colleagues. I felt that this was the a new way for me to co-create that reminded me of “FEED”. Whilst I was still in fact doing much of the decision-making and bringing the material, I was successfully activating my colleagues and giving them freedom to be creative by understanding their strengths and designing the right task. I use the word co-creators and it feels significant because in some way, we were all creating collectively, live. Composer Tim Steiner (1992) writes that fully notated music deprives musicians of a degree of the scope of their creative persona, forcing them to work at an interpretive level. I tried to invite more of my colleagues' personalities into the work. 


The video below shows our conversation at the time of recording “Anime Deep Cuts”. It is interesting to see that I was rarely leading the rehearsal; it was often Tim or Ed who are declaring what we would do next. For example, it was Tim’s decision to rehearse in pairs whilst the other pair watches. In the same way, everybody was able to offer feedback to everybody else. It feels like we are all beginning the exploration of the piece, of the process together as equals and enjoying it.


For these reasons “Anime Deep Cuts” is a successful experiment and an example of framing. It is important to iterate that each of these short works was ostensibly an experiment with the medium of Zoom, exploring how we might perform when using it. I also learned that they were really attempts at creating in a new way, with medium, form, and technique being intermingled and influencing each other. I would not claim that there was a shared imagination for the pieces because I was usually quite unsure what the work would be like myself; these meetings were quick experiments; but the task was always clear.


This video shows our conversation at the end of “Bieber Baby”. It is clear how enjoyable the task was due to the silliness of it and the flow state that it put the group into. As noted with Morten Qvenild, I take the laughter and smiles as proof of this and indicators of the end of a period of flow. Tim contributed an idea relating to the sonic quality of the final piece, which is demonstrative of the group's collective process and integrative collaboration.

Next on May 25th 2020 I made a fugue, another musical structure with increased complexity. I assigned hand gestures to the notes of J. S. Bach’s “Fugue in C minor BWV 847” (1722). Then I created four videos of myself for us to copy, this time a different part for each person. 


I had decided that there was not any space for my colleagues to have input on the fugue; I simply needed to translate pitches into movement and it would be simpler to do it my way and on my own; the interaction was to be directive. This was a strange decision considering how transformational the experience of “Anime Deep Cuts” had been. Instead of pursuing the group creativity in performance that I had enjoyed so much, I elected to task the group with executing instructions. This also runs contrary to my principles established when working on “FEED”, where I declare that choreography is more successful when those who have to execute it also devise it. 



Afterwards, Ed had a strong idea for how we, as a group, ought to create the audio layer. The group as a whole agreed to pursue Ed’s more or less chance operation. We each recorded a fairly static layer of sound on an instrument to be stacked in the edit. We did this quickly. Then it was left to Ed to actually edit the final video and add the audio, actuating post-production as composition. It is surprising that whilst I had decided that the fugue was not going to be a collaborative effort, it turned out to be just that. Importantly this decision had arisen from the group. This was the first instance of working asynchronously on a Jam and of Born’s distributed creativity. The video below shows this conversation and it is an example of exploratory talk.


Generally, our discussion during these Zoom meetings focused on parameters like characterisation, post-production, mirroring, use of space, and feedback. As these discussions continued and became sedimented parts of the rehearsals, our individual characters also emerged, each with distinct areas of concern. Caitlin was often preoccupied with getting things right, organising browser windows, and starting the video scores at the correct time. Tim suggested ways that we might rehearse and sometimes ideas for how the piece could be, or how it could relate to sound. Ed often voiced his opinion on the difficulty of the work or spoke about the mood of the group. The image below, captured by Caitlin, shows a typical screen layout.

We continued working in this way and quite soon after we began on the works that we had commissioned. We each came to the meetings with ideas and contributed to the ideas of others. We took risks and it felt to me like we were working towards something new that was shared, like we were transcending the limitations of the Lockdown; the close collaboration meant that there was some kind of intimacy, distributed across the internet. As with Alwynne’s “Recorded Delivery”, the project affirmed our identities as composers and as members of the group during an uncertain time, kindling relatedness.

In these examples, I am still holding onto control as project lead but this did not hinder integrative collaboration.  From the video of our conversation, I hope it is clear that my process, for example, flows along continuums, through spaces and through Tim, Caitlin, and Edward. I use them and we use one another leading me to describe Bastard Assignments as a multiplicity (Deleuze & Guattari, 2014). If one of us were to disappear suddenly from the group then we would need to adapt and the group would be completely changed but their voice would not disappear from my mind. Treating each other as a resource, we are able to contribute to and disrupt one another by touching and crossing borders. This leads me to describe the group’s structure as rhizomatic. The Jams are an expansion into working online that is at the mercy of the internet’s glitches and lags. They are a slippery new form whose process was built from periods that were once easily isolated into creation, rehearsal and performance but became even more fluid. It could be that there was no composer, no pieces exactly but instead a multiplicity of performers, creators and collaborators who met in slippery time and slid between exploring, rehearsing, playing and performing. If these different times were slippery, and were glitchy, then so were the roles.


