Proposal to The 7th international conference Colloquium on Artistic Research in Performing Arts 

Performing Research, Writing Silence


I will take my recently completed spoken-word performance work, ‘Between Our Words I Will Trace Your Presence’ - from which I will perform an excerpt - as the starting point for discussing the place of writing in my work. Specifically, I will explore my artistic research’s capacity to examine different sites of silence; familial, textual and institutional. My work deals with silence not as a sensate phenomenon, but as something relational; something enacted or performed, founded in acts of repression and denial; its character always specific to a given set of circumstances, but always characterised by the presence of something unspoken or unheard.


In my examination of such silences, I have found myself adopting strategies which draw on Jane Rendell’s model of ‘site writing’. Also developing a mode of autofiction writing, which is informed by Mona Livholts’ conception of a ‘situated writing’ practice and which lays emphasis on insights localised in the writing-subject’s position. Together, these approaches create a writing subject, whose presence and experience are central to the creation of both site and knowledge.


My writing also aspires to a performative - as opposed to an expositional – agency and through spoken word performances, I have been performing my writing. In this presentation, I will discuss my writing practice and introduce the issues raised by the proposition that my writing and my performance of my research have the potential to create distinctive relationships between researcher, knowledge and audience.


Please, enter two main questions that you would like the conference delegates offer feedback on. This is important to assure focused discussion in the conference.

1). I regard silence as a relational, not a sensate, phenomenon. I have drawn my textual reference points for this proposition predominantly from literature, poetry, cinema and theatre. Salome Voegelin’s practice offers a fascinating example of working with silences born of the unspoken and unheard, within a fine art practice. What examples of working with relational silences – silences rooted in the unsaid and the unheard - would others offer, from fine art practice?


2). I’m intrigued by performance as a modality for articulating my ideas and performative writing as an alternative to exposition. What examples of performative writing, which enacts its ideas rather than relying on exposition, and what examples of practitioners using performance as a mode of articulating their research do others find successful and interesting?




Below, draft presentation proposal for CARPA 2021, Elastic Writing in Artistic Research. 





Oct-Dec 2016, rolled bedding, recently vacated apartment room, Nygardsgaten, Bergen. Photograph 


Oct-Dec 2016, unoccupied rooms, forensic investigation training house, Nottingham. Photographs


Oct-Dec 2016, unoccupied room, forensic investigation training house. Video


Apr 2017 recently vacated room, asylum hostel, Voss. Photograph


Apr 2017 recently vacated room, asylum hostel, Voss. Video work



Feb 2017, 'Birdsong'.



Mar 2017 material from PKU Spring Forum, first presentation


Mar 2018 PKU Spring Forum, second presentation


Apr 2018 paper delivered to 2018 SAR conference, Plymouth


Mar 2019 PKU Spring Forum, third and final presentation



May 2017 'A performance after a performance', Voksenåsen, Video work



Aug - Oct 2017 video work: coats in corridor, chairs in gymnasium, nr. Helsinki; rolled-bedding, recently vacated apartment, Bergen


Nov 2017 the empty walls of DH's studio



Oct 2017 'Between, Before, After, Elsewhere'. Exhibition at Kunstgarasjen, Bergen


Jan 2018 KMD, image and situatedness



Feb 2018 'The objects perform themselves', Bergen. Photo & Video documentation of performance



Mar 2018 CCFT fieldwork, Agios Sozomenos, Cyprus



June 2018 initial tests with hospital ventilators. Video documentation


Apr-May 2019 'It's only when I rest that I sense your presence', installation, HKS, Bergen


Apr-May 2019 It's only when I rest that I sense your presence, text work, HKS, Bergen



July 2018 'In silence', performance, Berlin. Audio realisation of performance and photo documentation



Nov 2018 A Foreign Body: Absence, a denial of presence. Transplanting a Sitka spruce tree. Tælavåg. Video work



Feb 2019 'Foreign Bodies, Empty Rooms', Bergen Natural History Museum. Audio-visual realisation of performance


Aug - Oct 2019 'The Wrong Bodies', installation, Bergen Natural History Museum


Aug - Oct 2019 'The Wrong Bodies', text work, Bergen Natural History Museum


Oct 2019 The Museum's Wrong Bodies, presentation at Bergen Natural History Museum



July 2019 'Between our words, I will trace your presence' (1st iteration) performed at Cracking the Established order


Oct 2019 Between our Words... (2nd iteration), performed in UN Buffer Zone, Nicosia, Cyprus


Feb 2020 'Between our words, I will trace your presence' (3rd iteration) performance at Borealis Festival. Audio documentation



Feb - Mar 2020 abortive (pre-Covid) plans for realisation of work at Bergen Natural History Museum.


May 2020 Lecture on work in progress, to staff and students at KMD


October 2020 Artist's book, The Wrong Bodies, based on work on the body and institutional silence, at Bergen Natural History Museum



Nov 2020 Between Our Words I Will Trace Your Presence, at the Bergen Natural History Museum


April 2021 Chapter Draft: Writing in Silence

Summer 2021 Proposal to CARPA 2021: Elastic Writing in Artistic Research