Site Specific Performance

Busby, Lisa. 2014-2017 Site Specific Performance. [Project]

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Item Type:

Creators: Busby, Lisa
Abstract or Description:

In 2014, I was commissioned to make a new work for Survival Kit Festival, Umeå, Sweden. The outcome was I begin alone in this action: a series of sounding zones. This site-specific set of actions proposed to explore bodily endurance in performance, the socio-cultural role of the soundsystem as a viable tool to create what Bey termed the ‘temporary autonomous zone’ (1985), and the fringes or limits of what skills and sites might be considered DJ practice. I set myself a number of rules, which are recited in the documentation video.

The presence of both performer and sound in locations out of the ordinary mean observers found themselves in a space, even if only for a moment, removed from the organisational confines and expectations of the society they lived in. The extended action of performance without breaks for food or other basic needs, and in locations at the mercy of the elements and whim of the observer, highlighted considerations of physical stamina, bodily endurance and the vulnerability of the human body. After undertaking the work, the latter - notions of ‘fear’, ‘vulnerability’ and ‘confrontation’ - became central to the work. The act of undertaking this work became as much about the lone female body in a public space as anything else.

I have continued to investigate site-specificity in DJing through collaborative practice. In 2015 artists Ruthie Woodward, Fran Perry and I formed the ensemble, The Nomadic Female DJ Troupe. In our performances we also worked without mains electricity and ‘off stage’ at festivals and gigs on the UK DIY scene. We developed interests in blurring the lines between experimental live improvisation and more traditional mixing practices; using our live sung voices in our mixes; and investigating plurivocal and collectivised structures inspired by various moments in feminist activist histories. The project article brings together textual and material fragments to document and illuminate this process, and reflects on strategic affinities with feminist histories, improvising feminism, opting out of hegemonic narratives and spaces and exploring norm-criticality in sound as a feminized and feminist practice, ‘edge-walking’ and inhabiting liminal spaces, the female voice in the DJ mix, and vulnerable and confrontational bodies.

Related items in GRO:
Departments, Centres and Research Units: Music
Date range: 2014-2017
Item ID: 24946
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2018 15:06
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2023 11:07


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