On November 5th 2020 we received Jennifer Walshe’ text-score for “Zusammen III”. It is one page of instructions, links and descriptors like ‘the Apologiser’ and ‘the Exercisers’. She named me as the apologiser and the other three as filling the exerciser role. She provided durations, links to playlists of material we could study, even acknowledging that Youtube would then try to show us similar videos and that we could follow those if we wanted. Her score was generative much like her score for “SELF-CARE” in that it provided a frame for the performer to gather information from and then produce their own part. 

She told us that she had watched everything we had done within the Jams project and had enjoyed “Woking” (2020) by Thick and Tight and Neil Luck’s “Every time we say Goodbye” (2020). She had gotten familiar with us and the project to the extent that she specifically suggests that I explore lipsyncing my part as the apologiser, recognising a disposition of mine, although she is careful not to impose this. It felt like my choice and it was also my part to construct in collaboration with her. 

We made three versions of the piece in total and had one group video call with Jennifer before beginning to work. Jen was very pleased with our final version and happy for us to publish it. Each iteration was sent to Jen and she responded with useful comments and areas for improvement which developed not only our performance but pushed ideas that were compositional. 

Jen understood our limitations and she knew that we were geographically separated. She knew that we are composer-performers and in some way she set us a problem that we had to resolve; Ed used the term ‘realise’. This was covered in the group call that functioned as a sharing of her vision.

On 17th November 2020 I emailed Jen directly to run a version of the lipsync audio past her that I had constructed from three different sources. Her response is detailed and supportive, saying that (personal communication, Nov 17, 2020): “I love the sound of the background noise, particularly in the first one. There is something particularly soul-destroying about that room sound.” This background noise became a useful element of the sound design; the audio from the performance on Zoom was not used; instead it was overdubbed with the audio part that I constructed. In her same email (personal communication, Nov 17, 2020), there is a long, insightful comment about how I could construct the part and improve on my first version. She wrote: “If we were in the room together, I’d be asking you to have a very specific persona for each apology. A specific camera position, a specific relationship to the camera, that clearly reads as three different personae. And I’d also be really interested in what happens if you chop them up and interleave them, so rather than going ABC, you’re going ABCABACBA etc or something similar, toggling between the different people. BUT we are not in the room together.” She acknowledges that the process would be quite different in-person, that different options would be available. This is true for all of the online projects within this chapter but it is more interesting to observe just how we adapt to composing together online and what new modes appear, rather than lamenting the loss of in-person meetings. I implemented her suggestion by creating different angles and positions.


The rest of her comments are in response to rehearsal videos we had sent to her and are concerned with turning up the aspects of our performance, generally exaggerating everything a little more and strategies to keep the piece looking busy. Because of this dialogue that went back and forth three times or so, this process was collaborative. Jen and I had moments of complementary collaboration where she retained the role as composer and gave me a task based on my disposition and role within the project. It felt that the version we arrived at was quite different to the idea presented in the score at the start of the process. As a group we agreed that Jen used us well by giving us frames and she understood the format of Zoom. Much of this was devised by the group drawing on the score for information and in consultation with Jen.

My own jams were driven by unison, Walshe chose to break the group up by isolating me. I felt very understood by Jen, that she knew what I did without having to be told. It conveyed familiarity. 


Alan Fielden is a poet, theatre maker, artist and lecturer at the University of Worcester and Central School of Speech and Drama and the same age as me. Alan has known of Bastard Assignments since 2014 and is a friend of the group. Incidentally, in 2015 Oli Dawe also directed a short play of Alan’s. 


“Unprecedented” was the second-to-last Jam from the project and probably took the longest to complete. It began in August 2020 and was not completed until May 2021. In a not outright way, it stood in for the planned collaboration with Oli Dawe and Alan Fielden that we would have undertaken under ordinary circumstances. The initial area of research put forward by Oli, over Zoom and email, was not of great interest to the group and the method was too loose at first.

The task followed my own working relationship with Oli - as mentioned in the collaborative processes chapter, I would often make demos for Oli for possible avenues of enquiry - but the group did not really work like that.

In the second idea for this piece, that would be another video work, Oli established an idea for a workflow that would make best use of us. It would be about us and would be rooted in conversation whilst requiring us to do the majority of the work independently. Oli wanted us to explore the group’s intimacy; this was quite incidentally related to my RP. His idea was for us to voice the inner dialogue of the other members of the group, as we imagined it, through sound and/or text.

