Cutting up conference papers: audience participation in breaking as making

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In September 2005 I broke my wrist very badly and shortly afterwards
my hand and then, in February 2006, some ribs. In May 2006 I broke
my collarbone, which I broke again in both June and August, it took me
until the following Easter 2007 to recover. Consequently during this time
I was not able to continue with the sculpture I had been making and
when I did return to making sculpture I found I could only relate to my
previous work by breaking it. Following this my artwork shifted towards a
focus on breaking and there is no doubt my experience of breaking bones
influenced this.

Breaking is the main theme running through my work but it arises in
many different contexts and I deal with it on different planes. My research
simultaneously explores and draws parallels between personal experiences
in life: breaking bones, making/breaking sculpture and philosophical
concepts of the break. Throughout my doctoral research I sought to reflect
the approach of my artwork in my writing practice. This included cutting
and rearranging previous drafts of my thesis whilst I added new elements
on post-it notes. Juxtaposition of material from various disciplines brought
different structures into contact, creating breaks on a philosophic level
and a methodology of breaking.

During this time I started to incorporate audience participation into
my artwork by inviting people to break my sculptures. I developed this
further by inviting audience participation whilst I presented conference
papers. This is what I explore in this text. I am particularly interested in the
passivity in the face of uncertainty, required when approaching processes
of breaking that involves the unpredictable nature of an audience. I posit
this as an important creative element.

I will first give a short account of my practice of breaking writing and
following this, the development of a methodology of breaking. I will
then reflect on audience participation in my visual work. From there I
will focus on four papers where I encouraged the audience to participate;
recounting and reflecting on what happened and on how I could improve
the practice. I am continuing to develop this work and to conclude I will
note what I have learnt so far and look to future developments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArtistic Research
Subtitle of host publicationStrategies for Embodiment
EditorsChristine Fentz, Tom McGuirk
PublisherNordic Summer University Press
ISBN (Print)978-8787564953
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015


  • art research breaking anarchy


Dive into the research topics of 'Cutting up conference papers: audience participation in breaking as making'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this