[Live] Art Club happens at Norwich Arts Centre; it is live art, performance, theatre, installation, music; art that is difficult to describe. Events happen throughout the year, but during the Norfolk and Norwich Festival in May, [Live] Art Club curates a week or two of late night performances. In 2014 - 2015, I was writer (and thinker) in residence at NAC. Find out more about what's on at [Live] Art Club here.
Here is some of the writing I produced, available here in pamphlet form.
I arrive and say hi to Annie. I arrive and say hi to Bradley. I nod when Bradley says the live stream cam is working. I tell Annie that Michael Ridge doesn’t have a twitter handle. I listen to Bradley tell me the name of the Nigerian prime minister. I walk through to the bar. I say hi. I order wine. I order chilli. I successfully fail to pay for it. I sit down at a table. I go to the office to get paper and clips. I sit back down. I eat chilli. I drink some wine. I begin to write. I say hi to Ed. I say hi to Chris. I recommend the chilli. I wave to Rosie. I wave to Alex. I don’t mind that they don’t see me. I keep talking to Ed. I see more people come into the bar. I wonder about getting a hammer. I check my watch. I finish my chilli. I am sitting at the bar. I watch the new people go upstairs. I think about my glass of wine. I wonder if this is self obsessed. I get a text from Holly. I worry about my handwriting. I smile at the bar staff. I can hear Bradley. I send a text back to Holly. I am looking forward to Chris’ show. I notice the line spacing getting bigger towards the bottom of the page. I think about Brandon LaBelle on his sofa, musing. I worry about that comma. I get an email on my phone. I think about asking Bradley for a hammer. I nearly bend the corner of the poster. I worry that I’ve drawn attention to it too much. I check my watch again. I think its time to start.
A voice, crawling up your spine.
A voice, creeping out of your eardrum.
A voice, right there on your forehead.
A voice, that seems to sit exactly where your tinnitus
meets the hiss of the limbic system.
It isn’t that the voice is describing brain surgery
close to your ear.
It’s that the voice is there,
moving through your skull,
between your ears.
Someone has said “the man who constantly chatters cannot be a gentleman at heart”
In ventriloquism, the voice is never wholly itself, it comes from outside.
[whether the outside is the past]
[whether the outside is another continent]
[whether the outside is a playwright]
[whether the outside is a colony]
[whether the outside is an empire]
[whether the outside is a former empire]
I felt I was becoming scientifically interesting.
First lesson; reel them in.
There are not that many of us tonight, and I am trying to remember things I have done, in case I am asked something. We are immediately at our ease though; listen to the funny stories from long ago! Don’t be dull! Don’t be frightened of parties!
Lines that could appear on tea towels, postcards, witty posters. These lines put us at our ease, and friendly Nigel does too. Look at his cheerful face.
If you do exchange ideas you derive a keener enjoyment as well as an increased knowledge of human nature which may lead to a better understanding of life.
Second lesson; skydiving.
What is the minimum number of people you have to assemble for two people to have the same birthday? What is the minimum number of people you have to assemble for at least one of them to be divorced? [DO NOT REFER TO DIVORCE IN MIXED COMPANY IF YOU ARE UNFAMILIAR WITH THE MARITAL CONDITIONS OF EVERY MEMBER PRESENT] What is the minimum number of people that would constitute a crowd? A party? [see also the heap paradox.] What are the chances of assembling a live art audience where one person has skydived, from a red and white plane, and also forgotten the name of their driving instructor?
There is no one quality that so much attaches man to his fellow man as cheerfulness.
Third lesson; gin.
In jam jars! I am dropping a lemon into my jar,
I am passing the ice around,
I am sipping my gin,
I am reaching for another jar (there is a lot to go around),
I am feeling cheerful,
I am feeling convivial;
we are at least in this together.
I am now a little tipsy.
I am disarmed.
We want for the guidance of the cause instructed to us by Europe, so to speak, higher intelligence, wide sympathies, a singleness of purpose.
Forth lesson; sucker-punch.
From cosy tea towels
to travelling upriver looking for Mr Kurtz.
on this line.
everyone is just
about fuzzy enough
to take it
on the chin.
This is why it is so amusing to see a silk hat on a naked savage.
The rest of the show
Is a trapdoor into
(by now I have had three)
a rush towards
a three coloured
blaze of glory.
What else is there to say?
[all italics from The Ethel Cotton Course In Conversation and Heart of Darkness]
[five jars of gin]