Oli organised this in such a way that each of us in Bastard Assignments would be ‘scored’ by another member of the group and at the same time we would be ‘scoring’ someone else. We knew who we were scoring of course, but who was scoring us was kept a secret. Oli set us the tasks of filming ourselves with our head filling the frame and looking at the camera whilst remaining still and silent for two to three minutes, in front of a green screen. He also tasked us with creating an audio layer that would symbolise the internal dialogue for our subject. Alan could assist with the text, offering ideas that we might use or provide feedback on ideas that we already had. Oli offered us a feedback session prior to creating the final version, which he edited. I helped with some colour correction on the raw videos that the group filmed and did the keying process to replace the background with white; the choice of colour was mine with agreement from Oli. 


Each of us took delightfully different approaches. I was assigned Ed and immediately knew how I could pastiche his musical style based on our shared history. The first demo that I made is below.

I shared it with Alan and Oli in December 2020 then discussed it with Alan some days later. Alan sent me some text ideas in late January 2021. Oli worked with me at my house, in-person, in mid-February 2021 and together we arrived at a second and final version of my audio. They did this feedback process with each of us. On reflection, this project was rich in collaborative processes and intimacy showed up in several ways. Firstly this was through thematisation that led to a highly self-referential work where we, along with our insights and opinions about one another, were the material. Secondly, the workflow was sequential; our materials were to be superimposed on each other in post-production. It is an example of Georgina Born’s distributed creativity where each of us was working asynchronously - most of us had finished whilst Caitlin was still working on her rendering of Tim - and separated geographically. Because we were thematising each other, there was no hierarchy within the group, and whilst Oli was director - project lead - his contributions remained suggestions; he facilitated. The collaboration took place primarily between the group and the guests, Oli and Alan, rather than between Ed, Tim, Caitlin and me, much like in “Zusammen III”. My dialogue with Oli was slightly different to my dialogue with Alan. With Alan, we spoke mainly about Ed and the words that I had already recorded amidst off-task-talk. I knew Oli better than I knew Alan. The collaboration was largely complementary, with the group executing person-specific tasks and this was initiated by Oli. At other times, when we were in conversation with Oli or Alan, integrative collaboration was happening.

Oli’s editing and choice to ‘spotlight’ each of us in the video rather than have us remain in the video-conferencing layout is a theatrical idea. It creates a refrain. It pulls the focus of the audience to one individual, suggesting that the audience listen to just them and understand them without trying to watch everyone else. This is a virtue of having us record all of our material in isolation rather than together on Zoom; the video becomes easier to edit; the decision to record in front of a green screen means such editing choices became available. 


The performativity of space is a markedly different between “Zusammen III” and “Unprecedented”; one is more theatrical; one is real; one was co-present; one was distributed. Each of the Jams commissions had to engage with this because we were working from our homes. Both works are demonstrative of the level of post-production work that went into most of the Jams, which was fairly evenly distributed between us and the commissioned artists.

The group’s shift from live performance, primarily rooted in music-making, to the production of video-art, is intriguing. Johannes Birringer describes the nature of video-art as “dispersible, interdisciplinary, reproducible, ephemeral and theatrical” (1991, p.61). Now in the internet age, these are more true than ever. Similarly, I have found creating the jams to be an interdisciplinary and theatrical undertaking.

Walshe’s “Zusammen III” has resonance in “CCTV art” from the late 19060s and 1970s by Vito Acconci for example. Birringer charts a general shift in video-art from existing in a performance space, like an installation where the audience participates to an extent and can interact with the work, to video-art that has become untethered from this participatory space. However there are innumerable examples of such a sculptural approach to video-art that use the spatial distribution of monitors to create particular experiences for the audience that allow for new subjectivities. Following Warhol’s focus on reproduction, a lot of work, not only video, made media its material, piping advertisement, music, soap operas, and news into galleries. On the face of it, with “Zusammen III” we are not doing that; we are actually performing in co-presence.


But actually our material is derived from mass media - Youtube - and the contemporary phenomenon of the “influencer”. It is also framed as a Zoom call, ubiquitous at the time of production. Much of people’s work was being conducted through Zoom as along with attempts at socialising through quizzes and virtual parties.


What is the experience from the resulting spatiality for the audience of the Jams? I could not observe this to a satisfactory extent but the experience is probably similar to my own experience of watching videos on my computer at home. At the beginning of the project I wanted us as a group to be together, to such a degree that I tasked us with doing unison actions. I also wanted the audience to feel as if they were with us. Our homes became places of performance and became performative spaces with unique, fleeting spatialities within each of the Jams. For Fischer-Lichte “the performative space is characterized by that very possibility of being used in unintended ways” (2008, p.108). The domestic spatiality of many of the Jams I have mentioned certainly impacts the experience for the audience and how they decide to view the works. It is likely that those watching the Jams are at home, relaxed and not in a formal audience situation looking at a stage. The whole situation is quite casual and the autopoietic loop is broken. Whilst the process was intimate for us in new ways, our co-presence and intimacy as a group is performed to an audience; it is an illusion. Our performance is to no one but ourselves; it is an uncanny intimacy. On video-art Birringer writes: “The body disappears and is replaced by its double” (Birringer, 1991, p.69).