MANIFESTO FOR A PERFORMANCE COMMUNITY
OUR PEOPLE – THE COMMUNITY
We are a community between – We are artists, makers, producers, and collaborators, engaging in a series of practices located somewhere between the performing and visual arts. We are the people who do not belong in the black box of the theatre or the white cube of the gallery. The place of our work is outside. We are a community of outsiders. We are active citizens of this community – We are instigators, agitators, leaders, and facilitators. We are the makers and collaborators in the formation of new experiences and new cultural values. We value ourselves, our work, and our people – We look after and support one another, developing a professional and empowered community of Live Art practitioners. We are inclusive and celebrate diversity – We support Live Art practitioners from diverse creative, disciplinary and cultural backgrounds, with varied levels of experience, providing opportunities whereby common ground may be found for collaboration and invention. We are agents of international exchange - we are committed to developing and promoting international capacity for NZ Live Art and its practitioners through facilitating networks and mentorship, platforms and opportunities; developing a strong local voice and connecting it to the world.
OUR PEOPLE – THE PUBLIC
We are an integral part of a wider community – Wherever a Live Art event takes place, the whole community is implicated. We aim to develop and educate audiences on Live Art practices through highly visible and well-executed events, presentations, and publications, developing co-creative and supportive audiences and communities for Live Art production. We provide opportunities for audiences – Growing new audiences for Live Art and other experimental art forms by providing opportunities for art engagement that are free or at subsidised prices. We communicate with our audience – Disseminating and promoting Live Art practices.
OUR PRACTICE – A VISION FOR LIVE ART
Live Art is experimental – Continuously examining and promoting new modes of presentation for the performing and visual arts. Our practice develops a culture of experimentation for both audiences and artists, where new approaches can be tested and new audiences attracted to Live Art. Live Art is challenging – It embraces risk, experimentation, challenge, and failure. Live Art is political – To work with an implicated audience, or to implicate your audience and make them a ‘participant’, is a political act. Thus live art is by its very nature is activism. To be a live artist is to be political. Live Art is not commercial –Its goals are not to generate profit or to mitigate financial risk. Therefore, the money must be separated from the art form: Live Art must be supported through funding and financial or in-kind support, but never shaped by it. Live Art is mindful – Promoting considered practices that are spatially, temporally, and socially activating. Without becoming prescriptive, it considers its impact and its responsibility. The active nature of its practice is coupled with reflective practice, turning the gaze both outward and inward.
OUR PLACE – THE PERFORMANCE ARCADE
The Performance Arcade is the place where our community gathers – It is the heart, the home – our marae. It is where we tell our stories, and where we create new ones. It is where we prepare for battle, and where we seek refuge. It is a safe place, created through bonds of trust, in which we can take risks and ensure the continued vitality of our practice. The Performance Arcade is an open laboratory – A platform for the application of a radical and visionary philosophy for NZ Live Arts practice. Although the Arcade community does not claim to represent the entirety of Live Art in NZ, it presents the Arcade as an exemplar of this ever-evolving movement. The Performance Arcade is like a migration – The community treks together through valleys and over mountains, labouring through loneliness and threat of exposure, experiencing moments of wonder and triumph. The travellers must be prepared for this journey, pack the necessary items, and look out for everyone in the party. The destination is always unknown – it is the heart and vision of the party that drives it ever forward.
Prepared by The Performance Arcade Steering Committee:
Jen Archer, David Goldthorpe, Sally Morgan, Johann Nortje, Andrew Simpson, and Sam Trubridge